Some people say that the best gifts are those that come from the heart. And they would be right! But let’s face it; a lot of us would want to receive something tangible; something we can see in the more physical sense. You think it’s impossible? Well, think again.
Knitting is a technique practiced over centuries of turning mere yarns and various threads into useful garments. Giving personally knitted garments may be the BEST gift you could ever give to someone. At least, this way, they would know for sure that it is made especially for them – intended for their size and their color preference. There just is no better gift!
Knitting is sometimes associated with crocheting but in reality and methods utilized, they are entirely different. Knitting uses multiple active stitches at once while crochet only uses one. Knitting can be done both manually (by hand) or with the aid of a machine. However, manual knitting is most times preferred because it takes advantage of innumerable designs and styles. The craft of knitting also makes use of numerous knitting tools to make the process easier and smoother. Here are four of them:
- Knitting Patterns. For beginners, a pattern may just be the most important knitting tool to help them get started. Choose patterns that are equivalent to your level of expertise. I prefer written directions to charts. The latter can be very confusing, especially if you are new to knitting. Most often, you can find patterns online. Check out Ravelry or Knitting Pattern Central. Choose simple stitch designs; coupled with the right color yarn, you can’t go wrong. Classic, elegant designs are always a winner!
- Knitting Needles. Knitting patterns often dictate which size knitting needle is to be used. However, it is still best to keep spare larger or smaller needle sizes just in case you may need to make the stitches tighter or looser. Common types of needles are made out of metal, bamboo, and wood. Needles are also either straight or circular. I prefer knitting on straight needles.
- Yarn. Yarn comes in a wide array of choices in all sizes and colors. It will still be appropriate to follow what’s on your pattern but experimenting with color and texture would be very unique. Remember to ALWAYS purchase enough yarn
of the same dye lot. You’ll find that information on the knitting label; usually it’s a series of long numbers.
- Scissors. Always keep a pair of scissors handy. It is one of the most essential knitting tools and is also used for all sewing activities.
These are the basic knitting tools that you will need to get you started. As you accumulate knitting projects, your knitting tools will also increase. I have a bagful of knitting needles of all sizes. Who doesn’t have a “stash” of yarn stuffed into their closet?
So do yourself a favor and gather your knitting tools together before you ever cast on a stitch. This way you’ll have everything you need at arm’s length.
As always, take your knitting to heart!