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Do you want to learn how to knit? Now is a great time to take up this hobby and make something you are proud of.
Have you found yourself at a loose end during lockdown? Run out of ideas for things to bake or feeling anxious and upset? Why not try knitting? It is a great way to keep yourself busy, produce something useful and helps keep anxiety at bay. It is also much easier than you might think.
You might associate knitting with your granny and a rocking chair. Recently it has been enjoying a revival with knitting popping up on Instagram feeds everywhere. With more time on their hands people are looking for hobbies they can do at home. Knitting is great for mental health and is perfect for these uncertain economic times. With chunky knit blankets being a massive homeware trend, why not start to make your own?
You might think knitting is too complicated but it is surprisingly easy once you get begin. You will soon be creating jumpers for everyone you know.
Read more: How to make chocolate rock cakes, a simple bake
Steps to learn to knit
I haven’t done any knitting a long time. I did some when I was at school but have recently just picked up the needles and begun again. If you want to give knitting a try, here are some tips to help.
Find a pattern
First you need to find a pattern. You will find loads of inspiration online. From a simple scarf to a more complex jumpers, there will be a pattern to suit you. I found a great range of free knitting patterns at Lovecrafts, who They even have face coverings you can knit! My pick was a cardigan pattern that looks like a challenge. I also found the wool and needles on this site.
All you need are some needles and wool. The pattern will recommend the size of needles and how many balls of wool you need. Chunky needles and thick wool are a good choice as it makes it easier to see what you are working on. You will also complete the project faster.
A simple chunky scarf is easy to make but can get tedious. I would try a patchwork blanket. The squares are easy to make and you can experiment with different stitches to learn them.
Learn to cast on
Casting on is the first technique you need to learn as it allows you to create stitches.
- Create a loop with the yarn.
- Bring the yarn through the loop creating a slip knot. Put this on the needle.
- Put the right hand needle into the loop on the left hand needle from the front of the loop to the back
- Wrap the yarn around the right hand needle and pull though.
- Put this new loop onto the left hand needle.
- Keep going until you have as many stitches as you need.
- Place loop from right hand needle onto left hand needle.
Master the knit and purl stitch
There are two main stitches in knitting: the knit stitch and the purl stitch. You can create whole projects using each of these or make more complex patterns by using combinations of them to create rib stitch, stocking stitch, cable stitch and more.
The stitches are similar, one puts the needle in forwards and wraps the yarn round, the other does the same but puts the needle in backwards. Learn these two stitches and you can conquer the knitting world.
Learn to cast off
What happens when your knitting reaches the right length? Then you need to cast off. This makes a nice finished edge that will not unravel.
To do this knit two stitches. Lift the first stitch over the second stitch and let the stitch fall. Continue until you have one stitch left. Cut the wool leaving a large tail and just pass the tail through the loop. Pull it together.
When it goes wrong
Knitting is not difficult but it takes practice to get it right. Luckily knitting is forgiving. You can easily pull out the rows and start again. The wool is hardy and will allow you to do this a load of times.
Just think of it as a mindfulness exercise and keep trying. It took me about ten attempts before I managed to get my rib stitch to work correctly. (Hint: If you have an odd number of stitches in a rib then you need to start with purl in the first row and knit in the next or the rows to not line up)
The sense of achievement when you get it right is worth it.
Have you tried knitting? Let me know below.