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!
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We've been seeing faux-fur pom poms everywhere lately—they're so cute! They add a touch of chic to any knit hat pattern.
Shop owner Kelley figured out how to make faux-fur pom poms at home, easily and inexpensively, with faux fur from the fabric store and items she had around the house. She's so clever.
Here's a video of the process.
I discovered the Norrland Hat pattern on Ravelry and decided to take on the challenge. I love the trees and snowflakes, and I have never done colorwork and cables at the same time. Since I love learning new things, I bought the pattern immediately and cast on.
I made some modifications, including turning the hat into a slouch instead of a beanie, and I wanted to explain those in case you want to modify your project, too.
Hats are the knitting trifecta: small projects that are useful and make great gifts. You can most hats done in a short time, and many are one-skein wonders.
Here is a variety of free hat patterns, from beanies to slouches to earflap hats, that are guaranteed to suit your gift-knitting needs this season and for years to come.
Note: Please use the following sizing chart for general reference only. Sizes between different vendors and manufacturers may vary. Please match your measurements to those in the size chart below.