In October, I wrote a little piece in the while we are knitting section on becoming a confident knitter and thought it would be a great blog post. This idea started when a friend asked me how long it took to become a good knitter. I am not a fan of the word "good," so how about we become confident knitters? While one can always improve, strong knitting skills are like everything; what you put in, you get out. If you practice, allow yourself to make mistakes (that is hard for many people), and challenge yourself by learning new skills, your confidence will grow with each project.
As I started writing this post, it became rather long and unwieldy. So I am breaking it down into a few smaller posts. This week let's chat about your tools and yarn.
You deserve to work with quality tools and yarn. I cannot stress this enough, and not just because I own a knitting shop. Sitting down to knit is your time; a project should feel good in your hands and make you happy. You spend a lot of time knitting a project, use yarn that you like and tools that are designed for the task at hand.
Needles - As you all know, your knitting needles are the most important tool in your knitting bag. Your needles should be in good condition and made of material that you like to work with, and that is suitable for the project. Don't know what you like? Try a wooden and a metal needle out to see what gives you the best tension and feels comfortable in your hands.
Once you have knit a couple of projects and figured out what kind of needle you prefer, I highly recommend purchasing a set of interchangeable needles. The combination of needle size and cord lengths allows you to tackle any project. No more guessing if you have a US 7 32-circular needle at home. You've got it in your set!
Check out last week's blog post on Knitting Needle Storage!
Notions - Have the notions that you will need for your project on hand. Don't frustrate yourself by having to hunt for a measuring tape, stitch fixer, or cable needle. It is an investment, but once you have these tools, they can live in your notions bag forever.
At the minimum, I recommend having the following in your notions bag:
- Stitch Markers - both regular and opening
- Tape Measure
- Tapestry or Darning Needles
- Scissors or Snips
- Needle Gauge
- Stitch Fixer
- Post-it notes or a notebook to jot down anything important
These are not necessary but are nice to have:
- Cable needles
- A nail file
- TKB cords or waste yarn to hold stitches
- Row counter or Chain Row Counter
- Lotion or hand balm
- Walker Bag to hold all of your notions!
I am going to end each of these blog posts with the same paragraph because this is really the key to becoming a confident knitter...just knit! Knit a little bit each day - You do not have to have marathon knitting sessions. When you are just starting, try to sit and knit for just a few minutes each day. It is centering and calming, and it builds muscle memory.
Knit...and be happy!