Five tips for knitting beginners
IF JUMPERS and Jazz has got you in the mood for knitting, maybe it's time to pick up the needles and give the craft a whirl.
A bit of imagination, some colourful yarn and a pair of needles are all you need to get started on your first knitted masterpiece, so maybe next year one of your creations will adorn a tree on Palmerin St.
1. Pick a simple yarn to start
A light-coloured yarn that is a single shade of colour the whole way through will be the easiest type to begin with.
This will make the stitches much easier to see, so the wool will not get tangled or muddled along the way.
A medium-weight yarn is also a good choice, as anything too thin can be fiddly and anything too thick can get cumbersome to handle.
The label on the yarn will indicate the size and length of the ball.
2. Choose comfy knitting needles
Wooden or bamboo needles are the best to begin with as the yarn will not slide around too much.
It's also wise to choose those in a medium size, which will be between size 6-8 or 4mm-5mm in width.
Length is a key consideration, 25cm needles are the middle of the size range and probably a good starting point.
3. Pick an achievable pattern
Choose to knit something straight-forward when you're first getting started to get the hang of the needles.
Scarves are always a popular choice as once the first row is done you can keep knitting row-by-row to the end without much variation.
Shops such as Big W and Spotlight have a range of beginner's books available that take you through each pattern step-by-step and are written especially for those getting started.
4. Start by casting on
Watching someone cast on is the best way to get the hang of this crucial first step, as getting the wool and yarn in the right place can be a little tricky to begin with.
Head to YouTube and search "cast on” and you'll get a number of quick tutorials showing you exactly how to nail the process.
It's just like tying your shoelace, once you've done it a few times you'll do it without even thinking.
5. Learn some complementary skills
Knowing how to sew a few basic stitches or create a pom-pom can take your knitted creations to the next level quickly.
It will help you create a teddy bear in no time and add extra embellishments to scarves and beanies during the winter time.