Getting started with any new craft can be scary, but not to worry! Here at Yours Yarnfully, we'll help you get on your way.
Step 1 - Find a Pattern
Find a pattern you like and that is easy to get started with. Ravelry has some amazing free patterns from the community. You're looking for any pattern that's knitted on straight needles (also known as "working flat" as opposed to "worked in the round") and is fairly simple,but otherwise it's completely up to your personal taste! I started with tiny toys (literally the size of my thumb) from a very old book that my mum owned, and lots of people start with scarves, dolls or baby clothes. Small things are fun to start with because if you mess up at some point you've not invested a lot of time, and you get that lovely satisfied feeling at the end!
Ideally, you'll also want something that uses a cheap and easily available yarn (DK - double knitting - is the most common) and medium-size needles (4mm-6mm).
Here are some free patterns that are excellent for beginners:
Baby Hat with Top Knot by Julie Taylor
Basic Beanie by Emily Bolduan of Maker Maker
Hot Mess Headband by Heather Walpole of Ewe Ewe Yarns
Wheat (scarf) by Tin Can Knits
Of course, if you find any pattern you really like, give it a go! There's tons of excellent knitting books available as well, which is my preferred method. And if you just can't wait to get started, just go ahead and cast on! Cast on 40 stitches onto a 4mm needle and knit for a while and you've got a scarf!
Step 2 - Get your Equipment
You'll need just a few key pieces of equipment.
First of all, your needles! Check the pattern to find out what size needles you need, and decide whether you'd like to start with wooden or metal needles (see the pros and cons of each here).
Some patterns will display the needle size in US sizing, if so, check our conversion chart to convert to metric sizes.
For your very first project, we recommend Takumi Bamboo Straight Needles. They're available in all common sizes. Once you've got "the bug", it's definitely worth investing in a full set of needles, like this Symfonie set. This means you can pick up any project you fancy in the future. while keeping your needle stash neat and tidy!
You'll need a few other bits for your project too:
A darning needle, to sew up loose ends. The set we recommend (Takumi Chibi) contains three in different sizes for all type sof yarn, and they're in a container so they won't get lost.
A small but sharp pair of scissors, to snip off trailing yarn.
And that's it to start with! Now you have everything you need for this and future projects of the same needle size.
Step 3 - Choose your Yarn
This is where your creativity comes into play.
First of all, check the weight required for the project you are making. This will most commonly be DK (double knitting) yarn, but may also be Aran, Chunky, or Sock (fingering) yarn. We'll be elaborating on the different kinds of yarn in a future blog post, but for now, just know that DK is the most common, Aran and Chunky are heavier and bigger than that, and Sock / Fingering yarn is thinner. That's pretty much all you need to know.
Then, think about the colour and texture you'd like for your piece. Check out our range of yarn on Yours Yarnfully (which is always growing and changing, so make sure to check it out frequently!). For your first project, you probably want something simple and budget-friendly, like the James C. Brett DK range or, for patterns which call for chunky yarn, the Chunky range. For baby projects, be sure to choose a yarn which is baby-safe, so it's soft on delicate skin - the King Cole Baby Premier yarn is a great choice.
When you've chosen your yarn, be sure to order enough to complete the project (the pattern should specify how much you need).
That's everything you need to get going! In the next part of this series, we'll look at casting on and knitting your very first project.
What project did you choose to start with? Do you have any stories from when you first started knitting? Let us know in the comments below!
All patterns are copyrighted and owned by their respective designers. Yours Yarnfully takes no responsibility for errors in designs.