It’s never too late to learn how to knit. Even if you have tried before, and didn’t understand, give it one more try. I have the perfect pattern for you.
Today I have something completely different for you! This article was shared with me by an editor from AllFreeKnitting.com, who believe it or not, did not know how to knit until very recently! Natalie used my free scarf knitting pattern and taught herself once and for all how to knit! She is sharing her experience and showing off her first completed project. This is her story about how it’s never too late to learn to knit!
I’m sharing this post with you, because I know a lot of people will sit by the sidelines and never pick up their own needles and yarn. They still have bad memories of not being able to catch on and leave a class or a group feeling defeated. And then they mistakenly believe they will never learn to knit. It’s so not true!
Please read this story that Natalie wanted me to share with you on the blog today. I share my free patterns on AllFreeKnitting, and she wanted to try my scarf. She had seen my post come through, and loved the look of the finished project. It inspired her to pick up the needles again and try out my Knitting School series.
In Natalie’s own words….
Don’t Quit Your Knits!
To be completely honest, learning how to knit is one of the most difficult crafts I’ve ever tried. I grew up drawing, painting, and making jewelry that only a mom would be caught wearing (which she did – thanks, Mom!). Everything came pretty easily to me, and anything that wasn’t easy to learn I would quickly abandon. I would decide that it “just wasn’t for me” or I “wanted to try something else.”
Flash forward to adulthood, where I’m an editor at Prime Publishing and we get regular opportunities to craft. It’s the dream, right?! A three-class course on knitting was offered and I jumped at the chance to learn a new skill. I looked forward to learning this new craft, from one of my fellow editors nonetheless!
Let’s just say I had no idea what I was getting myself into…
There I was, sitting with my coworkers at our conference room tables, surrounded by pretty yarn and circular needles. I had no idea what circular needles were at this point – I thought that they were just tied together like that in the packaging…let’s just say I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
We started with tying the slip knot, which was a little more difficult than I expected, but nothing I couldn’t handle. “Okay, I can do this! Knitting seems easy enough,” I thought to myself, having successfully slipped the yarn onto my left needle.
Who knew knitting could make you break a sweat?
Casting on was where it became difficult. I held the needles and mint-colored yarn in my hands and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. It was as if all lines of communication between my brain and my fingers had stopped. I’m definitely a visual learner, so I needed to watch someone casting on. Luckily a few of my coworkers had at least held yarn before, so I attempted to copy their movements. After about 30 minutes of intense concentration, I managed to cast on my 20 stitches! I set my work down and wiped the sweat off my hands (who knew knitting could make you break a sweat…) and felt as though I had climbed every mountain and forded every stream.
Then, we finally started knitting the garter stitch! That was when it really went downhill. I shoved my right needle in the top loop and attempted to start knitting. I was only a few stitches in and I immediately regretted that my cast-on stitches were way too tight. My first official row of knitting was a disaster. It looked like a gnarled mint-colored worm. I ripped it out and tried again and again and again….you get the idea.
Practice, Practice, Practice…
The class ended and I still hadn’t successfully completed a row of knitting, but I had learned how to tie a slip knot and cast on! Over the next week, I spent time relentlessly watching how-to videos about the basic knit stitch. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how many times I would replay those how-to videos…It was a lot.
However, I finally ended up with something! I can’t exactly call it a swatch (that’s way too generous), but it could be a scarf for a mouse. I was proud of it nonetheless.
My “successful” attempt at knitting after much practice.
Fast forward several months, and I attempted my first official project in my beginner knitting journey. I started a chunky knit scarf, but I went a little off-book with the pattern (Note to self: Never do this as a beginner). It didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would.
So I was really excited to stumble across Pattymac’s “My Magic Scarf” because it came with a simple, detailed pattern that wasn’t too intimidating. I was especially relieved to find that it also included a series of skill-specific video tutorials, since I am a very visual learner.
So, I headed to my local craft store and easily found the bamboo knitting needles and yarn. I was so excited to knit with this fluffy, bulky weight yarn! I love cozy scarves, so this was right up my alley.
I started by casting on and watched Pattymac’s video an almost embarrassing amount of times. I practiced casting on over and over and over again. I ripped out my stitches and restarted more times than I care to share. You get the picture. But I referred back to the original post where she says,
“Chill and give yourself permission to make a mess.”
With that reminder, I was able to relax and successfully cast on (after several more attempts).
And then as if by Magic….It was no problem at all to knit for hours at a time!
Once I started knitting, it was smooth sailing! I was mesmerized by the repetitive nature of the garter stitch and all that repetition really made it easy to pick up. I had only worked with metal knitting needles before, but I was pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the bamboo needles. It was no problem at all to knit for hours at a time! Also, it was really helpful to be able use the exact same yarn and needles as were shown in the video. That way, I could see exactly how the yarn should be behaving.
I was nearing the end of the second skein and I was dreading the bind off. I had attempted it only once before and it did not end well. However, with the help of the muscle memory I had built up, it was actually a breeze. I took it really slow and rewatched Pattymac’s bind off video as I made it through each individual step. After that, I watched her video on how to weave in ends and I was done.
At long last, I finally completed my first knitting project!
So, moral of the story: don’t lose hope and keep trying. Even if people make fun of your “giant knitting needles” don’t give up. In no time at all, you’ll be able to shield yourself from the negativity (and the cold!) with your lovely, handmade knit.
Pattymac’s My Magic Scarf pattern is a great project to start with if you are a beginner.
Plus, with some patience and persistence, you’ll wind up with a scarf that looks just like the picture above!
If you’re a beginner knitter like me, check out our collection of beginner patterns on AllFreeKnitting.com
I’m Natalie, an editor for AllFreeKnitting.com, a resource for free patterns, video tutorials, how-to articles, and much more! When I’m not learning how to knit (and crochet!) in the company of my cat, I enjoy spending entirely too much time on Pinterest, binge-watching episodes of Parks and Recreation, and trying out new recipes.
Thanks Natalie! And readers, I hope you found inspiration in her story! It’s never too late to start and even if you couldn’t understand it before, give the Magic Scarf a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!