With sheer horror I remember the moment we had to make our own knit “couture” in home ec class. It could be anything, from a tote bag to a pair of socks, or a scarf, or a tiny doll... the list goes on. I thought that a knitted bow tie for Father’s Day was a great idea, but expectation vs reality hit and the final result looked like a pastel wool blob asking to be tacitly discarded.
That’s when I came to the conclusion that not everyone is born a knitter, and our grandmas are the blessed souls. But some people are willing to enter the knitting game, or should I call it a league, and make needlework great again.
And oh boy, they do. Thanks to the r/Knitting subreddit, which is all about “warm, fuzzy, sometimes tangled” stuff, people from all walks of life can now proudly show their mad knitting skills, and some of it is surely leaving everyone in awe, from handmade ponchos to socks and sweaters that put all the mass-produced knitwear to shame.
Knitting used to feel like something made for granny souls. But the times are changing and as the world is shifting towards a more sustainable lifestyle, slower consumption, and homemade goodies, knitwork is back in the much-deserved spotlight.
So in order to find out what it takes to master knitting skills and become a proud knitter, Bored Panda talked to Ida, a knitwear and pattern designer from Lapland, Finland who runs her website “Knitgrammer.” Ida said that in Finland, kids are taught how to knit in school already, which makes knitting an essential part of education. “Since I'm in my 30s I have been knitting for more than 20 years,” she added.
Ida explained that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people were forced to stay at home, due to which knitting became incredibly popular. “For instance, Finnish yarn company Novita reported that their sales increased 18% compared to the previous year, being approximately 24 million euros,” the knitwear designer told us. Moreover, “Here in Finland, people also got so excited about knitting traditional Icelandic sweaters that last spring I couldn't find an online store that had the yarn available,” she added. It turns out, even the factory didn't have the yarn in stock.
I’m A Guy Who Normally Knits Socks And Scarfs And Hats For My Family. I Finally Knit A Sweater For Myself
Ida assured us that anyone can learn to knit. “In Finland, it is taught in elementary school and if it is not a school subject in your country, nowadays there are plenty of videos online from which you can learn.” She also said the knitting community is very friendly and the more experienced knitters will be very happy to share their wisdom with beginners.
Meanwhile, “A pro knitter knows the technique, understands how different materials and stitch patterns affect the fabric qualities, and also knows the math behind knitting.” Having said that, Ida added that you can still “knit beautiful and usable things if you learn the basic techniques and follow good patterns as well as use the yarn recommended on them.”
I Finished A 1940s Sweater A While Back And Wanted To Share!
I Made A Lacy Shawl For My Mom, But I Had To Try It On For Myself First
I Made These Socks That Turn Feet Into Paws. Also, How Does Anyone Even Do Sock Photography
“The first thing you need to learn as a beginner knitter are the two basic stitches: knit and purl as well as how to cast on and bind off. Good beginner projects are for instance a garter stitch scarf, basic hat, hot pad, or dishcloth.” After mastering the basics, you can move on to more complex techniques “such as colorwork and lace,” Ida said.
But don’t expect to learn everything instantly. “As with many skills, knitting takes practice. Learning the basic stitches does not usually take more than a few hours, but developing your muscle memory might take a while. After you have practiced enough, your knitting becomes more even and you don't even have to watch your hands when you knit.”
For The First Time I've Been Forced To Admit I Might Actually Know What I'm Doing!
My Brother Challenged Me To Make More Animal Socks!! Had A Lot Of Fun Making These Guys
My First Finished Object: A Happy Colours Bubble Stitch Blanket
Ida explained that selecting a suitable yarn for your project is also an essential skill. It’s because “the aim of knitting is usually to produce some item that can be worn or used otherwise. For instance, if you pick a yarn that is not suitable for socks, they get worn out really quickly or make your feet sweaty. Also, there are certain types of yarns that are not good for colorwork or cable knitting. Before you learn this skill, you can always select the yarn recommended by the pattern.”
Never Doing Two Color Brioche Again But At Least She's Done
“Lastly, if you want to be able to design your own knits, knit without a pattern, or adjust existing patterns, you need to learn a little bit of knitting math,” Ida said and added that “In knitting there is always a formula for everything.”
“For example, there are only a handful of ways to construct a sweater or sock. When you learn the steps and math behind a certain construction method, you can easily knit items without a pattern. For instance, a formula for sock toe decreases could be something like decrease every other row until approximately 50% of the stitches are remaining, then decrease every row until 30% of the stitches are remaining, graft the toe,” Ida concluded.
After The Dark Year We Had, I Wanted Some Light Going Into 2021
I've Been Knitting For Years But Only Recently Learnt How To Knit In The Round. This Is One Of My First Projects And I Love Him!
I Finally Finished The Massive Star Wars Double Knit Scarf
These days, knitting has become a DIY fashion statement, community activity, educational device, and healthcare tool, so it’s fair to say it’s having a renaissance. “It's about bloody time," American-born textile artist Kaffe Fassett told The Globe And Mail.
However, he added that “It has taken people a long time to appreciate that sitting down and rubbing two sticks together with a string of yarn between them not only creates something beautiful and truly creative, but is one of the most life-enhancing activities around. It just makes you feel good."
Wish I Had A Better Camera And/Or More Light To Show Off This Dress! Vintage Pattern From 1958 (Slightly Modified)
Silver Tree Rings Blanket - A Wedding Gift For My Brother And His Husband
The World Is A Nightmare. Self Care Is Important. So With That And Lenny Kravitz In Mind, I Took To Youtube, Taught Myself To Knit, And Present To You All My 2nd Ever Project!
In addition, knitting is back under the fashion radar too. Vogue has just released an article “Clingy, Stretchy, Meshy—This Spring Is All About Second Skin Dressing.” Turns out, due to the pandemic, we all grew accustomed to a more casual wardrobe. But designers and fashion aficionados are aware that the age of sweats is coming to its sunset.
So, “spring 2021’s knitwear and ready-to-wear trends offer an easy transition out of it,” writes Madeline Fass. According to her, the three new big knitwear trends are clingy sweats, mesh pieces and stretchy suits.
5 Years And 1200 Hexipuffs Later, My King Size Beekeeper’s Quilt Is Finally Finished!
With A Face This Cute, How Could I Not Put Him On A Sweater!
Bored Panda also talked to Nancy Queen, a knitting and crochet expert and book author who fell in love with knitting 20 years ago. Now, Nancy helps people with the same passion to improve and grow as knitters with her awesome “NobleKnits” project that provides knitting and crochet tips, inspiration, and tutorials to more than 300,000+ needle crafters online every month.
“A ball of string and two sticks is all you need to create fabric. You can knit sweaters, hats, toys, mittens, socks and so much more. My first project was a vest,” Nancy recounted. “I still remember how excited I was to meet my parents for lunch to show off the vest I had just completed and was wearing. I was beaming with more pride than a Girl Scout donning a sash full of badges.”
“Most knitters start with a skein of acrylic yarn from their local craft store. But once you get the hang of knitting, you’ll be amazed at the feel of a skein of silk, alpaca, cashmere, yak, or linen yarn in your hands. Each type of fiber has its own unique properties it brings to a completed knitted garment.” Nancy continued: “Imagine wrapping yourself in a shawl you knitted out of cashmere, a cropped top you created out of silk, or a beach cover-up you made out of linen. The possibilities of what you can create are endless.”
After 16 Months I Finally Finished This Blanket
I Made This Amazing/Ridiculous Zebra Sweater From A Pattern From 1987!
Adorable Bears Wearing Hats. What Else Do You Need To Know?!
When asked why knitting has had a huge resurgence over the past years, Nancy said it’s mostly due to the fact we’ve been stuck at home. “People have been looking for ways to keep busy and challenged—knitting solves both those needs. You can knit while watching TV, on a Zoom call, hanging out with friends, waiting in a doctor’s office, or even at a sporting event.”
Nancy added that there are good reasons why celebs like Cara Delevigne, Krysten Ritter, Julia Roberts, and Dakota Fanning knit. “It’s a great way to relax, unwind, and make something cool with your own two hands. The act of knitting is very rhythmic, which helps control your breathing, so it provides many of the relaxation techniques also found in yoga,” she explained. “Not only that, if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that having hobbies and creating provide a sense of achievement while being good for your soul.”
I Made A Little Whale Today
Broadleaf Sweater In The Stunning Maple Trees Of Vancouver, Bc
When asked if anyone can become a knitter, Nancy assured us it’s a hobby that anyone can do. “When my daughter was four years old, the Montessori school she was going to taught all the kids how to knit. So if four-year-olds can learn to knit, you can, too!”However, when it comes to becoming a good knitter, you’ll have to adopt several habits.
Here are some tips Nancy shared with us:“Tip #1 - Give yourself time to learn. As adults, we think if we don’t know how to do something in less than a minute, we’re not good at it and we should immediately quit. Stick with it.”
“Tip #2 - It’s okay to make mistakes. We live in a perfectionist world and think that nothing can have mistakes in it. Guess what, when you’re knitting, mistakes will happen. However, the beauty of making mistakes is that they help you understand the construction of the stitches and how to avoid making those same mistakes in the future.”
After Over Two Years Of Knitting, The Only Thing Left To Is Block My Persian Dreams!
Quarantine Blanket Completed! Excited For How It Turned Out
So Proud Of My Mom And Her Designs. “I Found My Art During The Pandemic” She Says
“Tip #3 - Relax. If you’re learning to knit and you notice your stitches are getting so tight you can barely knit the next stitch, you’re either stressed or knitting too tightly or both. Your knitting should be able to glide smoothly across the needles so that you can easily knit the next row of stitches.”
“Tip #4 - Enjoy the process. When you learn to knit, you’ve given yourself the gift of a hobby you can do for the rest of your life.”
“Tip #5 - Have fun. Many people get into knitting and think they have to conquer everything there is to know about it. They look to see what others are making and try to one-up each other. But you know what? Knitting is not a competition. It’s a hobby meant to be enjoyed.”