I first tried to teach myself to knit when I was 15. Those first attempts were a bit of a joke, to be honest. My first scarf ended up looking like an elongated cone and I never did finish that first sweater. I set aside my needles in frustration.
It was ten years later, after a work injury and the dawn of the internet, that a physical therapist suggested I pick up something that would help flex my hands and keep the healing skin from getting stiff. One of the suggestions she had was to knit. I was itching to try it again, so I asked if she had any suggestions. She recommended the first site on my list below… and so began an obsession.
It’s quite amazing how much the internet has to offer for those looking to learn or enhance their skills in just about anything. It can get a bit overwhelming, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite sites to help new knitters. Many of these sites will be something you will continue to use even after your skills blossom.
KnittingHelp.com is that friend who knits and can patiently show you how to do the steps. The have detailed diagrams, photos, and videos of how to do all of the basic knitting stitches. One of my favorite things is their diagram of increases and decreases. It goes beyond just showing you how to individually do each type of stitch and actually shows you a comparison of the stitches on a swatch. I still go back to this site when I need to learn an unfamiliar abbreviation or refresh myself on a decrease I don’t use often. The message boards are also a friendly resource for those who have more specific questions or just like to chat.
There are a lot of knitting magazines out there, but this web-based mag is my personal favorite. Knitty works with independent designers and showcase only the most stylish and unique designs. Some of my most favorite sock patterns come from here. I still knit up Monkey Socks at least once a year.
Knitting Pattern Central
Now that you’ve enhanced those knitting skills, you need something to knit. Knitting Pattern Central‘s database is a massive collection of just about any free pattern you can think of. It’s a bit hit or miss because there are no pictures, but they have so much that it is worth looking through.
No list on great knitting resources would be complete without mentioning Ravelry. This site is just pure amazing! They have searchable (and sortable) databases of patterns, yarns, magazines, and books for crocheters, knitters, and other needlecrafts. Most of these have pictures, so you can see what the items look like. You can also sort by free and paid. My favorite feature here is the ability to see other members’ completed projects. Seeing a pattern completed in multiple ways truly gives you an idea of how a pattern will look when completed. Many members also give tips, talk about errors they came across, or offer modifications. They also have a massive collection of specialized groups including knit-alongs and local gatherings. This still remains my favorite knitting resource.
Lion Brand Stitch Finder
If you’re feeling brave and want to try your hand at designing your own pattern… or spruce up an existing pattern… it’s nice to have a place to explore different stitches. From the basic to the elaborate, the Lion Brand Stitch Finder is like the Ravelry of stitches. It’s just plain inspirational!
Now that you have the skills and the patterns, you’re going to need something to knit with! If you’ve visited my project posts, you’ve probably noticed that I use KnitPicks yarns a LOT. Their yarns are budget friendly without being budget quality. I can find gorgeous superwash wool for sock, soft cottons and linens for dischloths, and chunky yarns for fun hats and all at a price lower than comparable yarns. I use their stunning interchangeable wooden needles or nickel double-point needles every time I knit. They also offer great free patterns and budget-friendly paid patterns.
I hope I have inspired you to explore the world of knitting a bit more. If you ever have any specific questions, I will do my best to answer them.
Hey knitters, do you have any favorite sites to recommend?