We love knitting. There are no rules in knitting. Here is some general knitting advice and tips that we have picked up, some witty, some inspiring and some helpful. Enjoy.
General Advice for Knitters
Knitting for others is a gift of love. Have a list of projects you want to knit for yourself and the others. Make sure you appear in the list.
One project at a time. If you can’t stick to that, have no more on the go than you can count on your fingers. There are different WIPs for different situations so it is completely ok, we understand.
Spread the word and pass on your knitting knowledge. Teach anyone who wants to know how to knit. Teach those that ask you to knit something for them that you can’t knock out a new cardigan in 2 hours.
Don’t knit for someone who isn’t worthy. Don’t feel bad about it. Ever.
Don’t knit for someone that you don’t like or will be ungrateful. Don’t feel bad about it. Ever.
Agreeing to knit something that you aren’t going to enjoy just because your favourite relative asked for it can be a tricky one. Just remember love conquers all.
If someone has an opinion on how you should be knitting, your colour choices, techniques, choice of knitting pattern etc. Feel free to completely ignore them forever. If they get on your nerves, feel free to tell them to be quiet in whichever way you see fit. Nothing bad will come of this. You may not ever talk to someone who wasn’t worthy of you anyway – nothing lost.
If you get mad over their opinion, stop knitting until you feel more calm, it won’t go well for the knitting. But don’t ever feel bad about it. Ever.
Where to Knit
Knit in public and don’t be embarrassed. You will be surprised how many friends you can make that way.
Places that some non-knitters may find unacceptable to knit are… Whilst driving or operating heavy machinery, eating fish and chips (mainly because of the greasy yarn), at a job interview – unless it is for a wool shop, on a date or perhaps giving birth. There may be one or two others.
When you go to the cash machine and it says “enter PIN”, your knitting needle won’t do and you won’t get money that way.
Make friends online. There are lots of knitting forums and websites. Just remember the time you spend on there could be used knitting, so spend it wisely.
A yarn / pattern / accessories stash can never be too big. Having nowhere to store it isn’t enough of a reason to stop buying more.
Don’t spend all that money on a fancy yarn just because the pattern says so. You might already have an alternative in your stash. If not, there are always other yarns – it’s time for shopping.
If you are buying yarn from your local yarn shop, don’t forget the husband stood outside in the rain with the dog.
Don’t leave an unattended WIP in the presence of children, cats, dogs or any kind of animal as well as your spouse. You may need to pull back your work, unbend dog chewed knitting needles or sort out fishy smelling cat spaghetti.
Swatching and tension squares are optional. If you like skydiving, high stakes poker and are one of life’s risk takers then you might wonder what a tension square is. It’s ok if you know someone bigger than you who will like that cardi when it is 3 sizes too big.
A well cared for knitting pattern can last for years. Laminate and protect. Keep away from the red wine and all will be ok.
Pick your knitting patterns carefully, you will spend a lot of time on them. You can knit a favourite one lots of times and will still be good in the years to come.
The Act of Knitting
Before you actually sit down and begin. Have you got…. needles, yarn (and the next ball too), pattern, cup of tea/coffee, tape measure, row counter, stitch holders, notepad, remote for the telly, phone in case it rings. Have you been to the loo? Use this as a handy checklist. There’s no point in getting up again in 10 minutes.
Don’t ever stop knitting before the end of a row. It’s just asking for trouble.
Don’t think “I’ll just do this couple of rows and have a pee” – Something will give and it could get soggy.
Someone once said knitting is a form of exercise – that it is good enough for me.
If someone interrupts you while you are counting your knitting, don’t answer, just count louder so you don’t lose your place. Use your “leave me alone, I’m knitting” face if needed.
Always knit plenty of ribbing, there isn’t a shortcut here.
If a WIP isn’t working, put it down and find something that does. Leave some notes in the bag as after 10 years or so, you might forget what you were doing.
Try to finish your WIPs. Ooh but that new pattern looks yummy….
Frogging – The Art of Dealing With Unintended Design Features
Don’t be surprised if you end up with 3 sleeves if you are watching a good film.
After a mistake, you have a choice. Either, pull it back and spend another 3 days re-knitting. Or you call it a design feature and knit onwards. Nobody will ever have another the same. There is a value to exclusivity.
If you have to pull back a whole piece, make sure you pull back the one you mean to pull out and not the front of the cardi you knitted correctly.
Don’t ever feel bad about deviating from the pattern accidentally. Ever.
When to Knit
Knitting is a very personal thing and you should love what you do as a little bit of you is in your WIP.
If you aren’t feeling it, stop. Life is short, only do things that make you happy.
Know to stop knitting when you are tired, or drunk or both. It will only lead to a reknit the next day.
Be loyal to your knitting pattern. Don’t pick up another by mistake and carry on knitting. This will not turn out well.
If you knit in bed, try not to fall asleep knitting. Knitting needle up the nose time. Ouch.
If you dream about knitting, be prepared when you wake up to actually have to finish the piece.
Be careful you don’t sit on your needles. Needs no explanation.
From personal experience. Don’t tip your cup of tea into your knitting basket.
The end of the knitting isn’t the end of the work. You may need the sewing up fairy to help you to the end.
Be careful not to sew your new knitted jumper to the cardigan you are wearing. Also make sure the right sides are together before you start to sew up your knitting.
Always show off your work to others. What you just made is special, completely unique and worthy of celebration however small.
Don’t forget. Housework is for those that have no interest in knitting. If someone suggests housework to you, offer them a cloth – but only after you stop laughing.
Enjoy the journey. Don’t forget, everything that isn’t immediately life threatening is absolutely optional. Including all the advice above.