Hi Makers, Kelly here!
While social media is filled with super gorgeous photos of beautiful works of knit and crochet art, even the most talented makers had to start somewhere right? Whether it was 10 minutes ago or 10 years, at some point we were all beginners struggling to find steady footing in our new creative journeys.
I'm excited to welcome two special guests on the blog today: Christie of @knittedcanada and Kimberly of @coziknots. These two talented ladies connected on Instagram last fall when they both decided they wanted to delve into the world of knitting in crocheting, and it seems they've endured a wild ride! Christie and Kimberly have compiled a Top 10 list of everything they think newbie knitters and crocheters should know, based on their maker experiences over the last seven months.
I mean, who doesn't love a good Top 10. Ready? Let's go!
Christie of @knittedcanada and Kimberly of @coziknots here, and we both decided to take a leap in October 2016 and teach ourselves how to knit/crochet. Since then, we have learned so much, and managed to keep all of our hair intact, rather than pulling it out for the love of knitting and crocheting. Have you too decided you want to give knitting and/or crocheting a try? Congratulations, that’s the first step!
So, let's talk about the first five of our top 10 things we think everyone should know, as a beginner, about these crafts and where to start....
1) Know that everyone discovers their knitting style differently
Personally, for Kimberly, she didn’t really get into knitting until she switched to using chunky/bulky yarns. Originally, she started with 4mm needles and it was taking her forever to complete her first project, and this left her feeling unmotivated. Once she started knitting with 10mm, 15mm, 20mm needles, she completed projects faster and this motivated her to persevere and keep going. In addition to that, if she made a mistake, she found it so much easier to see what she had done wrong and it was, therefore, easier for her to fix.
Knitting with larger yarn yields much faster results and really makes it easier to learn without trying your patience. Regardless, know your personality – maybe you don’t have the time to work on a project that takes days/months/years to complete, so try knitting with big yarn! If you enjoy something that takes longer and may be a bit more challenging to complete, don't be afraid to try the smaller scale knits.
2) YouTube is a knitter's best friend!
We had no idea where to start when the idea of knitting popped into our heads. Kimberly’s husband bought her a starter kit that included a book, and for the life of her, she couldn’t figure out how to knit. Reading and looking at pictures just wasn’t cutting it. Christie didn’t have the patience for a book and went straight to looking for videos.
YouTube changed our lives. We searched for beginner knitting tutorials. By doing this, we could see exactly what we needed to do with our hands, the yarn and the needles. We could pause, go back, and watch over and over. We did the same when we learned to crochet. Now, we use YouTube for everything (how to start, new stitches, how to join yarn, or if I’m following a pattern and when we need help).
3) Yarn Addiction is real.
Be prepared for it. You’ll find that once you start getting the hang of knitting/crocheting you will think of so many other projects that you want to begin, and you will find yourself at the yarn shop. You’ll see all of the beautiful colours and think of all the possibilities. Your mind will run wild and be full of new and exciting ideas. Start clearing your shelves (and ensure you have a healthy bank account) and making room now!
4) Don't be afraid of a little needle-hook trial and error
You may be asking yourself, “What should I be using? What brand? What size?” There is no right answer. It’s all personal preference - you need to find what works for you. If you struggled with or didn’t like the feel of straight needles, don’t give up on knitting altogether, but maybe instead just switch up your tools.
With trial and error, you will find what works best for you. Kimberly loves knitting with metal needles; she finds them easier and faster to work with. Christie prefers wood. In the beginning, we both found the circular needles to be very intimidating. However, once we started using them and got the hang of it, we learned they were the perfect fit!
5) Keep learning and growing as a maker
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Keep learning and pushing yourself to grow. Keep trying new stitches and try the stitches you already know with different yarns, hooks and needles.
There are many techniques out there that can feel intimidating or out of your comfort zone, but try them anyway. What’s the worst that can happen? We've learned from experience that everyday may not be a perfect, beautiful uber-cozy yarn day, but whatever you do, don’t give up!
Are you totally feeling Kimberly and Christie on these tips? And if you're currently a maker, what has been your experience with these five points?
Let us know in the comments, share your maker life with us on @ourmakerlife, and stay tuned to Kimberly and Christie giving us five more maker tips next week!
Kelly, OML Dream Team
Kimberly of @coziknots is a stay at home mom of two crazy boys and has the most incredibly supportive husband in the whole world. While searching for a more productive ways to unwind after putting her boys to bed, she stumbled upon a craft that changed her life. Knitting/crocheting has become a part of her daily routine, and through it, she found herself again.
Christie of @knittedcanada is a stay at home mother of a 4 year old girl and twin 18 month old boys. When she and her husband aren't training for a race or doing yoga, Christie is knitting or crocheting. Driven by the challenge, she loves taking on new patterns and projects while tending to her Etsy shop which she opened in the fall of 2016.