Have you been asked about resources for beginner knitters since lockdown? This episode contains a compilation of my favourites, assembled with ease of understanding and learning in mind. They cover a range of abilities, from starting to knit through to more advanced techniques.
Resources For Beginner Knitters
Staying home has encouraged a wave of new and returning knitters. After receiving many knit-related requests over the past 6 or so weeks, this episode is a compilation of my favourite ones. Finding good resources, particularly free ones, can be a bit tricky. I’m also massively fussy about certain things that probably don’t bother other people, and find these massively distracting when trying to learn a new technique.
Pet Peeves With Beginner Knitting Resources
Of course, I’m grateful for freebie knitting videos and resources on the internet. People have taken time to make them and share them for free. The problem with free, a lot of the time, is that the quality isn’t necessarily that high, and this can lead to frustrating a learner, rather than helping them.
My biggest bugbear with knitting videos is instructors moving too quickly. This can be very off-putting and results in needing to rewind videos multiple times to get the gist of what is going on. Likewise, it is hard to follow videos where there is low contrast between the yarn, needles and background, or where the camera is insufficiently zoomed to see clearly. Additionally, there is a tendency to speak quickly, which also makes it hard to follow. As such, the resources selected have avoided these problems.
As an audiophile, I personally cringe at mouth sounds and the big swallowing noises that come with using lapel mics too close to the throat. I literally cannot listen to videos with this. So, there are none in this list. If this doesn’t bother you the way it does me, there are more options out there for you to consider.
There is a strong focus on video for this round-up. This is because I do find it tricky to follow photo tutorials. Often, these skip on too quickly with the images, and I end up lost. So, I’ve mostly avoided these, with the exception of one clever tutorial at the end.
My Top Five Video and Book Resources for Beginner Knitters
1) Sheep and Stitch
Sheep and Stitch by Davinia (I’m not able to find her surname anywhere!) This is a great resource with lots of tutorials and knitting patterns. I particularly like the way Davinia uses animated graphics, sound effects and title screens to break up the information and keep the viewer’s attention. The light background music is pleasant and adds a professional feel to the videos.
2) Very Pink Knits
I learned to knit cuff-down socks using a Very Pink Knits video tutorial, so Stacy Perry of VeryPink.com is one of my favourites. She had literally hundreds of videos available on YouTube. Some of the older ones are showing their age a little now, but would have been pretty amazing when they were released several years ago. The newer ones are really high quality and cover a wide range of techniques and subjects.
There are some full project walkthrough videos which I think are a great approach. Along with socks, there are projects for sweaters, mittens, hats etc as well. There are also some review videos on there for various tools, which might be of interest.
This is an older resource that, sadly, hasn’t been updated recently. It’s great quality, especially considering it is already a few years old, so at the time, it would have been pretty high end. Lots of great signposting in the videos and nice and clear instruction. There are a number of free patterns available on the blog, which is a nice bonus.
4) Knitty Gritty by Aneeta Patel
This was the book I used when I first came back to knitting, after a long break, back in 2010. It’s a good size for keeping in your knitting bag, and explains all the techniques well. Patterns working from the simple up to the more complex scaffold the learning experience. I still refer to this book from time to time and recommend it for beginners.
5) Knitting 101 – Knitting For Beginners at Paradise Fibers
This writer tutorial from Paradise Fibres is probably the best I have found. This is because instead of using diagrams or still images for the tutorial, it uses little mini gifs, which repeat automatically, and are cleverly kept very short. Just demonstrating the action talked about in that step makes it really easy to ‘get it’ without having to constantly rewind videos.
These are my top resources – what are yours? I’d love to hear! If you have any to recommend, drop a link in the comments section.
Thanks so much for listening!
Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with ‘I Need a Drink’ – available on iTunes.