Let's Chat!: What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self as a Beginner Knitter?

The Let’s Chat series is a thread on my Ravelry forum where a new conversation topic related to knitting is posted every week. Participants in the threads are entered into a monthly giveaway where they can win either one of my patterns, yarn in my stash or receive a surprise package filled with goodies from Japan!

This week's topic comes from my amazing moderator! She asks: What piece of advice would you give your younger self as a beginner knitter?

The FO in the image above comes from my first garment project (about five months into when I first started knitting) - and additionally this was my first commissioned piece. While the FO came out nicely and the recipient was happy with the result, there was one thing I should have done while knitting this: do a gauge swatch. My final gauge was off just so slightly so the resulting piece was an inch or so shorted than what it should have been. I thought blocking it aggressively could fix that, but now, I know so much better. I keep the aggressive blocking for my shawls and the regular "wash and lay flat" treatment for my garment pieces.

So the piece of advice I would have given my younger self: save time and do a gauge swatch!

What about you? What advice would you have given to yourself? Join in on the conversation here!


Last week I asked: What makes an interesting knit? Here are some of the responses from some lovely Ravelry members!

From nakamili

An interesting knit for me is one in which I get to learn a new technique. Mostly to do with the shaping of the garment. Things like short rows, raglan increasing or decreasing or a new kind of heel shaping that I haven’t used before.
I think that I like variety that comes with knitting 2-3 projects at a time. I love having a mindless knit that I can work on when I’m knitting with others or taking a project on the go. I do like a challenge though, so something that makes me think, but not so hard it drives me nuts trying to figure it out. I, too, like textures, but I find doing (yo k2tog) over and over trips me up on endless shawl rows. For some reason I must check out and forget one or two yarn overs! if I’ve been knitting on a big project, I’ll choose something small, like a hat or tea coaster to give myself a break. I’m drawn to patterns using fingering, Sport or Dk since I like to wear lighter weight projects most of the time where I live. I tend to stay away from lace as I worry it will snag and ruin all my hard work!

Rudipatoodee, I gotta agree with you about the lace yarn! It's a pain to fix mistakes in that!

From aersknits

I like mostly single-color patterns, with texture or stockinette stitch with an interesting break of pattern with lace or texture - like a lot of others have been writing about!

Looking at my recent projects on Ravelry, I see that I like using worsted weight yarn with projects that have short repeats of texture (easy to memorize!). Also, I really like cables. My Bloomsbury, Romantic TML, and my Sister Shalom Cardigan all have stockinette stitch with just a bit of some interesting texture. I’ve made four of my Mal Cowls, and four Man Hats!! (They have similar, easy texture.) I REALLY liked knitting my Blanca Cable Sweater, even though I made a terrible mistake and had to rip out a lot to fix it. But, I don’t think I have been as motivated for a while since I finished that sweater, since I enjoyed it so much.

Finally, I also enjoy nice construction and finishing details, such as in a sock or sweater. In socks, I really like Cookie A’s designs. In sweaters, I like raglans and saddle shoulders that are pullovers - with texture. (hint hint here’s some designing ideas!) ;)

(Hint taken, aersknits!)

I noticed that the majority of answers were along the lines of: alternating textures and simple lace. I'm taking note of this for future designs!