In this blog we’ll discuss the best time saving tips for knitters. Although it’s a long read this will help you save countless hours through the years. Both beginners and experienced hobbyists will benefit from the tips we’re about to discuss.
Perhaps it’s about the sense of accomplishment or the feeling of being productive each minute. Many say that it’s therapeutic because knitting improves focus on the present. Doing something productive with our own hands has always been good for our mental health.
Knitting is also a good chance to slow down and forget fast-paced living. We’re all used to hustling and rushing everything especially if we’re born, raised and worked in the city. With knitting, we can slow down even just for a bit and realise that life isn’t just about speed.
What do you like about knitting?
Whichever is the case, knitting is one of those few hobbies that deliver a worthwhile experience while also producing a tangible accomplishment. Whether it’s a small beanie or a full sweater with an intricate design and texture, both the journey and the results are rewarding. Other hobbies also have that kind of an enjoyable journey and sense of accomplishment. The unique thing about knitting is we’re able to create something useful that could last for years. Our creations can delight other people and perhaps become a daily part of their lives (especially if it’s a pillow cover or any other kind of home accessory).
Knitting can also easily integrate with your daily activities. In fact, you can knit almost anywhere and anytime which means you can keep yourself occupied wherever you are. You can knit while traveling or while waiting for someone or an appointment. You can also multi-task and knit while listening to music, talking with friends or reflecting about your life and future. Knitting is also a great way to make new friends because it’s easy to get along with people who share the same interests. The hobby can help expand your social circle or even make a new one if you’re someone new in your community.
There’s also that routine’s calming effect. In this present world of rapid changes and despite our constant search for variety, we actually crave consistency and stability. Life is getting unpredictable which is why we crave for structure and predictability. Knitting can easily provide that because of knitting’s repetitive and somewhat rhythmic movements. There’s a high level of predictability and certainty there which might be helping us keep calm. The structure the hobby provides also relaxes our minds and gives us a message that despite the uncertainty out there, we can escape that world and make our day more predictable. It’s similar to how some people have eccentric habits that help them better structure their day. Without those habits that set their day, they feel like everything’s in chaos.
For instance, many of the experienced knitters (especially retirees who want to keep themselves occupied the entire day) feel that their mornings or afternoons are never complete without knitting something. Without the knitting hobby they feel like there’s no structure to their daily living. Although knitting is repetitive and boring for the most part, this hobby still provides the structure that people can work around. It’s quite similar to having a job where our weekly schedule works around it. Although most jobs are far from rewarding (and even knowledge work is turning repetitive), they still provide that structure where we can better plan our week and make daily existence much more predictable.
The re-emergence of knitting
Well, back then knitting was viewed as a hobby just reserved for grandmas. The hobby even experienced a slump because new hobbies and several forms of entertainment sprouted here and there. We were flooded with new things and activities coupled with fast-paced living and a higher level of consumption. Every day there’s always something new and exciting.
But that fast-paced living and always something new is actually exhausting. In the recent years we’ve been craving for stability and predictability and hence the re-emergence of knitting. Yes, the true knitting enthusiasts have always been in the hobby before it was cool. The difference is that many people who anyone who would not have thought to be knitting is actually now deep in the hobby. Knitting has now been attracting wide sets of demographics which is like the hobby itself has knitted a broad net where all sorts of people get caught in. The appeal has reached far and wide and knitting is not just associated with grandmas.
Perhaps it’s about taking a break from fast-paced living and looking for something routine and predictable. It’s similar to how we humans crave for heat whenever it’s cold. We’re always looking for the opposite or something that will bring back the balance. In our case with our fast-paced living we’re now looking for ways to slow down and to bring back our focus to the present instead of staying anxious with our future.
Aside from a renewed focus on the present and slowing down, knitting is also about the gratifying act of creation. Contrast this with watching through YouTube or browsing through the social media feed wherein time passes by but there’s no accomplishment. There’s nothing tangible to show for all those hours of browsing. On the other hand, knitting produces something that we can see, feel and touch. Moreover, the creation can delight someone because the knitted craft is useful and awesome.
There’s also this unique satisfaction about the simple act of creation. It’s a lot more delightful because there’s something to show for it and our creative side is getting its chance to shine. It’s a complex and beautiful feeling that craftsmen understand. The joy of bringing something to life and becoming proud of it cannot be compared to most forms of entertainment. Instead of entertainment, what we get from knitting is total delight and satisfaction. Yes, knitting is a lot more repetitive (and in fact boring especially to those who got so used to fast-paced living) and less stimulating for the most part. But the act of creation itself is unequal if we’re talking about the sense of accomplishment.
It’s a complex mix of feelings and indeed there will be times that it seems we need to take a break from knitting. But there’s always something unique that knitting continually draws us in. Perhaps it’s the sense of accomplishment, the joy of the act of pure creation or the structure and the predictability the hobby provides. Whichever is the case, it’s impossible to explain what exactly do we like about knitting. Perhaps it’s just best to sit down and knit.
There are just those times when you want to stop and take a break from knitting and everything. Perhaps you experience burnout (because of work and responsibilities) or you’re just looking for something fresh. It can also be the case when you feel like you’ve hit a plateau and no matter how hard you try as a beginner progress seems far off.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, everyone deserves a break. Perhaps a week or two is already enough to recharge and renew your enthusiasm on knitting. Remember, it’s perfectly fine to take a break because you can come back to knitting anytime and wherever you want.
How to stay motivated in knitting
Well, motivation is needed if a task requires willpower and the reward is not that obvious or immediate. For example, motivating people at work may require reminding the whole staff about the goals and the rewards. It can also be about reminding people about why they’re at work in the first place.
It can be a similar thing when it comes to knitting. We can remind ourselves about the goals and rewards. Perhaps we’re trying to knit a full sweater and once we complete it we’ll feel a high sense of accomplishment. Or we’re knitting something because it will be a gift to a loved one. These are great motivators because it’s an internal feeling. We want to accomplish something and we want someone to feel delighted because of our work (whether it’s a baby beanie or a kitchen accessory). Reminding ourselves of our goal can instantly fuel us to pursue a task no matter how hard or time consuming it is.
That’s quite easy though because in a few hours or days we can actually accomplish something tangible especially if it’s just a small knitting project. You can do a blitz where you level up your pace and enthusiasm for at least few hours. Before you know it you’ve already finished something or your momentum has already built up. The engine is running and it’s just hard to stop. This blitz can build a solid momentum and perhaps even help you go further than you imagined because of the fast accomplishment.
What about staying motivated for the long term? Can you sustain the hobby for several months straight? This is difficult even for the most experienced knitters because knitting is similar to most other hobbies where most of us lose interest if we’re doing it for too long. Even if we’re passionate about something, time will come that we’ll temporarily lose interest and perhaps look for something else that would command our enthusiasm. Even if knitting were already part of our habit or routine, there will be a few days or weeks when we don’t feel like touching the needles and yarn. Some of us might even feel like it’s a burden and we want to avoid it at all cost.
Good news is that most likely the enthusiasm comes back after taking a break (perhaps after exploring other hobbies). There’s just something about knitting that continues to pull us in. Perhaps we feel it’s therapeutic because we’re forced to withdraw from the digital and fast-paced world. Or, whenever we’re doing something creative with our hands we feel relaxed and peaceful. Whichever is the reason, the enthusiasm will naturally come back. You don’t have to force it because knitting has its own pull and appeal.
What if you want to level up?
Many beginners (and some experienced knitters) feel stuck because they can’t get past a certain level or plateau. They already feel bored on knitting hats, scarves and simple home accessories but when it comes to tackling bigger knitting projects, they also feel bored or they get intimidated by the size of the task.
Does this sound familiar? Well, knitting a full adult sweater is indeed intimidating and feels overwhelming. The measurements should be correct and there are specific techniques when working on the sleeves, collar and underarms. All the pieces should come together at the exact place so that the resulting sweater can be truly useful and something to be proud of.
Knitting small hats and scarves feels safe because they’re easy and they don’t require large amounts of time and patience. It’s a totally different thing though in large projects because your motivation and patience will be tested. Also, perhaps at the back of our minds we don’t want to start the big project because we’re afraid we’ll make a mistake (a tangle or we’re halfway already and then we notice a major mistake) or just finish it halfway and never come back to it again. We don’t want to set ourselves up for failure so we don’t begin and as a result we lose our enthusiasm and motivation along the way.
For many knitters what works best for them is to just sit down and knit. It’s quite easy if it’s already a part of routine and they have nothing else to do. They still push through even if they’re not in the mood. It can get really difficult if they feel exhausted from a whole week of work and other responsibilities. The keyword is “overcome” and in many cases they’re able to complete a big project despite the odds.
Another approach is just to let the feeling of overwhelm fade away. Staying motivated every day for almost every hour is just impossible. There are times when you need to take a break (don’t force yourself) because it might be a sign that you’re actually tired. Perhaps it has nothing to do with knitting at all because there are other concerns and problems in the “real world.” After all, knitting seems like an escape (or reconnecting to your inner self) and your mind and body is telling you now that you have to confront the real world first before you can get back to knitting.
Aside from the two approaches mentioned above (just sit down and knit, embrace the break and let the feeling of overwhelm fade away), another awesome approach is to try new projects. Perhaps your mind and hands are just craving for something fresh (goodbye to hats and scarves for now and hello to unique projects with interesting designs). Here at The Aussie Knitting Co you can find some inspiration and actual projects you can take on.
Staying motivated often involves taking a break once in a while or just trying something new. No matter the reason for losing the interest in knitting, you can always go back to the hobby by taking some time off or exploring new projects. It’s all a part of the process of learning how to knit or sustaining the hobby. What’s important is that you come back and enjoy the rewarding activity again.
It’s almost the second half of the year and time flies fast. Right now you want to catch up and get busy for the rest of the year filling your portfolio with amazing knitted creations. Good thing is we’ve gathered some awesome ideas and inspirations for you. Let’s start.
1. A small soft toy with overalls
Have you tried knitting a small soft toy? If not, then this should be the first project on your list. If yes was your answer it’s still a good thing because you can finish a few of this kind of project within a week. It’s a simple kind of project that can build your momentum for the rest of the year.
One such project you can start with is the Leaflet 4874 from Sirdar. The result will be a soft toy that can be put to display or that can be hugged by a small child. It’s one of the perfect additions for your portfolio and one of the best gifts for lovely children. This also adds some variety and uniqueness to your creations because it’s three-dimensional and different from the most usual knitting projects (which are always in two dimensions such as clothing and clothing accessories). It’s easy and fun to make as well which can make the knitting time a bit more delightful especially when the project nears its completion.
2. Create a zoo
Why limit yourself to just creating one item? Why not create several things at once and make it a full package?
It’s always fun to create a collection. However, it can take a lot of time because each knitted or crocheted piece can take a few days. Good news is that you can achieve a lot by working on small items that follow a certain theme. You can easily do just that by constructing an entire zoo with several small animals that will complete your collection. It will be a huge accomplishment because you’ve completed several small projects all at once. In addition, you’ll have a single collection that showcases different crafts that follow a certain theme (the zoo).
A themed collection also provides some flexibility especially if you’re planning to make it a gift. You can decide to crochet just one or two toy animals and then give them to an adorable child. Or, you can also create the entire set if you wanted to see a higher level of delight from the recipient. But to maximise the joy and the accomplishment, creating the 16 crocheted animals and creatively arranging them in a set could really make a huge difference.
3. Think big and complete 20+ unique projects
The modern times have overwhelmed us with choice. Just with cereal there are already 100+ brands and variants we can choose from. Just one trip to the supermarket or even a small retail store we can witness the almost limitless number of choices and decisions we have to make.
It’s especially the case in arts and crafts. Should you knit a small kitchen accessory or a huge adult sweater with an intricate design? Should you go for function (e.g. market bag) or creativity (e.g. dog coat)?
Good thing is you can eliminate the choices altogether and decide to do them all. There are now patterns and collections that allow you to accomplish more and make the decision making process a lot easier for you. Well, it can be overwhelming (and also exciting) but as you complete each piece you’ll be unstoppable.
You can start with a huge project where you can make: slippers, placemats and napkin rings, felted egg cosy, teapot cosy, felted pot holders, rabbit, hot water bottle cover, Aussie birds, felted toy, Chevron cot blanket, bilby, dog coat, motif bag, superhero blanket, felted covers for phone and tablet, gumnuts and leaves decoration, bucket bag, mug cosy, market bag, egg cosy, tubs, square motif throw and decorative pot holders.
Yes, it can all be overwhelming at first because there’s a lot to do and you might ask yourself where to start. Well, it gets easier if you just start from the top and cross them off the list one by one. You can also commit yourself to finishing them all in two or three months with still a lot of time to spare.
4. Home accessories and more
Sometimes we’re in a dilemma because we have to choose whether to go for function or creativity (i.e. utility versus decoration). After all we can’t do it all and one way or another we have to decide and cut all other options.
Good thing is we just can’t stop ourselves from producing awesome creations, which is why many hobbyists are willing to complete large collections and multiple projects within several months. They have realised that the most meaningful accomplishments take time (and time will pass anyway).
To build their momentum, they often go on a blitz (energetic and concerted effort on a single task). This is helpful in seeing some results immediately. This then fills them with motivation so they can better push through the project. In the span of several months (enough for the rest of 2019) they could finish the following: coathanger covers, tea cosies, teddy sweater, sleepover bags, golf club covers, beanies and scarves, animal slippers with strap, moccasins, hot water bottle covers, crochet flowers, phone or glasses covers, door draught stoppers, toy rabbit or mouse, pencil cases, little and big bears, monster puppets and hand puppet mittens.
Knitting and crocheting ideas for the rest of 2019
The projects mentioned above will be more than enough for the rest of 2019. Before the start 0f 2020 you would have created a lot of amazing crafts you can be proud of. Yes they can take a lot of time but it will be a high level of accomplishment for you. It even gets a lot better if you give them as gifts to your friends and loved ones. This is an absolute win-win because you’ll get satisfied with your hard work and the recipients will be delighted by your creations.
The short answer is yes. But as with most questions and answers, there are always exceptions, terms and conditions. In other words, you should still consider important things such as copyright, permission and the creators’ rights.
What are some of the creators’ rights? Well, their creations are the result of their hard work, research and creative expression. They’ve invested huge amounts of time and effort in producing their crafts (this also applies to knitting patterns and original knitting designs). Also, their creations are a huge part of their identities (we’ll get back to this later).
It’s similar to the famous characters in movies and comic books. We can’t just include a famous character into our knitted creation. After all, companies invested decades and probably billions of dollars in making, marketing and branding the character and the movies. It’s also the result of probably thousands of man-hours and the collective effort of thousands of people (directly or indirectly). These people may have been deriving their income from ticket sales and merchandise. So if we’re reproducing their work through our creations without the rightful permissions (e.g. including a famous character’s design into our knitted sweater), we’re actually infringing on the rights of those people.
Note: It’s a useful way to think about how patents, copyright and trademarks work. However, it’s best to get competent legal advice (e.g. Australian Copyright Council Legal Advice) and the latest information especially if you’re planning to use a pattern (or you made something based on a pattern) for commercial purposes.
Supporting the creators and businesses
Earlier we mentioned that crafts and creations are the result of the hard work of the artists (plus the time they spent in creating an original design). In fact, the Australian Copyright Council has the following values (from their website):
defending creators’ rights in their creative expression
promoting a thriving, diverse, sustainable, creative Australian culture
providing easy, accessible, and affordable legal advice to the creative community
balancing the interests of creators, consumers and service providers
Notice that the first item is about defending the creators’ rights and if we pay attention to the second part (promoting a thriving, diverse, sustainable, creative Australian culture), we can better understand the importance of the creators’ rights and supporting their work. After all, it’s impossible for the creative Australian culture to thrive if people are not getting financial rewards from their hard work. They’re also spending their time in producing something of value. The world has become a richer place because of their work and our creative expression is one of the few qualities that make us human (arts can help us think beyond survival and find meaning in living).
It’s also difficult to promote diversity in crafts and creations if the artists find that there are no means for them to sustain their work. The essential needs should be covered first (food, water, shelter) before they can produce something of value. Also, it gets easier to foster creativity and focus on bigger and undreamt of things if the basics are already covered. Creators find satisfaction just to see their completed craft (and the happiness when their creations delight other people), still it might not be enough to sustain their work.
We might better understand this by looking at how pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies work. First, they invest billions of dollars (which may come from the private sector and tax) into laboratory equipment and attract the best scientific minds on the planet. Then, they will invest years (often decades) before they’ll be able to make a breakthrough. It might take at least 10 years for a drug (or new medical treatment method) to be developed and approved for prescription.
Next thing that happens is that the company applies a patent to protect the results of their hard work. This is to prevent other companies from exploiting the new breakthrough for a certain period. This also allows the company that did all the hard work to recoup their investment and possibly allocate more financial resources in coming up with more breakthroughs. Although the breakthrough (if released to the public patent-free and allowed the competitors to reproduce and sell the medicine) will benefit the entire human race, this will actually remove the incentive from doing scientific work that will further benefit mankind.
Can I sell my knitted items?
Our examples above have been focused on movies, comic books and medicines. We talked about the appropriate rights and incentives whether it’s about scientific breakthrough or creative expression.
When it comes to knitting, it’s also useful to think about those rights and incentives. After all, there are many people behind the scenes who make a living through crafts (including the people who manage and deliver the supplies plus the ones who spend time and money publishing and putting the works within the reach of the public). Keep in mind that the works are often a result of collective effort.
What about you? Before you sell the garments you made using someone else’s pattern (either online or hardcopy), it’s recommended to first contact the publisher and ask for permission. You can use the pattern for private or domestic use but it’s a different thing if you’re planning to sell the garments you made (you are likely infringing the exclusive rights of the copyright owner).
What if you changed a bit of the pattern or design so that you can avoid copyright infringement? According to the Australian Copyright Council: “…it is not what is changed that is relevant, but whether or not the part that is copied is an important or distinctive part of the original work.”
Another concern that comes often is about having your own original design. Can your work be protected by copyright? How do you prove that a design is your own? It’s a long and complex legal process (unless the design is average, e.g. the basic design of the T-shirt is not subject to copyright). Many cases are resolved through negotiation (e.g. through payment, percentage, partnership and/or stopping the reproduction of work). It can be difficult to prove who the owner of the original design is but just in case, it’s good to always keep copies of your drafts and drawings.
It’s always best to seek competent legal advice if you’re planning to do something serious and if you have doubts. But before you get serious, it’s helpful to get some feedback regarding your creations if there’s indeed a potential. This way you’ll remove most of the risk before investing a huge amount of your effort and time.
New knitters are often overwhelmed with taking on their first project (e.g. knitting baby socks and beanies). After all it’s a new skill and there seems to be dozens of small details to learn before someone can call him/herself a knitter.
Learning how to knit is different from learning other skills and hobbies. There are specific and minute movements and details to master. At first the movements are clumsy but with more practice you can get it faster and more natural.
But first, you have a lot of questions in your mind right now such as:
How to read a knitting pattern?
How do I know which knitting skill level I’m on?
What do all those knitting abbreviations mean?
How do I knit if I’m left-handed?
Can I knit while in the plane?
I’m not sure what to knit. Where do I start?
Let’s answer those questions now so you can immediately get back to learning and practising your new craft.
How to read a knitting pattern?
A knitting pattern seems different from instruction manuals. It seems those patterns (whether free or not) are reserved for the elite knitters who have undergone intensive training courses and years of experience.
Learning how to read a knitting pattern takes a bit more effort at the beginning. But once you learn the abbreviations (more on this later) and how the pieces are put together, knitting will feel like a breeze. You don’t need intensive training courses and years of experience to understand a knitting pattern. It can be intimidating or overwhelming at first but once you understand the basics it will all be easy and smooth.
For starters, a knitting pattern includes the following information:
Size (this is important if you’re knitting a fitted piece)
Gauge (may not be important for beginner knitting projects)
Other pattern information (e.g. what kind of yarn was used in the pattern, what are the size of needles)
Reading and following along a knitting pattern will become second nature as you complete more and more projects. After all you can visualise the “finished product” and the intermediate steps will then be easy to imagine and perform.
How do I know which knitting skill level I’m on?
Earlier we mentioned that the skill level is included in the knitting pattern. Of course if you’re here we’re assuming that you’re a total beginner. But what do those skill levels mean? How do you know if you’re ready for the next level? We’ll discuss the answers later so as early as today you already know what those mean.
First, Beginner projects have the easiest patterns. They often have simple shapes and only require knit and purl stitches (perfect for first-time and newer knitters). Experienced knitters also choose these kinds of patterns if they’re looking for something easy and quick to complete (e.g. it’s a lazy weekend afternoon or while on travel and they want to knit).
Next to Beginner is the Easy Skill Level. Patterns that indicate this skill level are a bit more complex or more time-consuming than the Beginner patterns. The Easy patterns use repetitive stitch patterns and basic colorwork, shaping and finishing techniques.
Once you’ve got some experience (you’ve completed a few Beginner and Easy patterns), it’s time to take on Intermediate and Advanced patterns. These are more complex and difficult because these projects have intricate designs, advanced shaping requirements and yes these require a lot more time to complete.
If you’re starting to take on these patterns, you don’t only show and prove your skill level. You also show your commitment to completing such a monumental task. The time commitment (plus the patience) also shows that you’re getting serious about knitting. Whether it’s for your own pleasure or creating something useful and beautiful for a friend or loved one, the effort will be worth it because you finished something you could be proud of.
What do all those abbreviations mean?
Knitting is a specific skill and hobby which has its own language (sort of) because of several abbreviations included in almost all knitting patterns.
For your quick reference, here are some of those abbreviations and what they mean:
CO. Cast on. This is the foundation of your project and this tells you the number of stitches you’ll need to finish the project.
K. This means to knit the most basic stitch.
P. This stands for purl and is the second most common stitch next to K (what does this mean again?). You will always see K and P in most Beginner patterns.
RS. This means the “right side” or the front or correct side (there’s a wrong side which we’ll mention later). This applies to patterns that have a distinct front and back.
WS. This stands for “wrong side” or the back of your project. (I have no idea why we call it the wrong side and right side).
BO. And for the final touch, BO means “binding off.” This is about taking the project off the needles and you’re done.
Those are the common abbreviations you’ll find in most Beginner patterns. You’ll encounter more abbreviations as you take on more difficult projects. But for now, those abbreviations above are enough to get you started.
How do I knit if I’m left-handed?
This is a more common question by beginners than what you might have expected. After all, most tasks (and objects) are designed for the right-handed.
When it comes to knitting, lefties don’t need to worry because the craft requires the use of both hands. You don’t need a high level of skill or dexterity in your right hand. What you just need is patience in learning how to use both hands. After all, even the right-handed also struggle or feel awkward when first learning how to knit.
Can I knit while in the plane?
Yes (at least in most parts of the world). Knitting can be done while on plane travel. However, the problem is more about whether you can bring the needles and scissors on board. That’s because the airport security (upon his/her discretion) might not allow knitting needles and round-ended scissors to come along in your carry-on bags.
Check first which items are prohibited. Different airports and airlines might have varying regulations depending on safety concerns and recent threats. To be safe, just focus on knitting once you get home and do something else while in the plane (read a book, watch a movie, listen to music). You’ll always have lots of time to catch up because you can do knitting anytime you want while at home.
I’m not sure what to knit. Where do I start?
If you’re looking for patterns, we have an enormous collection here at The Aussie Knitting Co. For beginners, occasional and experienced knitters we have a wide range of knit pattern items (including baby patterns, toy knitting patterns and fashion patterns). We have patterns available in different forms (project kits, pattern books and PDFs).
You can also contact us here at The Aussie Knitting Co if you have more specific questions about knitting and our supplies (yarns, needles, accessories, patterns). For 20+ years we’ve been the trusted source of knitting supplies because we’re committed to sharing our products and knowledge so that beginners and experienced knitters complete more awesome projects.
want to challenge yourself and take your hobby to the next level.
It’s natural to look for something new. We humans just love looking for the next new shiny thing we can get busy with. We want a bit of excitement so that we can be motivated again to pursue our hobbies or just add some variety to our activities. It’s just human nature to try to renew our motivation and interests.
Take your knitting to the next level
This similarly applies to knitting. Although knitting is often thought of as routine and “non-exciting”, looking for something new is also common here. We prefer the routine and the relaxing experience (especially the stability and certainty) of knitting, but we still crave for something new when it comes to what type of projects we take on.
Do you still remember when you’re just starting with the hobby? Your hands were still awkward when doing the stitches and perhaps you felt that you had no idea what you’re doing. Perhaps your mum or grandma guided you through the process (or an instructor guided you). And through time and with enough practice, your hands were getting faster and the movement became automatic and second nature to you.
Right now knitting a beanie or pair of socks is a breeze. You can complete a small knitting project even without your full attention. This is a result of gaining the required muscle memory to complete a task (this saves your brain some energy so that you can pay attention to somewhere else).
And as things get more stable and routine, your mind starts to wander off. This applies to many things such as your career, business and even retirement. For instance, in many modern jobs there’s often an exciting learning curve at the start. But that excitement and learning flattens out starting from 6 months and beyond. Everything becomes routine and often as we become introduced to the boredom, we look for more tasks and higher responsibilities (or we look for other jobs that may give us a fresh start). This also happens in business wherein first we have to learn the ins and outs (setting up the business, market research, dealing with suppliers and customers, gaining a competitive edge, stabilising the business). But as we get used to all that and as the business gets profitable, we now start to seek new opportunities. Perhaps selling more products or offering more services starts to make sense. It feels the perfect time to expand our comfort zones and explore where our best efforts can take us.
This also applies even in retirement. After all we’re always looking for something to keep ourselves occupied. Staying at the local cafe at the morning and taking a walk in the late afternoon every day won’t be enough. Sooner or later retirees try other things such as knitting, exercising or even starting a new business (which somehow defeats the purpose of retirement). Indeed, we always look for something new or we want to take things to the next level.
Knitting is not that different from most pursuits and endeavours. At the beginning the excitement is there as you learn how to stitch and as you explore the possibilities (a wide variety of patterns is available). The various colours of yarns and kinds of projects overwhelm many beginners. The possibilities are exciting and perhaps when you’re just a beginner you can’t wait to take on your first project.
But after knitting a few pairs of socks, beanies, home accessories and other “simple” and small projects, you begin to feel bored. It’s a healthy kind of boredom because you just want to explore further and know what’s beyond. Perhaps you also feel that it’s time to take it to the next level and take on more complex and intimidating projects.
Should you first focus on your knitting skill?
Just like any other skill, you get good at knitting by regularly doing it. Through the centuries humans still best learn through motion and repetition. If you knit daily (even if it’s just 30 minutes a day), in time you get good at it and you even make the motions automatic.
It’s likely you’ve noticed that already. But you feel like you’ve hit a wall and you must overcome it. In the past you might had tried going around that wall by having other pursuits and hobbies (perhaps you’ve tried outdoor hobbies). But knitting keeps pulling you in because the hobby actually becomes part of the routine. Also, you can do the hobby anytime and all the tools you need are just lying around. There’s not much “barrier” in performing an indoor hobby such as knitting. In contrast, other hobbies such as swimming, travelling and cooking require going outdoors or preparing lots of supplies and tools.
Because of the ease of knitting in terms of starting the hobby anywhere and anytime, this spells a huge opportunity for people who want to improve in their craft. Throughout the day you can surely find time to practice your craft and make most of the knitting motions automatic. Doing this daily or as often as possible is the only sure-fire way to improve your knitting skills.
When we say improvement this doesn’t always mean better speed or the ability to multi-task (perhaps knitting while talking on the phone). Improvement can also mean that the struggle is no longer there whenever you do the knitting. Remember the first time you tried to do the knit and purl stitches? The entire experience was uncomfortable and both your hands were in awkward movements and positions. Your mind wasn’t able to keep up with the instructions. But as with all other skills, you overcame the challenge because of sufficient practice.
Then you noticed that you were improving because the struggle and discomfort is not there anymore. Although there are times when you struggle following a pattern, you don’t get stuck anymore and the feeling is more about having another common challenge to overcome (instead of overcoming a seemingly impossible challenge).
Try more intimidating challenges
Often growth is impossible without the challenges. If things drift in the same way as before, expect more of the same. But if you pursue a new path, there’s a good chance that the outcome will follow suit.
This also applies to knitting. The only path for growth is change wherein you have to take on intimidating challenges. For instance, knitting a full adult jacket or blanket can be very intimidating because of the time commitment required. It also seems intimidating because you have to learn how to manage the project and complete it within a reasonable period. The good news is once you complete this level of project, it will be very hard to go back. And yes, it will feel like a major accomplishment because you’ve completed something big.
Handling intimidating projects that require a higher level of focus and commitment can be really satisfying. In addition, you will actually improve your focus which could be mentally therapeutic. This is in huge contrast with modern work and living wherein it’s almost impossible to focus on one particular task over extended periods of time. This then results to stressful lives wherein several things compete for our attention at all times.
Knitting is said to be very relaxing (although at times it’s stressful if you made a mistake or you got stuck). The required focus forces us to think of nothing else and pay attention to the motions instead. At first there’s the discomfort of course, but as you push forward the discomfort goes away. It becomes easier to focus and time flies more quickly.
It’s the perfect time now to take on more intimidating knitting patterns. Yes, from time to time you can still knit small socks and beanies. But if you want to expand your world and really learn about knitting, knitting a big sweater is the way to go.
It’s just another new beginning. There’s always more to knitting because there are virtually unlimited patterns to explore. Also, keep in mind that knitting is more about the experience than the accomplishment. It’s a good way to make time pass and practice your focus. But time spent knitting is always worthwhile because you keep yourself productive and you take a break from the busy and unpredictable world outside.
Whether it’s for the holidays or someone’s special day (birthday, baby shower, anniversary), a knitted gift from you is sure to make it extra special and memorable. After all, you’ve put your hours and effort into it. In addition, you enjoyed the process of making it. In other words, everyone is happy because of the gift you knitted.
But what if you only have the weekend to make something great? You want to do it quickly but you also want to make sure that the recipient will be delighted about your gift. That’s why here in this article, we’ll give you solid recommendations so you can accomplish something great this weekend. These recommendations could also inspire you to complete other amazing crafts. Let’s get started.
Shawl (black, brown or white)
It’s a great gift for both men and women and yes, shawls will always be here no matter the season. It’s a great protection against the sunlight and breeze and a shawl also provides extra warmth whether it’s indoors or outdoors.
Moreover, knitting a shawl is straightforward. There’s no need to spend more time studying the pattern and mistakes are rare. In contrast, knitting a vest or a small sweater can be prone to mistakes. The added pressure of the upcoming holidays or someone’s birthday might make the mistakes happen more often.
But it’s hard to go wrong with knitting a shawl. It’s a simple vertical or horizontal piece and you can even do it in a few hours. The recipient will also find great use on your gift because shawls will never go out of style. And if you want to make sure it will always be used, you can knit a black, brown or white shawl. These colours perfectly complement any colour of clothing. You can also choose the recipient’s favourite colour if you know what it is.
Knitted phone case
Because of its small size, a phone case is always easy and quick to knit. In fact, you can knit several phone cases in a weekend and give them all to many of your friends and family. In addition, there’s a wide variety of designs you can do. You don’t have to stick with ordinary and boring patterns. You can make a knitted phone case under a wide variety of concepts (e.g. animals, plants, fruits, flowers, movie character, type of celebration whether it’s Christmas or birthday).
You can choose a specific design according to the recipient’s favourites or celebration. This kind of gift provides you with a lot of options and versatility. Even if it’s just a small phone case, you can make it extra special by personalising it according to the recipient. There are a lot of patterns available and you can even improvise on your own. You just have to take note of the phone’s measurements so you can get it right. For example, here are the dimensions of some new iPhones:
iPhone X (143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm)
iPhone XR (150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm)
iPhone XS (143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm)
iPhone XS Max (157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm)
If the recipient has a different kind of phone (or perhaps a tablet or laptop), you can search for its dimensions online and make a corresponding phone case according to those measurements. And keep in mind that you can create a unique craft (and not just stick to a boring design) that you could be proud of and the recipient will be delighted with.
This is great for the cool seasons because the user receives extra warmth from the gloves (a good hand warmer). In addition, the fingerless gloves still provide a high level of freedom so that the user can still do most of his/her tasks throughout the day (like typing on a keyboard).
It’s also fairly easy and quick to make. Knitting a pair is simple because it doesn’t have to be a snug fit (but if you can pull it off, congratulations). The sizing for adults could be 21 cm (length) and 17 cm (circumference). You just need to know basic knit and purl, knitting in the round, cast on and cast off and knitting two stitches together. In a weekend you can actually knit several pairs to give to your family and friends (or make a pair for a friend and then knit a phone case for a colleague).
When knitting a pair of fingerless gloves, it’s good to keep it simple and light. A yarn with a balance between wool and acrylic is a good choice for lightweight considerations. After all, the hands will wear them so even with the gloves, it should still be easy to move and perform a common task such as typing on a keyboard.
Fingerless socks (where the toes stick out)
Why stop at fingerless gloves? Fingerless socks are great both indoors and outdoors (and yes, fingerless socks are not too common yet). It’s like wearing both sandals and socks at the same time. The feet get extra warmth while the toes are still free to roam around.
As with all other knitted crafts, fingerless socks provide another level of texture to what people wear. In addition, these socks are actually useful because they provide some warmth while still providing excellent ventilation to the in-between toe fingers. There’s less chance of moisture and odour build-up because of how fingerless socks are designed. And for you, it will be quick and easy to knit (depending on your expertise and dedication, you can actually finish a pair in under 2 hours).
For an added flair and complexity, you can also choose a pattern that goes beyond being fingerless. For example, you can pick the one with a hole that exposes the inner and outer arch of the top foot. It looks sporty and resembles common sandals. You can also pick patterns with holes that expose other areas of the feet.
Knitted book cover
This is a rare gift or craft because almost everyone is focused on knitting pieces of clothing and home accessories. So if you’re looking for something unique, a good choice is a knitted book cover.
It’s great for providing protection (and an added level of personalisation) to the hardbound books your friend owns. The knitted book cover will also provide another level of texture which could make reading more pleasurable especially when the unusually cold days come. And it doesn’t just have to be a decorative book cover because you can make it really useful by adding a pocket for highlighters and bookmarkers (e.g. hooks).
About the dimensions and measurements, most hardcover books are in the 20 x 25 cm range. If the recipient of your gift is a book lover, surely your knitted book cover will find use in one of his or her books. To be more certain, you can look at your friend’s social media feed and take note of the recent books he/she have read. Perhaps all those books are written by the same author. Take note of those books and perhaps search them on Amazon (often the dimensions of the book are specified). Then, you can start knitting according to those measurements.
Gifts to knit in a weekend
You can pick among a knitted shawl, phone case, fingerless gloves, fingerless socks or a book cover. These are all quick and easy to make. All these knitted crafts are also somehow unique and useful. Certainly, the recipient will be delighted if he or she receives any of these from you.
Knitting a unique and personalised item is also a great opportunity to enhance your knitting skills and explore new projects. You’ve probably realised by now that each new project you complete opens doors of new possibilities on what you can create.
So whether it’s for a holiday or the recipient’s special day, you can indeed create something new that will be appreciated. The knitting experience is calming and amazing in itself. But the true joy comes from making something useful out of your skills.
Summer is almost here. It’s a great time to go out and have fun at the beaches. It’s also a great time to go to places where it’s cooler if you just can’t tolerate the heat (temperatures can reach as high as 28℃ plus the above 60% humidity levels in many locations).
But summer could also be a great time to stay indoors, pick up a hobby or tackle new knitting projects. After all, knitting is not about doing it beside the fireplace anymore (I bet you can imagine this). Right now, knitting is more about getting a satisfaction from the hobby no matter the season. Whether it’s a hot summer day or a cold winter night, knitting always has a place.
Also, the summer and the long holidays might be the only time for beginners to learn the craft. It’s always been busy all year round but with a short break beginners can now give the time to learn how to knit.
On the other hand, experienced hobbyists might want to pick up the pace in populating their knitting portfolio. Perhaps in the recent months they’ve been busy with their work and other crafts. This summer might be the perfect time for them to catch up or explore new knitting projects.
Summer knitting projects for everyone
Indeed, knitting is also perfect for the summer weather. Even if you just set aside one hour each night you can accomplish much if you add up all those hours. The heat might be intolerable during certain hours. And yes, the heat can influence you to seek for water (is it time to go to the beach?) or set your air conditioner in your bedroom at high settings.
Good thing is you can easily start knitting and pick where you left off anytime of the day. You just have to take out the needles, some yarn and the pattern and you’re already set up. You don’t have to prepare a lot of stuff if you want to knit. You can just sit down and dedicate at least one hour for knitting. If the beach or the market draws you in, you can stop knitting and come back to it later anytime you want to.
In fact, during your spare time you can knit a neat case for your smartphone or tablet. Even beginners can easily finish this kind of project because there are no complicated shapes to follow. In addition, this “easy and quick accomplishment” is a great motivator to pursue more knitting projects. It’s true that quick wins can build your momentum and enthusiasm when learning or pursuing a hobby.
Aside from a knitted smartphone case, you can also create a knitted clutch bag that you can keep yourself or give to a friend. This is also relatively easy to make. In other words, it’s not too intimidating to start when compared to knitting a big item such as a vest or a full sweater. Also, knitted smartphone cases and clutch bags seem to be more appropriate for the summer in contrast to knitted sweaters and beanies that are better suited for winter.
It’s also always a good idea to choose knitting projects that could be useful to you or other people. Well, most knitting projects are actually useful at home and outdoors. Whether it’s a piece of clothing (scarf, vest, socks, beanies, sweaters) or a home accessory (potholders, placemats, baskets, pillow covers), every creation can be useful to you or others. You can even use your creations as gifts during your loved one’s special days.
For this summer, it’s good to choose small knitting projects so you can quickly accomplish something. After all, many of us will prefer to spend our time on something else besides knitting. It’s especially the case when something in our work or business needs attention. Or, our minds and bodies just crave for the fresh air outside or the cool waters at the beach or pool.
The benefits of knitting
Well, we’ve been busy talking about accomplishing something. We mentioned a few projects to try on and perhaps a few ideas and inspirations on how to approach knitting during summer.
However, it’s not all about the accomplishments. It’s more about the experience while doing the craft. It’s a hobby and just like every kind of it, we derive satisfaction from the act of doing instead of completing something.
This is true whether it’s the summer or winter. In particular though, winter (or just an unusually cold weekend) is a good time to be alone and reflect on your thoughts and actions. It’s a good time to slow down and step back from busy life (whether in your work or leisure), which is why knitting is a great avenue for that. Through knitting, you’re able to focus on something far from work.
Knitting is good for the mind because it allows you to focus on something manual. It’s especially beneficial to knowledge workers who stare at screens all day long. Many of them actually feel disconnected from reality because there are no “tangible” results being produced. Instead, every accomplishment is a new number or letter on the screen or paper. There are almost no results that they can touch or feel in the real world.
In contrast, knitting always produces something tangible. Even the act itself is satisfying because we’re doing something complex with our hands. Once again, we’re getting connected to reality and the objects surrounding us. Our senses are more engaged, which is why we often get disconnected from the busy world and fast-paced life whenever knitting. In fact, many knitters derive satisfaction from the characteristic sound of needles during knitting. Many of them also always crave the texture of yarns (especially the bulky ones which are used for knitting blankets and sweaters).
Why summer is also the perfect time for knitting
A few of us think only of summer as beach time (or an awesome BBQ party). But it’s not all there is. That’s because we still have plenty of time to devote to knitting a small case, basket or bag during summer. Even just one or two hours each day can add up and even completely fill our knitting portfolio or collection.
Also, knitting can provide another level of variety to our summer activities. After all, staying the entire day at the beach or pool can be exhausting. Travel also has the same effect and might even drain us (instead of re-energising us) because of the need to get the most out of the summer or vacation. For several years, this might have been your default action whenever summer approaches. Right now it might be exhausting or feel routine already.
But with knitting you introduce some variety. This can even get more satisfying because you can explore a wide range of knitting patterns. You could even make dog coats or clothes for dolls. You always have a wide variety of options. Even if you have little spare time after work or travel, you can always have time to step back and slow down.
Knitting produces quick wins as well. In our modern lives we always feel the need to accomplish something and move forward. Aside from our careers or businesses, knitting can also provide that need. After all, knitting is a unique hobby because it allows you to generate something tangible while also benefiting from the calm experience.
So if you’ve never tried knitting during summer, this might be the perfect time to do so. Forget about knitting during cold nights only. Knitting is always a great hobby no matter the season and this is likely to continue for decades to come. And of course, it’s a true hobby because it doesn’t demand too much from you.
Here at The Aussie Knitting Co, we’ve noticed that there’s always great demand for our knitting essentials and accessories no matter the season. Hobbyists order a wide variety of patterns and yarns to fill up their summer. They also take the time to explore our store at 6-8 Brice Avenue, Mooroolbark Victoria when they’re finding an inspiration or just taking a look at our latest collections. Contact us today if you require high-quality knitting supplies this summer. You can do a secure online purchase and we’ll have your order delivered to you in approximately 3 days (this is for local orders within Australia).
What are your plans for the upcoming holidays? Go someplace overseas? Stay at home for 2 weeks? Learn a new skill? Or perhaps give more time to your favourite hobby?
More and more people now prefer to focus on their favourite hobbies such as knitting. After all, this gives them a break from the chaotic and fast-paced lifestyle of this modern world. This is their way of getting a breath of fresh air and somehow acquiring a new perspective about life (e.g. knitting can be mentally therapeutic).
Also, we’re now seeking to do and create something tangible. This gives us a higher level of satisfaction because of the tangible and “real” accomplishment. It’s especially the case with knitting wherein it’s not just about making time pass. This is also about creating something tangible that you can use yourself or share with others.
Why try vacation knitting?
If you chose this path of giving more time to this productive hobby, it will be a wonderful journey. Whether you want to catch up with your “project portfolio” or you just made up your mind to focus on knitting, vacation knitting can be a good way to really get a vacation and take a break from the demands of the modern world.
It’s also a good way to slow down and improve your mental focus. Although you can semi-automatically perform the knitting motions once you’ve got enough experience, knitting is still a good way to improve mental concentration. It’s a curious thing how we humans are able to focus more and take more satisfaction from doing a craft. After all, for much of human existence and history, the activities of humans had revolved around using the hands to build something tangible.
A week-long vacation is enough time to create several tangible objects through knitting. For example, you can completely knit a scarf within just a few days even if you’re only knitting 2 hours a day (given that you already have the supplies and some experience). For smaller projects such as baby beanies and socks, you can finish a few or several of these things depending on your speed and time commitment each day. This applies similarly to projects such as small home accessories and clothes for toys and pets.
You also don’t have to focus on a particular type of project. You can add a high level of variety to your projects by completing one baby beanie, a cushion cover and a cute dog coat for your lovely pet. Or, you can take on an intimidating project such as a full adult sweater or a full-sized knitted blanket.
Many hobbyists prefer to take it easy by choosing small projects and completing each one at a comfortable pace. Some hobbyists though choose to tackle huge and intimidating projects because the challenge motivates them. Also, the vacation could be their only time to do these projects that they’ve been putting off for too long. Perhaps while at the office they’ve been always thinking of completing a very challenging knitting project of their own.
In either case, the vacation (or even if it’s just a long weekend) is a perfect time to catch up on knitting or stay productive. There’s not much pressure in this in contrast with our careers or businesses. The goal is to slow down and focus on the experience. After all, we’ve chosen knitting in the first place because of the unique experience it provides. Whether you’ll be staying at home or travelling, the experience is what we always seek.
The knitting experience during travel
Planning to travel but you still want to have that knitting experience? Most likely you won’t be outdoors or all over the place 24/7. There will be times that you have to stay at one place for a few hours (e.g. right before bedtime). You will get the most out of your vacation because you get to visit new places while creating something new during your “downtime.”
But travel presents a unique challenge to knitters. That’s because they need to bring the knitting supplies with them. For first timers, it could be hard to figure out which ones to bring. Most of the time they don’t know how much yarn to bring. For most travellers, the goal is to travel light. There should be a minimal number of things to bring when going away for a while.
As a result, the common option is to eye for small knitting projects. This way, you’ll only bring the least amount of yarn and other knitting supplies. It’s especially the case if you’re on the road or in motion for most of the time. You just have to bring what you think you can finish during the vacation. For example, bring only the needed yarn and supplies to finish a baby sock, a tablet or phone cover or a dog coat.
It depends largely on your scheduled activities during your travel. It’s recommended to start with the minimum so you can complete something given the limited time. For instance, if you can dedicate 2 hours each day for knitting, you can finish a 150-centimetre long scarf before the weeklong vacation is over.
Ideas for beginners
If relatively you’re still a beginner, it’s recommended to focus on small and easy projects such as knitted home accessories. These projects often have a low level of complexity as opposed to clothing items that have sleeves, collars and pockets. Many knitted home accessories are pretty straightforward to complete because the patterns are relatively simple.
You can still take on more complex patterns. However, it could be very challenging especially if you have very limited spare time during your vacation. More complex patterns might also discourage you from completing or even starting the project.
But if you think you’re ready for higher level projects, you can go for knitting clothes and clothing accessories. These require precise measurements and extra attention to the pattern. If you’re now confident about your skill (or you feel that you can adjust if you see the pattern is difficult), it’s good to expand your comfort zone as soon as possible. This vacation might be your only chance to take on higher level knitting projects. After the vacation, you’ll realise it’s all worth it and you have increased your skill level. This is a huge motivator and will urge you to further expand your comfort zone.
Aside from taking on bigger knitting projects, another way to become more confident about your knitting skill is by adding more variety to your portfolio. Perhaps you only got used to knitting home accessories and your mastery on them made you very quick and productive about the craft. And perhaps this is also the right time to explore other patterns (e.g. baby and children’s patterns, clothing accessories).
What are the things you’ve never done before? Those things are often reserved for spare time and the first few months of a new year. Your next vacation is the perfect time to test the waters and explore new worlds. This is possible with knitting if you choose to explore new patterns and accomplish new projects you’ve never tackled before.
Keep it light and slow
Take note that this is a vacation. Most probably knitting won’t consume most of your waking time. Perhaps it’s just 2 or 3 hours for the entire day. You don’t even have to finish a project. You just have to start and take your time. After the vacation, you can always pick up from where you left off.
Also take note that knitting is a hobby. You don’t even have to accomplish something. If you’re like many hobbyists out there, you still continue on knitting because of the unique experience it provides while doing it.
Creating something tangible is more of an extra reward than a requirement. It’s true that knitting is therapeutic because of the required focus and the accomplishment thereafter. But the experience of knitting something (especially during a vacation where there are no external demands) is truly satisfying in itself.
So for your upcoming vacation, just keep it light and slow. Take on light and small projects you can complete in a few days. If you have a long vacation and you want to take on a new challenge, choose knitting projects that you’ve never done before or you feel that are too complicated for you. This way, you’ll explore new horizons and you’ll bring your knitting skill to an entirely new level.
You now want to learn a new hobby but you don’t know how or where to start. And out of all the 100+ hobbies you can choose, you decided to go for knitting.
There’s woodworking, jewelry making, quilting, metalworking, drawing and other indoor hobbies. But you chose knitting because it looks good and you just love the handmade creations resulting from the hobby.
Whichever is your reason, anytime you can just start learning and then decide if knitting really is for you. There are a lot of online resources and tutorials out there. However, the choice would be too overwhelming and often they present contradicting information. How and where do you really start?
Keep it simple & quickly gain momentum
Knitting can be overwhelming for beginners. From buying the right needles and yarns up to which projects to start with, every decision point presents tons of choices. Perhaps that’s why many beginners actually gave up long before touching the needles. It’s all just overwhelming and when it comes to learning a new hobby such as knitting, it’s just easier to give up than pursue this path.
The effective solution to this is to start small and simple. You don’t have to buy dozens of yarns and needles to get started. You don’t even have to decide whether bamboo or metal needles are the best for you (you can always go back to it later). And yes, you don’t have to start with knitting a full adult sweater or blanket. There’s a lot of time for that later.
So for now, start with making a small baby sock or beanie. You can start with a few baby and children’s patterns which you can finish within a week even if you’re a beginner. To learn the basic stitches and how to complete those small creations though, it’s highly recommended to hire an instructor or attend a class. There’s no substitute for in-person learning.
Well, following an online video tutorial sounds very convenient because you learn at home and at your own pace. However, knitting is a 3-dimensional activity. Although it’s about simply creating loops with the aid of 2 knitting needles, getting it right often requires seeing it in real action.
Also, there’s no substitute for real-time feedback when it comes to learning a new hobby or skill. Having someone to correct your movements and how you hold the needles can make a huge difference in how fast you’ll learn the skill. It’s also good to learn things right in the beginning. Habits are fast to solidify and any mistakes will be magnified or repeated down the road.
Holding the two needles and performing the basic and purl stitches all seem easy. But wait until you do them yourself. The act of knitting seems easy and natural. But most likely you’ve only watched knitters who have at least 5 years experience doing that. All the movements seem natural if an experienced hobbyist is doing it. Ask any beginner and you’ll notice the struggle from just how they describe knitting.
This doesn’t mean to scare you. The goal here is for you to get started more effectively and set clear expectations. Just like any other hobby, it takes time to learn knitting. But the entire thing becomes easier if you start simple and avoid overwhelm. Start with a very small project. Nothing can motivate you more than a visible accomplishment.
Don’t buy boxes of supplies yet
Have you ever felt unstoppable that you can learn and accomplish anything? Have you ever felt so powerful that you know you can do a lot of things within an unreasonably short time?
Many beginners actually felt that when they first tackle knitting. It’s all exciting after knowing there’s an endless list of patterns and projects to choose from. Even when buying yarns, they excitedly buy everything they can get their hands on (Alpaca, Katia, Bellissimo, Cleckheaton and more).
However, it can be all overwhelming and makes it more intimidating to get started. With more choices comes a higher difficulty level in getting started. With more options, it gets harder to come up with a firm and prompt decision.
It’s always true especially in knitting. That’s why it’s highly recommended to limit your choices at the start. Begin with just a pair of needles, one or two yarn sets and a single pattern or project. Don’t spend too much money on things you might not use in the future. Aside from being wasting money, too much stuff can actually make it harder to learn the hobby.
When you attend a class or have an instructor to teach you how to knit, most probably you’ll start with a few supplies and a single project (perhaps a very small sock, scarf or beanie). The goal is to complete something very quickly. This way, beginners can get motivated more quickly by the visible output they produce. In addition, starting small and having a few supplies makes it a lot easier to visualise the final output. You’ll have a quick idea how to put the pieces together.
Stop searching for inspiration: Just get started
By now you’ve already browsed through hundreds of knitting creations in Pinterest, Instagram and popular knitting and crafts websites. You get inspired by those amazing and very detailed creations.
Well, there comes a time that this should stop and you should actually get started with knitting. Browsing online through the different knitted creations is good if you want a boost of inspiration. But believe me, you’ll actually get more inspired if you’ve made awesome knitted creations by your hands.
Many other beginners make the mistake of searching for that “final push” so they can finally get started with knitting. However, that “final push” might not come at all. There’s an endless list of knitting patterns and projects you can view online. There’s also hundreds of blogs out there about knitting. You can actually spend a decade of searching for inspiration and have nothing to show for it.
So for you to get started, take some action that puts you closer to your goal. Even if it’s just a small step such as contacting a knitting store about supplies you’ll require as a beginner, do that. It’s much better than reading another blog post or watching another YouTube tutorial. Humans learn best by doing (not just by reading). And if you do just one thing today to get you closer to actually learn knitting, you’re way ahead of the 99% of the people who are just interested with the hobby.
Final tips when getting started
Almost every hobby is actually a skill. Knitting requires practice until you gain the muscle memory. With enough practice, you can make knitting semi-automatic for you.
In just 2 or 3 days you can learn how to properly do the basic and purl stitches. However, don’t expect much because the output may still be far from perfect. The results might be what you call crude, but at least it’s a start. It really takes time to make something good and worthwhile.
Also expect at least 15 hours of dedicated and focused practice before you can really get it. You can spread the hours within a few days. The key here is to practice every day until your hands and eyes achieve great coordination. Also, humans tend to get rusty very quickly especially when picking up a new skill. In the beginning, focus and do it every day. If you step back for too long, you’ll be back from zero.
To ensure you’re getting that amount and level of practice, set aside the time for it. If it’s not on your calendar or schedule, most likely it’s not going to happen. It’s like building a system where everything automatically falls into place. Life often gets busy and most likely you’ll forget to pursue the hobby if a little distraction comes up.
To go from “I want to be a knitter” to “I just knitted a nice sweater”, it might take a few months before you can achieve that skill level. Whether you attend a class or have someone to instruct you (e.g. an experienced knitter looking over your shoulder), you might just start with learning the basic and purl stitches and making rectangles and squares. Then, you’ll move forward to more complex shapes and patterns. Slowly, your skill base will build up and you will be ready for tackling more interesting patterns and projects.