Knit Your Own Beanie: 4 Tips From An Absolute Beginner
With the cooler weather coming in, the knitted sweaters, beanies, and scarves start coming out! I have LOVED learning to knit my own accessories and wardrobe staples, but being a beginner definitely made me nervous to start. I put off learning to knit my own clothing for way too long, so I wanted to share a few tips as an absolute beginner to encourage you to start your me-made knitted wardrobe today!
Y’all, I am into knitting in a big way these days! Obviously, the cold weather has got me all kinds of jazzed about all the comfy-cozy things. I really appreciate having a craft I can do on the couch while I unplug. It’s the best combination of meditation and mindlessness- keeping my hands busy and still feeling productive while I tune out in front of the TV. What could be better?
I am still incredibly new to knitting and have only fully completed 3 small projects so far. 1 is a simple cowl and the other 2 are hats that I’ve completed in the last week or so. However, I had actually started another hat that I’ve been working on for months that I think I’m finally going to let go of. All three of these beanie projects have taught me so so much about knitting in general, as well as given me some great insight about what sort of projects I want to be working on right now, and what I want to be wearing based on my personal style. So, I thought I’d share some of the unlocks I’ve had with you guys today!
Before we dive into my knitting tips, I first wanted to share my favorite method for joining your work in the round when using circular needles. This will help create a clean line at the bottom of your hat without a "step" where you join. It's called the Switch Swap Join, and you can achieve it by following the steps below:
1) Cast on the required number of stitches for your project.
2) Make sure all of your stitches are flat on your needles and that your work is not twisted.
3) Next, insert your right needle into the first stitch on your left. Slip the stitch as if to purl.
4) Then, insert your left needle into the last cast-on stitch on your right needle. Pass this stitch over the other.
5) Lastly, insert your right needle into the first stitch on your left needle and begin knitting in the round.
1. INSTANT GRATIFICATION IS ESSENTIAL IN THE BEGINNING.
My cowl scarf knit up pretty quick since it was a simple stockinette stitch worked in the round. Then I started on this cap. It’s a beautiful pattern and honestly not very difficult to follow (just rib stitch all around), but with the thinner yarn and a new-to-me technique, I find myself constantly losing track or whether I just knit or purled, and I’m s l o w as hell still, so the project was taking me a long time. I found that I would knit for a few hours, think I was close to almost being finished, then realize I definitely was not. Honestly, it felt very discouraging. After I set this one aside to make room for a project I completed in just 2 Netflix binge sessions, my spirits were immediately lifted and I was ready for more.
2. I NEED IT TO BE A PLEASURABLE SENSORY EXPERIENCE RIGHT NOW
The yarn I was using for cap #1 is ok…soft, but not very snuggly. And I was using cold metal needles that kind of grind when I knit (think of the sound you hear when sharpening knives). When I started my second hat, I used metal needles but cozier yarn…which I liked better. Then I had my Goldilocks moment and started on my third beanie using this squishy yarn and warm bamboo needles. Juuuuuuuuust right. The combination made for a more pleasurable experience and made me enjoy the process so much more than my first two. I know practice helped improve my knitting a lot, but I think being happier with my needles and yarn made me want to “stop and smell the roses” while I worked, resulting in a higher quality make.
3. BIGGER IS DEFINITELY BETTER
Bigger yarn makes for bigger loops which makes it easier to see what you’re doing. It also knits up a lot faster. Yes.
4. PRACTICE MAKES PROGRESS
My first beanie makes me a little sad when I look at it, because she is just loaded with mistakes. I’m not mad at that fact necessarily, because making mistakes is how we learn, and I definitely learned some things while working on this project. But, there’s enough of them to make me not want to wear the hat for fear of it falling apart due to low quality. I am glad, though, that when I line the three projects up, I can see my improvement and progress. It makes me excited to fail again and learn some more, and I don’t feel my time has been wasted, even if this project will never see the finish line.
What are your favorite things to knit once the colder weather hits? Any advice you’d like to pass on to a beginner such as myself? I’ll take all the help I can get!
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