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Learn how to Knit

  • Materials

    Knitting is a craft that many people can learn how to do! Don't be intimidated by the idea even if you have difficulty with motor skills. I know of people who lost a hand, fingers or have difficulty moving their hands who still managed to master the technique of knitting!

    To get started, I recommend buying cheap yarn and needles. You're going to make mistakes and will need lots of practice to get comfortable and know what quality you want, so investing in expensive materials from the start is not a smart move. (You can if you want to, but it might end up being a waste!)

    It's probably best to start with a yarn that you love! For Americans, I recommend Red Heart or Lion Brand because they're usually 100% acrylic (an easy fabric to work with for beginners) and budget friendly. Most big supermarket chains will carry them. For others countries, go check out your discount textile stores, they usually have store brand yarns that are cheap and good to work with too. These stores also often carry knitting needles to work with.

    I recommend starting with a yarn that's not too thick, but also not too thin. Check the label on the yarn. It usually comes with a 'yarn weight' symbol and/or a needle size symbol, like this:


    A size 4/Medium yarn is perfect for beginners! The second symbol shows what size knitting needles you need. In this case a US size 8, or 5mm. They're the same, but different countries have different measurement systems. Check out this chart to convert needle sizes with. A US8/5mm needle is known as a size 6 in the UK!

    While there are lots of different kinds of needles, I recommend starting with straight, one point needles. They look something like this! Each needle has one pointy end, and one end that's thicker so your knitting won't slide off. They come in different lengths, but anything around 9" or longer will work. Plastic or wood needles are the cheapest and most common, and a good point to start with.

    Lastly, it's a good idea to invest in a tapestry needle with a dull end. These allow you to weave in the ends when you're done knitting so your work doesn't unravel. They're relatively inexpensive and if you don't lose them, they last a lifetime. I recommend getting a set with different sizes, something like this. You can also find tapestry needles with a curved dull end. Those are fine too! Whichever one you prefer works.

    Shopping list:
    • Medium 4 yarn in 100% acrylic
    • Single pointed needles US8 / 5mm UK6
    • Tapestry needle
  • Basics Tutorials

    The following YouTube playlist is an excellent series of videos that teach you the beginning techniques of knitting. You'll learn how to create the slipknot, cast on your first stitches, knit, purl and cast off, as well as two of the most commonly used fabrics.

    This may seem overwhelming at first. You will make mistakes, you will get confused and you will start over a lot. Remember though that this is absolutely normal and everyone who knits beautiful, detailed and intriguing things like sweaters, cardigans, socks and more has gone through this process. Take your time, go slow step by step, study your knitting so you'll learn to understand what happens when you do something a certain way and don't be afraid to start over. Practice is important, and starting over is just extra practice. :)

    If you ever get stuck or don't understand why your knitting isn't turning out the way it should, feel free to ask us for help! We'll be happy to help you.

    You can view the playlist here or use the collapse links below to show individual videos.

    How to make a slip knot

    How to cast on

    The Knit stitch

    The Garter stitch (fabric type)

    The Purl stitch

    The Stockinette stitch (fabric type)

    How to bind off

    Lastly, there's a technique called 'weaving in the ends' that lets you work the loose ends into the fabric you knitted. This ensures that your fabric doesn't unravel, and if done right it also looks almost completely invisible.

    Weaving in ends in Stockinette stitch fabric

    Weaving in ends in Garter stitch fabric