Knit and Crochet Ever After

Top 5 Essential Tips for New Knitters

In this post, we’ll explore the five tips that can help every new knitter. These tips will provide you with a solid foundation and help you navigate the world of knitting with confidence and success.

1. Start with Basic Projects and Simple Stitches

When you embark on your knitting journey, it is essential to begin with basic projects and simple stitch patterns. Opt for projects that provide opportunities for gradual skill development and practice. Prioritize mastering fundamental stitches such as the knit stitch and the purl stitch before venturing into more intricate patterns.

Personally, I faced considerable difficulty starting my first row, and I often found myself giving up repeatedly. However, everything changed during a visit to a fiber arts festival when I stumbled upon Lion Brand’s “learn to knit and crochet” table. They had already knitted the first few rows and kindly demonstrated the basic knit stitch for me. In that moment, something clicked, and I felt a surge of confidence to persevere and continue learning. If you’re fortunate enough to find someone who can kickstart your project by knitting a few rows, allowing you to focus on grasping the fundamental stitches, you’ll gain the necessary confidence to tackle cast-ons and bind-offs, which are crucial for initiating and completing your knitting projects. I have some beginner knit projects that can get you started.

2. Use Light-Colored Non-Textured Yarn for Easy Visibility

Selecting the right yarn for your project is essential, especially when you’re just starting out. Opt for light-colored yarns with no texture (save boucle yarn for later) that make it easier to see your stitches and identify any mistakes. Dark or highly textured yarns can make it more challenging to spot errors or correct them easily. As you gain more experience and confidence, you can gradually explore a wider range of yarn colors and textures.

Additionally, it is advisable to choose a thicker ply of yarn as you begin your knitting journey. Save delicate lace or lightweight yarn for a time when you feel more confident in your abilities. Thicker yarn offers several advantagesβ€”it is easier to see, work with, and enables you to complete projects more quickly. The swift progress achieved with thicker yarn will provide a sense of satisfaction and strengthen your confidence, inspiring you to continue expanding your knitting skills and knowledge.

3. Practice Proper Tension and Gauge

Tension and gauge play a crucial role in achieving consistent and well-fitting knitted items. Pay attention to your tension, which refers to the tightness or looseness of your stitches. Consistent tension throughout your project ensures an even fabric. Additionally, swatching and checking your gauge before starting a project will help ensure that your finished item matches the intended measurements. Invest time in practicing and adjusting your tension until you feel comfortable with it.

Don’t worry if your tension feels all over the place when you first begin knitting. Through continuous practice, you will gradually develop muscle memory that instinctively adjusts your tension to a personalized consistency. As you gain more experience, you’ll learn to fine-tune your tension by making modifications to your yarn or needle choices in order to achieve the desired gauge for your project. Remember, with dedication, your tension will become more controlled and consistent over time.

4. Learn to Unknit

Do not fear unknitting, or as some like to call it, “frogging” your stitches. I know it can be disheartening when you realize you’ve made a mistake and have to undo all your hard work but trust me, unknitting is an absolutely essential skill every knitter should embrace, especially beginners! It’s not a sign of failure, but rather a valuable skill that helps us learn and improve. When I first began learning to knit, if I made a mistake and didn’t know how to unknit, I would end up unraveling my entire project and starting from scratch. That can be discouraging and time-consuming (who wants to start completely over?!?). Instead, learn to unknit each stitch when you learn to make that stitch (unknitting a knit stitch is not the same as unknitting a knit through the back loop stitch), so you can understand and read your stitches to be able to fix those mistakes.

Mistakes are an integral part of the learning process, and even experienced knitters make them from time to time. Embrace your mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow as a knitter. Whether it’s a dropped stitch, a miscounted row, or an accidental yarn-over, take a deep breath, unknit if necessary, and try again. Learning how to fix mistakes will greatly enhance your knitting skills and confidence. Remember, every stitch you make is progress, regardless of the occasional setback.

5. Take Advantage of Online and In Person Resources

When it comes to learning to knit, online tutorials can be an absolute game-changer. The vast expanse of the internet offers a treasure trove of instructional videos, step-by-step guides, and helpful tips from seasoned knitters. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to expand your skills, online resources can provide a wealth of knowledge and guidance right at your fingertips.

However, let’s not forget the incredible value of visiting your local yarn store. Not only can you find a wide range of high-quality yarns and knitting supplies, but the knowledgeable staff is always ready to answer your questions and offer expert advice. Plus, these yarn stores often host knitting groups and workshops where you can connect with fellow knitters, exchange ideas, and seek assistance with your projects. It’s so helpful to be part of a community that shares your passion and can offer hands-on support. So, make the most of online tutorials for convenience, but don’t hesitate to step into your local yarn store and join a vibrant community of knitting enthusiasts who are there to help you every stitch of the way.


As a new knitter, it’s important to approach the craft with patience, perseverance, and a willingness to learn. Starting with simple projects, using light-colored yarn, practicing proper tension and gauge, utilizing online resources, and embracing mistakes as learning opportunities will set you on the path to becoming a skilled and confident knitter. Enjoy the process, celebrate your progress, and let your creativity and passion for knitting flourish. Happy knitting!

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