I consider myself to be a beginner knitter because I’ve only been knitting for a few months now, and haven’t knit anything more complicated than a pair of fingerless gloves.
The reason I am staying in this comfort zone is because I knit as a way to relieve stress. Whenever I mess up I become more stressed, so I don’t push myself very much.
That being said, I have picked up a few tips that will make your knitting better, especially if you are a beginner like me. Keep in mind that when I say ‘for beginners’ I do expect that you at least know how to knit the garter stitch and possibly the stockinette stitch as well.
When knitting the garter stitch, you may find that your edges are bumpy and rough. There is an incredibly simple way to fix that, and you can use it for any stitch, not just garter.
This trick is so easy that it becomes habitual, and you’ll find yourself doing this every time you knit. To get neater edges just slip the first stitch of each row knitwise and knit the last stitch of every row.
It’s alright if you don’t know how to slip a stitch knitwise. Just put the needle into the back of the first stitch as if you were going to knit it, but instead of wrapping the yarn around the needle, pull the stitch onto it. So you’re transferring the stitch without knitting it.
A common problem that most beginners have is uneven stitches. Maybe you have a huge lump in your knitting because the yarn was too loose, or there’s an area where everything is really tight. This can be caused by uneven yarn tension.
In order to fix this, you must tension your yarn evenly throughout the piece that you are working on. You can do this easily by wrapping the working yarn around one of your hands. If you’re knitting English style, you’ll be wrapping it around the fingers of your right hand. Remember to keep it there while knitting.
The act of wrapping the yarn around your fingers, and holding it there while knitting, will create very even tension, and can also increase knitting speed.
Counting Stitches and Rows
It’s important to keep track of the number of stitches you have on your needle and the number of rows you have knitted so far, especially if you’re working off of a pattern.
The reason you may need to keep track of the number of stitches is because you may accidentally increase or decrease while knitting, which will be obvious when looking at the finished product. It’s very easy to accidentally increase, and it’s just as easy to not notice it when it happens.
As for rows, you may think you’ll be able to keep track in your head, or count it if you need to, but that can be very difficult, especially for larger projects. The best way to keep track of rows is with a row counter, which you can find at any craft store.
Another way to keep track is to have a piece of paper with the name of the project you’re working on and to add a tally mark to the paper whenever you complete the row.
Those were my three tips for beginner knitters. Doing all of these myself has improved my knitting a lot, especially the yarn tensioning trick. If you have any knitting tips you’d like to share, leave me a comment.