In this video we will be running through our top 10 knitting tips, handy things we wish we knew when learning to knit!
Learn handy tips to make for easy breezy knitting. These tips include how to hold your needles, how to and why you should make a tension swatch, how to pick up dropped stitches and more. Let our knitting guru Jenni show you how!
Which yarn and needles should I use?
There are lots of different types of yarn and needles. You could choose a finer weight cotton yarn (like our Shiny Happy Cotton), a middleweight wool yarn (like our Wool Me Tender) but, for beginners, we suggest a super chunky yarn like our Crazy Sexy Wool. It knits up quickly and it's easy to spot mistakes. Our 15mm Rosewood needles are the perfect accompaniment for this yarn.
How should I hold my needles?
It may feel a bit awkward when you first start knitting, trying to juggle the yarn and the needles at the same time. There is no right or wrong way to hold your needles but we suggest either holding them over the top (the knife hold) or underneath (the pencil hold). It's good to practice both to see which feels the most natural to you.
How do I start my second row?
Once you've knitted your first row, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to start your second row. Avoid pulling the first stitch too tightly and double check you are going into the first stitch on your needle and not the loop below it. Your right-hand needle should always be directly below your left-hand needle and your needles should touch each other every time your start a new stitch.
Why should I make a tension swatch?
Tension swatches are nothing to be scared of. They're an important step with a fit-dependant pattern (like a sweater) as it effects the final piece. If you are making something like a scarf it's less important. When making a swatch it should be larger than 10cm/4" in both width and height so you have enough stitches to measure accurately.
How do I count my stitches and rows?
Ignore the cast on and cast off edges!. On a garter stitch piece:
Rows: Each horizontal ridge counts as 2 rows. Starting at the bottom count up in multiples of 2. Stitches: Each of the top bumps in one ridge is 1 stitch. Start at one side and count across.
On a stocking stitch piece: Each 'v' is 1 row and 1 stitch. Count the 'v's from left to right and top to bottom.
I’ve put my knitting down, how do I start again?
Look for the attached yarn ball. The needle attached to the ball of yarn should be in your right hand and the other in your left.
How can I pick up a dropped stitch?
It's easy to fix - find the dropped stitch and work upwards, picking up the ladders and passing them through the open loop as you go. Work from front to back for a knit stitch (little 'v') and from back to front for a purl stitch (bumpy stitch).
How should I join a new ball of yarn?
Try and do this at the start of a new row, if possible. Take the tail end of both old and new yarns and tie together loosely. Continue knitting as you were, this time using the new yarn. At the end, you will return and undo the knot then weave in your ends to secure the join.
How do I use a lifeline?
This lends itself to more complex stitches. Use a lifeline to mark a point in your work as your work so that if you make a mistake, you can go back to that point without unravelling totally. With your stitches on your needles, pass a strand of contrasting yarn through all of your live stitches. Continue knitting - your lifeline will stay in place.
Which is the best way to sew in yarn ends?
There are different ways to do this but our favourite is to follow the stitches in the wrong side of the work for around 10cm/4".
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