10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started to Knit and Crochet
It was fall 2001, and I was living overseas, pregnant with my son, when I had the desire to learn how to knit and crochet. I wanted to make baby booties, blankets, hats, sweaters and pants for my soon-to-be newborn baby. At that time, I had no access to the internet or videos or very limited access to English language books to learn how to knit or crochet.
I barely remembered the very basics of a starting chain and single crochet (for crocheting) and basic casting on and the knit stitch (for knitting) from a 1-hour lesson when I was 8 and visiting my paternal grandmother in a nursing home. But my passion for learning to make baby things was very strong, and I tried over and over again to figure it out.
Where there is a will, there is a way! And due to my focus and determination, I did figure it out. But recently, I asked myself, what are some of the things I wish I had known back then, to make the learning process easier and more enjoyable? And thus, my top ten list of 10 Things I Wish I knew When I Started to Knit and Crochet began. I hope you find this helpful. What are your top tips for beginners?
Practice makes perfect, right? We’ve heard this our whole lives, right? And it is so very true. The more you practice anything, the better you will get at doing it. Period. Doesn’t matter the skill, the hobby, the profession: the more often you repeat your skills the more you will improve them.
There are so many health benefits to knitting and crocheting. Crafting reduces stress and anxiety. When a knitter or crocheter is focused on a project, everything else in life seems to fade into the background and this is good news where brain health is concerned. Focusing on repetitive stitches helps me to clear my mind of other thoughts. Mental distraction is such a wonderful way to take a break from our fears, stressors, and general anxiety. I wrote an entire blog about the health benefits of crafting HERE.
There is so much more to knitting and crocheting than baby booties, hats and blankets! You can make your own clothing, home decor, jewelry and so much more. I’ve even seen art installations of coral reefs, metal knit lace fencing, and car coverings! The sky is truly the limit.
Often times we come back to patterns we loved or our gift recipients loved, and we want to make them again. Having notes about anything you liked, didn’t like, modified, or substituted, would be great information when you sit down to use a pattern for a second time.
5. Making Money
Supporting your hobby by selling your handmade knit and crochet items can be very exciting and fulfilling. Although many times I have advised people that actually working in the industry is a rather challenging full time revenue source, selling handmade items for a side hustle can be very rewarding and fun! It’s also a great way to spread your love of creativity with the world.
6. Remember to Relax
It is very easy to get stressed when you are teaching your hands to do something new. And it is very normal to tighten your fingers when you are feeling frustrated. This is common human behavior. Anytime you notice this, just take a break! Go for a walk, drink a glass of water, or even take a cold shower! I find that this helps me tremendously to calm down and refocus. It is ok to get frustrated! Just try to remember that this is a supposed to be a relaxing and fun hobby. No pressure.
7. Be Patient
You will make mistakes. It is ok! I still make mistakes after all these years, too! And you may make the same mistakes more than once. This is ok, too! Mistakes are some of the most helpful learning tools. I learn so much from my mistakes. And you can, too, as long as you remember it is a normal part of the process of learning something new. Be patient and kind with yourself. The more you practice, the better your skills will become. I promise!
8. Enjoy the Process
You are learning a fun and relaxing hobby. There is no test, there is no judgement panel, and there are no deadlines. Please try not to compare yourself to others either. Everyone’s journey is different. Someone might have practiced one skill more than you, and it doesn’t make them better. It just makes them more practiced.
9. Organize your Supplies
How many times have I repurchased supplies because I couldn’t find them? Oh, too many to count. The more organized you are with your tools, supplies, patterns and yarns, the better you’ll feel. Everyone has their own unique opinions on how to organize supplies. You might like containers, over the door organizing racks, spreadsheets, or all the above. Whatever works best for you is awesome.
10. Have Fun!
Laugh, have fun, socialize with other crafters. There are many ways to meet crafters with whom to share your love of yarn. To start, you can join my private Facebook group called Create Share Inspire HERE. You can also join me for my LIVE daily podcast, Create Share Inspire Podcast with Kristin Omdahl on my YouTube Channel. And you can join the live pre-chat up to 30 minutes early to chat with others, too. It is a lot of fun!