How I learned how to knit

27 comments

It seems like there are a lot of people who have expressed an interest in knitting, but haven't known where to get started. I'd like to share how I went about it, it's not as intimidating as you think!

A little over ten years ago I decided I wanted to learn how to knit. This was before the days of YouTube, so I found a website and printed out step by step directions. I only ever learned how to do the knit stitch, but it made me happy enough to churn out a few scarves. Fast forward to April 2013 when I was dealing with crazy anxiety. It was suggested that I knit to help combat some of the stress/anxiety that was overwhelming me. Even though I had not picked up my needles since I initially learned a decade ago I decided to give it a shot.

My completed projects from the Knit Lab class.

Rochelle turned me on to the Stefanie Japel Knit Lab class on Craftsy. Once I tried it I was hooked! I loved the Craftsy platform and how I could rewind/skip back to re watch techniques that I was having issues understanding. I loved the projects and I especially loved the instructor Stefanie. It's true that I could have just watched some YouTube videos, but I can't express how helpful it is to watch someone work on the exact same project as me and guide me through it step by step. Or stitch by stitch, rather ;) Plus, it is awesome being able to bookmark the techniques I struggle with and watch them when I need them.

I sewed myself this needle roll to hold my supplies. Leopard print is my neutral!

After getting down the basics I purchased other Craftsy classes by Stefanie and have since learned how to knit in the round, use double pointed needles, and use magic loop! I joined Ravelry, got addicted to Andi Satterlund's patterns, and made my first big color work project. All this knitting has been great for my anxiety and of course I don't mind the finished products either :)

My knitting bag. It goes with me everywhere!

There are so many amazing resources available on the World Wide Web and it's exciting to learn about a new hobby, especially a crafty one. I hope that any of you who are hesitant to learn how to knit will take the plunge. Whenever you learn something new there are bound to be mistakes (you don't even want to know how many times I've said, "shit!"), but the best part is that yarn will unravel, so you're not "out" a bunch of money, you're just out a little of your time.

To the knitters out there: how did you learn to knit? What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

27 comments :

  1. Don't forget your awesome friends too!!! You motivated me to knit a cardigan and I know you will be a wealth of knowledge when I brave the world of colorwork!!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Erin. One of these days I'll get to knitting too! :)

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  3. Roxanne GuillemetteFebruary 4, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Ooh, thanks for the info! It came at the right time: i'm venturing into my first plain sweater! Can't wait to learn more and make those beautiful cardigans from Andi!

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  4. It's amazing how relaxing doing something repetitively can help you to find calm

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  5. I love those Craftsy classes, too! I'm working on the My First Sweater class now. So far, I'm about 1/4 done with my sweater and moving through it pretty quickly. Love your needle case. I think I may have to make one of those for my messy needle collection.

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  6. I was lucky to have been taught by my mother and Grandmother, so well done to you for working this out on your own. My advice is that you should knit what you want - not what you think you should knit. If you like big winter scarves knit from thick yarn - then go for it. Don't feel that you have to knit sweaters or gloves, if using a needle thinner than a pencil brings on the shakes!!

    Personally I like to knit smaller items - I like socks, gloves and shawls. They are portable, fabulous to wear, and as I usually only need one (100gm) skein of yarn - I can afford to buy some luxury!

    I am on Ravely as twotwoast if you would like to drop by - and if you haven't joined Ravelry - you really ought to!! It is like PatternReview on steroids, for knitters!!

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  7. Thanks so much - these are really helpful links.

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  8. I learned to knit last year, using various online resources but especially from watching videos on the knittinghelp.com website. I'm not a member of a knitting group, but I think it would be a great place to pick up tips from seasoned knitters if you don't have a relative or close friend to teach you. I've spent the past few weeks learning how to knit continental style, and because I found it so awkward and frustrating at first, I spent a lot of time searching online for tips on technique, tensioning, reasons for loose purls, etc to eventually come up with a tensioning method that suits me. It's that kind of situation that makes me wonder if I might have learned it all much faster with on-hand knowledge from a knitting group!

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  9. I had learned to knit when I was younger - not much, only garter stitch and a bit of stockinette - but never actually made anything...until this year, when learning how to knit became one of my resolutions for 2014! I had bought Stefanie Japel's class on Craftsy after I saw you mentioning it a while ago, I'm not done watching it yet, but it's really great and worth buying! I still haven't completed anything for the moment (still working on my first project) but there are loads of things I'd like to knit in the future!

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  10. As much as everyone may say differently… I say jump in with a small project instead of those testing squares! Make a headband or something small that you are motivated to finish because YOU WANT IT!!!!!

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  11. When I was in high school, knitting randomly became a popular thing to do while sitting in class listening to lectures. A girl in my government class taught me, and funnily enough, she actually only taught me the purl stitch. I made several scarves made out of nothing but purling... :)


    I got the book "Stitch 'n' Bitch" for Christmas, and have been using that to jump into more complicated things. I used it to learn the knit stitch (ha!), and then I decided to just jump into a pattern and learn as I go. I'm currently about halfway through Andi Satterlund's "Easy Beanie" pattern, my first time actually using the knit stitch and doing ribbing. Now I'm addicted! My next project will be Andi's "Cropped Winter Sweater".


    My advice would be to just jump into a pattern and learn as you go. I think it's a lot more fun to stretch yourself and try a project a little out of your league (as long as you have the patience to work your way through mistakes), than it is to just pick something really easy. When a project pushes you a little bit AND it comes out cute, it feels so awesome!

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  12. I learned to knit with that same Craftsy class back at the end of August last year. Since then I've taught myself knitting in the round and a multitude of other stitches/techniques, and have made so many things! :) I adore knitting - it is so very therapeutic, and calming! :)


    My advice to someone starting out would be to make something you love, and use yarn you love - knitting is a slow process so wasting time on a boring project or yarn you don't like the feel of is heartbreaking. You want to be able to love the finished piece as much as the process! ^__^

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  13. I tried to knit once and I was horrible! Absolutely and completely horrible! I'm sticking to sewing, but one day, I might take another stab at it. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  14. That is so cool that your family knits. What an awesome way to bond and spend time together. My new grandma (husband's stepmom's mom haha) knits and I would love to knit with her one day.


    Is your name on Ravelry twotoast? If so, then I just friended you!

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  15. That needle case has been such a lifesaver for me! I highly recommend making one!

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  16. Exactly! I can start knitting and be a basket case, but after a few minutes I forget all my worries.

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  17. Awesome! Andi's patterns are such a great motivation to get knitting!

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  18. I wish I could have you over for a knitting, wine, old movie night :(

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  19. Thanks, Des! I am lucky to have you for a knitting friend!

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  20. I found that with the first sweater I made too - I loved knitting it, but I couldn't wear it because it was too scratchy! (luckily it found a good home with my sister). I'm getting better at picking good yarns for me - it's like sewing that way; you really have to learn what fibers you love! ^__^

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  21. And I remember blogging about it. Seriously, I was a disgrace to knitting! I laugh everytime I think about it. I can set a sleeve, insert an invisible zipper, but casting on? That ain't gonna happen! Lol

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  22. When I was 8 my younger sister taught me how to knit after a neighbor taught her how to knit, but I didn't really do much with it. It wasn't until I was about 17 that I was inspired to knit again after buying Stitch 'n Bitch by Debbie Stoller. I've mainly been sticking to really basic shapes as I find knitting a really great way to be 'in the moment'. Although I'm really inspired by all the ladies on the blogasphere making fantastic cardies and shawls and socks. So I think I need to branch out.


    For people who are learning to knit. These days it's all about the online videos or finding a really good book that speaks to you.

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  23. Did you use a pattern for your needle roll? It's adorable!

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  24. That's exactly what I do with the book now! :)


    I'll tag you on Instagram when I finish the beanie! It's been really fun to knit.

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  25. Stitch 'n Bitch was my first knitting book and I am so grateful to have found it!

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  26. I used some of the dimensions from the Stitch 'n Bitch book, but totally freestyled it haha. Maybe I will do a tutorial!

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  27. just enrolled in 2 knit lab classes at craftsy! thanks for the heads up. books aren't enough for me, and in real life classes are too pricey. cant wait to start improving/learning!

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