Did you know that knitting can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, slow the onset of dementia, and help with chronic pain? It can also build a sense of belonging, improve mental health, fine motor skills, and memory! It’s also a great way to relax, connect with your community, and create personalized gifts for your loved ones. What are you waiting for? Here are three ‘purls’ of wisdom to help you get started.
Tip 1: Prepare
First, you’ll need to acquire the basics. This includes needles, yarn, and a pattern, which is like a blueprint for knitting. As you become more advanced, you may want to invest in a tapestry needle, measuring tapes, stitch marker, scissors, needle protectors, and a crochet hook. Here is a great list of beginner knitting kits based on what you'd like to make (mittens, scarves, sweaters, etc.).
If you don’t want to get a kit, that’s totally fine too! Just remember to use the correct sized needles - you can find this information on the label on your yarn. You could even set up a little “knitting nook” in your house with your materials and a comfortable, supportive chair (remember to be mindful of your posture).
Tip 2: Knit
Now it's time to get started! Here is a great guide to teach you the basics - the cast on, knit stitch, and cast off. If you purchased a kit, go ahead and follow that pattern. If you did not, this is a great website to find free patterns online. Also, you don’t need to be working on a project every time you knit.
At first, just try casting on, knitting a few rows, casting off, then undoing it all. Once you feel like you’ve mastered the basics, try learning some more advanced knitting techniques like knitting in the round or color work (which you can find here and here). Remember: practice makes perfect! Knitting is all about muscle memory, so try to knit every day - even if it's just for 10 minutes.
Tip 3: Connect
Knitting is a great way to develop relationships as well. Try gifting your creations to your loved ones and find other knitters near you. Not only will you make some new friends, but you will also be able to learn from more advanced knitters. Here is a great website to find knitting meetups near you! You can also go to your local craft store or join knitting groups on social media to find other knitters.
If you want to get hooked on knitting, click here to download Dreamfora and add the plan ‘Knit and Chill.’