It's great to learn from other knitters, and in that spirit, in a recent Facebook Live broadcast, I shared some of my top tips for making your knitting or crochet better. Here they are!
1. Don't be afraid to rip! Ravel your your project if you don't like how it's turning out. Think of it as a learning experience, and use that yarn for something you'll love!
2. Practice makes perfect. If you're just learning to knit or crochet, practice every day for at least a half-hour. A good practice project is a simple swatch. This approach is very freeing; since you're not making anything, it doesn't matter if you make a mistake. Just keep going! This is good advice when learning new techniques, too.
3. Look for projects that teach you new skills. With each project, I try to choose something that will teach me something new. Look for patterns that have one or two new-to-you things, but no more than that or you might get frustrated and never finish.
Try my His & Hers Toe-Up Muklucks and learn how to work an afterthought heel!
4. Learn to use stitch markers. They are incredibly handy reminders when knitting or crocheting. Use markers to separate pattern repeats and at the beginning of rounds. They're also great for marking increases and decreases. Place one at each increase or decrease, such as when working sleeves, and you'll be able to count them easily. No searching for those make-ones or knit-two-togethers!
5. Have a can-do attitude. Learning new things can be frustrating, so be careful of your self-talk when you're trying new techniques. Tell yourself you can do it, and you WILL do it.
6. Try to finish one or two projects per week. Please note that I'm a fast knitter, and I've got a lot of projects on the needles, so this is achievable for me. Be sure and use yourself as an example and finish projects as you can, whether it's one a week or one every two or three months.
7. Learn how to read patterns. Knitting and crochet patterns have a language of their own, and it's important to learn it if you want to advance. Use the experts at your local yarn shop, on the internet (especially YouTube!), and travel to conventions if you can. There's so much to learn. Here's a video i made on how to read knit and crochet patterns.
8. Use a notebook to record important information. I always keep a small notebook with my knitting so I can jot down which row I'm on, a modification I made, or the name of a pattern someone is knitting. So handy!
This cute book cover will have you wanting to take notes on everything!
Perfect for your knitting or crochet notebook, right? (Fits a 6" x 8" notebook.)
9. Use Ravelry to record your projects. I put all of my projects on Ravelry so I can keep track of what pattern I'm knitting, what yarn I'm using, what size I'm making, and so on. I love having everything in one place.
10. Join a knit and/or crochet group. You'll meet people who share your fiber interests and make new friends! You'll also get help and get great ideas from your fellow group members. You can also join our VIP Facebook group to share ideas and ask questions.
Please leave a comment and share one of your favorite knitting tips!
Handknit gloves are so special, and Kelley has whipped up a great free pattern for an easy pair, knit from our exclusive Bravo yarn. These gloves are soft and luxurious but also very practical. Alpaca is warm and light, so these gloves will be light as air.One of the challenges of knitting gloves is avoiding the holes that inevitably appear between the fingers, usually because enough stitches weren't picked up or they were picked up too loosely. Kelley has solved that problem!
Sometimes you just need an easy project to work on, and Kelley's new free pattern, the Simple Ribbed Hat, is the perfect cast-on for times like these.
We debuted this pattern on a recent Technique Tuesday on Facebook Live, and Kelley used it to demonstrated how to fix a few common mistakes knitters make all the time (even a pro-level knitter like Kelley!).
You'll learn how to fix dropped stitches, turn purls into knits, and fix incorrectly oriented stitches.
Have you heard of Izzy Dolls? They're darling little toys that are included in aid packages, and are sometimes a child's first toy. Designer Esther Braithwaite has developed many patterns for Izzy Dolls, sometimes called Comfort Dolls, and they're available free in her Ravelry store.
Kelley fell in love with them and decided to feature Izzy Dolls on her weekly Facebook Live broadcast, Technique Tuesday.