Itching to try your new circular knitting needles? I know how you feel. I can still remember buying my first pair and being so excited about trying them out. Of course, that’s been a while back, but I recently got to relive the experience when one of my knitting buddies bought her first pair. In talking with her, I realized it would be good to pass on her experience and share it with those of you wanting to embark on your very own circular knitting needle adventure. Here are some tips and lessons learned.
Tip #1 — Always read your knitting pattern before starting
Always, always, always, read your pattern before you begin this or any knitting project. Our goal is for knitting to be relaxing, a joy, and a source of pleasure. Nothing can ruin this state of euphoria quicker than to be knitting along and run smack into a problem. For instance, in my friend’s little adventure, her pattern said the stitches were in groups of six. Guess what? They weren’t. They were in groups of five. This meant a FROG or rip it, rip it. But, lesson learned. Now she knows to double check those patterns. I have to add this. In all my years of knitting, sewing, and crafting in general, very seldom have I ever found a perfect pattern. Look and you’ll find a mistake. It’s just better to find it before you get started.
Tip #2 — Educate yourself about circular knitting needles
If you are a complete newbie with circulars, do a little studying beforehand. My friend did this and it helped her greatly. Check out knitting videos, books, and online knitting articles before you get started. Knitting for charity provides instructions for knitting at hat using circular needles and also some free knitting patterns for knitting a hat using circular needle tips and free knitting patterns for hats.
Tip #3 — It’s all in the details
Some handy details to remember when getting started with circular knitting needles come directly from my knitting buddy. Here they are: — Make sure the cable connecting the needles is shorter than the circumference of the hat you are knitting. Otherwise, the hat will be too big. — Cast on loosely. The combination of nervousness and excitement of using your circular needles can cause you to cast on too tightly. If you do, you’ll have trouble moving your stitches. — When joining the end of the first row, be sure and pull the yarn tightly. Not doing this will result in sloppy looking work and your cap will be too large. Watch the YouTube.com video to understand joining the end of the first row.
Tip #4 — If at first you don’t succeed…
There’s one thing for certain when you start knitting and that is, at some point in time, you’re going to have to rip it out and start over. Yes, my friend had this experience and so have I. In fact, I don’t know any knitter who hasn’t experienced this. So, if you find a mistake, don’t get upset. Be willing to look at it as a lesson learned and start again. Keep going. You’ll get the hang of it.
Tip #5 — Choose a beginner level pattern
I know the feeling. You’re dying to use your new circular knitting needles. You begin browsing knitting patterns. You fall in love with a beautiful cap with lacey trim and details galore.
Stop right there!
If this is your first time using circulars, begin at the beginning. What I mean is choose a simple, basic pattern for your first attempt. Choosing an advanced pattern right off the bat is like diving in the deep end of a pool when you’re first learning to swim. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out so well. With that said, try a pattern for beginners like the “One Ball Really Easy Instant Chemo Cap” free charity knitting pattern. The pattern name might be a mouthful, but the pattern is super simple and designed with the beginner in mind. Now, what I want you to do is learn from my knitting buddy. Read over her tips, run out and get your very first pair of circular knitting needles and get started. The sooner you start, the sooner you can knit and donate your first chemo cap. Some lucky soul out there will be very happy you did.