It’s only the middle of August, but apparently snow is already accumulating above some US states-can you believe it? It’s already time to start thinking about getting out that winter gear. Or, if you want to learn a new skill-making it!
Knitting is a wonderful skill to have, and it’s never too late to learn. It’s actually has some surprisingly health benefits, like improving cognitive function, memory, coordination and relieving stress. Not to mention you get scarves, hats, and or any of the many other things you can knit right at home! It’s a great way to give an original gift for the holidays that’s functional too, and wonderful alternative to cheap made-in-China goods.
To get started knitting, you only need two things: yarn and knitting needles. That’s it! Nothing else fancy required.
For needles, there are three kinds: plastic, metal and bamboo. Plastic and metal are usually very affordable, so you might want to start with a pair of those to see if you take to knitting before investing in the nicer bamboo needles. There are many different sizes of knitting needles, for different sized yarn and also desired tightness of the stitch, but size 8 is the most standard size. Packages of yarn will typically have recommendations for the size knitting needle to use with them, so check before buying.
Yarn is what you’ll want to pick out next, and with all the beautiful colors available, this is definitely the fun part! To start out, you’ll probably want to buy two or three different colors, so you have a few options and, once you’ve got the hang of the stitch, you can practice changing the yarn. All yarn is either natural fiber or synthetic. Synthetic is very affordable, but also won’t breathe very well when worn. But this is a good choice to start out with, just to get the hang of knitting, and for many projects it can be ideal.
Next, you’ll need to learn the basic stitch.
And if you have an internet connection, well, then the wide wonderful world of free knitting tutorials, patters and guides is at your fingertips. This is a great beginner video on the basic stitch.
This step can be the hardest-once you get the hang of it it’s very fun-and even addictive!
A simple scarf is a very easy and fun first project, and useful too! Make one for each member of your family for the coming winter months, and maybe even some for extended family for gifts! You’ll find you can knit in your sleep in no time this way, with lots of practice of the basic stitch, and then you can move on to more complicated projects like hats, booties for babies, etc.
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