Do you drool when browsing Ravelry project pages and think “I am never going to be able to do that?” Well, I’m here to tell you that that doesn’t have to be the case. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things that are gorgeous and intricate that I’ll never have the desire to knit, but there’s a difference between not being able to and not wanting to.
Don’t let your abilities (or lack there of) hold you back. There are simple things you can do to improve your knitting. I’ve found these 5 to be the most effective.
1. Knit every day- even for just 5 minutes.
- You know the saying… practice makes perfect. There’s something to that. The more you do it, the easier it gets. A lot of knitting is muscle memory and that takes time to build up. Your hands and arms will get into a rhythm. If knitting still feels awkward- just keep going. It will get better.
- Plus, the more you knit, the more you’ll want to knit. If you can carve out 5 minutes, it will likely turn into 10 or 15, and then the easier it gets, the more likely you’ll be able to knit while watching TV (without losing complete track of what your favorite characters are up to) or while chatting with your spouse or your friends which will make it easier to do more often and expand your skills.
2. Try one new thing in every project you cast on
- Have you tried cables? Lace? Increases or decreases? Knitting in the round? Colorwork? Mosaic knitting? There’s a whole host of types of knitting and techniques to learn. Don’t feel like you need to try something drastic or overly complicated if you’re not ready.
- If you love knitted cabled scarves but haven’t done something knit in the round, then maybe you want to look for a plain (or even a cabled) sock or legwarmer pattern (instead of say a colorwork sock).
3. Listen to knitting podcasts
- I started listening to knitting podcasts to keep me entertained while I cleaned my house. It was (and still is) great for the entertainment value and honestly it wasn’t until about 6 months into listening that I realized the educational value. Somehow during those hours of dishes, laundry and toilet scrubbing I picked up lots of tips about sock knitting methods, how to create a looser edging on a triangular shawl, how to choose different fibers (animal versus plant etc), and many other incredibly useful things. Listening to a conversation about a topic you’re interested in is a great way to absorb information you may not otherwise seek out.
4. Make use of your local library
- If you regularly hit up your library for the latest beach reads or non-fiction best sellers, take a peek at their knitting magazines or craft books. There are thousands of resources available for free! Take advantage.
- Plus you never know, as you’re checking out those books your librarian may mention that she’s a knitter too and then you’ll know more person you can share tips with and go to for questions (yes, that did actually happen to me!)
5. Browse YouTube
- Need to kill 10 minutes at the end of your lunch break? Want to wind down at the end of a busy day but don’t have the attention span for a 60 minute television show? Type in a knitting related search team on YouTube and get lost in that rabbit hole for a few minutes. There is so much learn and most videos are short.
- Tip: if something doesn’t look quite right or you’re having a hard time seeing well enough to learn what you need, find another related videos. Remember, YouTube is a free service so while there are plenty of gems out there there is also a bunch of junk. Look for videos with good lighting and a mix of close-ups and shots where you can see more of the context of what someone is doing.
Before you know it, you’ll be sharing tips with your friends and casting on those things you thought only “real knitters” could make!