Learn to Knit and Crochet tips

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.

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9 Comments

Filed under crochet, knitting

9 responses to “Learn to Knit and Crochet tips

  1. Youtube is the best for learning things like this if you don’t have anyone to teach you – SO much easier to follow than pictures in a book!

  2. The comment I think is most annoying is, “I would love to learn to knit, but I just don’t have the time.”

    Uh yeah, because I have so many more hours in my day? My favorite is when someone says this while we are watching a movie together, sitting in a waiting room at the doctor’s office, or any place where everyone is just sitting around. Um yeah, I have time to do this because I am doing it right now while we all sit around and stare at the walls!

    You are totally right though, if people want to learn there are so many resources online. There are so many websites, youtube videos, ways to find local knitting groups, or do things the old fashioned way and walk into a yarn store and ask if they offer classes. I learned to knit from a book, and even now when I need help with a new technique I get online and search for tips and videos.

  3. Jen

    useful and helpful post
    which Im sori had me giggling over the first paragraph

  4. Hey!! I just learnt to crochet over the weekend!! I’m still rather terrible at it!! But it’s making more sense!!
    And the blanket for the sunroom sofa that I see in my head is Amazing!!

  5. Kay

    Love the rant! And thanks for the knitting advice! I crochet, and used to knit, but somehow got out of the practice and your advice on wool and youtube will help me to get back into the knitting groove.

  6. I love this post because it happens to me all the time too – and I’m really not that experienced! My top tip is to keep some wool and needles beside you and when you come to something in a pattern you don’t understand, try it out on your test wool. You end up with the weirdest looking thing – but if you sit down and do it step by step you realise it actually works!
    My other most valuable resource is ‘Knitting in Plain English’ by Mary Righetti. Absolutely fantastic resource.
    Oh and I love, love, LOVE Ravelry šŸ™‚
    l
    x

  7. Amen, sister! It bugs me too. I think people just mean “I wish I too had lovely hand-knit items.” (And they would like them without effort or expense.) It’s right up there with people asking me to make a sweater or socks for them. Ha! I also taught myself to knit and continue to learn new things all the time.

  8. Thank you thank you thank you!! I knew there would be someone on the net that would show me how to knit!! I’m one of those people who have ALWAYS wanted to be able to knit although have never actually said it because …..yes, its up to me to learn!! Looking forward to checking it all out……….(taught myself to crotchet via the net but thought knitting would be harder, can do pearl and knit only……….).
    Thanks, have a great day, Susie

  9. I’ve had this post sitting in my google reader for nearly a month & finally bookmarked it so I can clear it out of my reader. Really great links, Steph; thanks!!

    I’m just not digging knitting, so have abandoned it . . . for now. But I’m ready to try crocheting, so will definitely make use of the links. Thank ya, ma’am!!

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