People say to me all the time “wow, I wish I could knit” or “you’re so clever” or “I hae always wanted to learn to crochet”. I usually just smile and say politely “Oh you really should, it’s so relaxing” cos really…don’t we all need something relaxing in our lives? But really, truly, honestly? Sometimes I just want to yell at that person “800 people have said that to me! Would one of you just f***ing learn already?” Ahem. Just being honest…but you need to stop saying “I wish I could…” and frickin’ learn! I swear, you will not regret it! I went from throwing knitting needles across the room in anger (!) to rocking in a lazyboy with my knitting in my hands in 2 weeks! So soothing. So I thought I would list some knitting and crocheting links, tips and advice and if you have any of your own that I missed feel free to leave a comment.
– I learnt to crochet using youtube videos from tjw1963. Her videos are brilliant. I’m left-handed and her videos are available in left or right handed format and they have slow motion replay at the end which is invaluable for a thicko like me. Seriously stop saying you’d like to learn and get a hook (4mm or 4.5mm is a good average size), some dk or worsted weight yarn and watch her videos. Plus with crochet you only have one stitch on the hook at a time. Mistakes are SO easy to fix.
– I learnt to knit many, many times. My mum taught me as a kid. I tried regularly with squeaky acrylic yarn and sweaty, slippery plastic needles – the usual tools people give a beginner. I recommend metal needles for a beginner because your tension will often be tight and those sharp points and inflexible needles help you learn more confidently. And use beautiful, well spun wool. It doesn’t have to be expensive but please, oh please use nothing that squeaks or crunches like old school acrylic. Knitting is more fun with good tools.
– My favourite (and I think the best) resource for beginning knitters online is Knitting Help. They have a ton of videos which are clear, plain and well filmed and I refer to their videos often. They are on youtube as well. I have a plug-in on my browser that let me download their videos so I can refer to them all.the.time and not have to worry about how much broadband I am using.
– The other essential tool is books. You need a little library to refer to. Two words: Debbie Stoller. Her knitting book Stitch N’ Bitch is my most referred to book and her crochet book Stitch N’ Bitch: The Happy Hooker is equally indispensable (I did find that videos taught me enough to get by without needing to actually own it though so maybe check it out of the library to see for yourself- crochet is just way simpler for me no matter what people say.)
– I learnt to crochet because I couldn’t master knitting. And those flying knitting needles were dangerous. People say (loudly and often) that crochet is harder but I didn’t find that. So if you can’t manage one of them then try the other. Just try one. Take a class at a local yarn store if you have to/want to/can.
– One last tip: I struggle to rip back several rows of knitting when I make a mistake. I just find it hard to pick up all the stitches in the row without a couple escaping. Too scary. So when I found this tip I nearly yelled. It says it’s for lace knitters but if you’re a beginner and either doing a big piece or about to try a new stitch then this is the best tip in the world. Now go forth and create. You’ll love it, I promise.