Sunday, 4 November 2012



"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 
"What! You too? I thought I was the only one."

Describe knitting. What makes knitting so pleasurable? Apart from some needles clicking furiously together (making ‘those’ wish you would spend more time reading), knitting is creating.

I first fell in love with knitting while watching Caroline, one of the Middles (the now Married One), tackle a school, knitting project, which eventually was to became a bag. I remember the concentration behind those eyes, making each stitch was one step closer to having a finished piece. What could be more satisfying than creating pure art, using your hands and sheer will, to sculpt yarn into a body of work. The outcome so often is not the prize but the act itself, taking you away from the worries of the day, through the repetitive mantra of ‘knit one, purl one…’

For those just dipping their toes in, the journey ahead should be sweet. Find a spot in your home, the park, up a tree, wherever you can make your own. Settle down, having not the end in mind, but the moment. Comfort and good lighting are as important as your yarns and needles. Try doing a tension swatch before beginning your project. A swatch is a sample piece of knitting allowing you to gauge your tension in comparison to that recommended by the pattern. The swatch should be blocked (pressing the piece with steam from your iron, while not putting the iron directly on the piece). Take a measurement, 10cm x 10cm, counting the number of stitches and rows within this range. You should aim to match the tension square stated in your pattern to achieve the best results. It is also helpful to knit a sample swatch if starting a new stitch that has not been tackled before. I would even recommend practicing more difficult stitches on scrap yarn (cheap acrylic would be fine). Mistakes will be made at the beginning of every new project, so keep in mind, if you think you haven’t hit a few glitches, check your work!

Don’t be tempted to buy lots of knitting equipment at the start. You won’t use a fraction of what is being sold to you. Pick small, quick projects that will allow you to see results relatively quickly. Above all, enjoy what you are doing, no matter how badly you believe you are doing it. You should try to keep all your starter projects and swatches as keepsakes and for a good a laugh when you need one.

Last but not least, join a knit group. If there isn’t one locally, start your own. Get some friends together or advertise for an open knit group. Local businesses such as cafes, pubs, libraries, should welcome you with open arms as nothing gets the atmosphere going like banded creativity. Group knitting is a fantastic way to share information, teach, learn, swap wool and above all, make some great new friends.

Now, tell me, why do You love Knitting?

Check out ‘KnitWits’ group on Facebook!


  1. Ah I was waiting for a story from Fairy Lawn for an auld trip now nostalgia lane. Love the little knitted figures!

  2. Some good advice, beautifully written. welcome to the blogsphere, Isobel