Needles at the ready! Knitting tips for beginners from the knitwear specialists

In recent years, knitting has gone from being granny’s number one pastime to a bona fide hipster favourite. To call this an unlikely renaissance would be something of an understatement, but its sudden rise in popularity is something not to be dismissed!

With an entire community of knitting fanatics across Britain, it’s no surprise that this crafty activity has an endless list of likeable characteristics. A hobby which many find relaxing and therapeutic, the idea of creating something new and unique with your very own two hands has bundles of appeal.

At The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, we’ve been passionate about sophisticated, stylish knitwear for decades – regardless of what the arbiters of cool had to say about it! Here, we’ll take a look at how knitting came back into fashion, as well as offer some top tips for anyone looking to take up this leisure activity.

Hipster knitting: When did it become cool?

Knitwear itself has never gone out of fashion, and with good reason – it remains a byword for timeless style and enduring quality. So, just what is it that so many young and trend-conscious people see in knitting it?

For a start, it’s the joy of expression – knitting is a great way to let your own natural creativity run wild and to test yourself with more complex projects every time. With the freedom to create all sorts of practical and quirky new garments and accessories to suit your own distinctive design tastes, the possibilities are almost endless.

 A classic, textured jumper has a timeless appeal and is the perfect project to take your knitting skills to the next level.

Knitting may be good for the soul, but it also has certain health benefits, particularly with regards to mental health. According to a study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 47% of respondents said they felt that knitting helped them to think their problems through.

What’s more, there’s also a thriving online community of young bloggers and vloggers eager to share their creations along with their tips and suggestions, which has all helped to create a vibrant knitting subculture.

Top knitting tips for beginners

If you’re tempted by the idea of taking up knitting for yourself, you might be a bit bewildered about where to start. Here are some simple pointers we’d suggest bearing in mind:

Try not be too ambitious, too soon

Learning to knit is tricky and it takes a lot of patience – as well as, inevitably, a lot of yarn! Keep it simple and straightforward while you’re still learning the ropes (or threads) and stick to cheap yarn when you’re first getting to grips with the basics as you’ll be going through plenty of it. Take as much time as you need to work out what techniques and supplies work best for you.

Take a break if you have to!

Even the most seasoned knitter can find things a bit frustrating at times; sometimes your hands just aren’t as nimble as you need them to be! That’s nothing to worry about, though. If you find yourself in this situation, try taking a step back and do something else for a while before getting back on the horse and giving it another go.

Get to know the wider knitting community

Chunky-knit cardigans are invaluable in the winter months, so why not make your own?

As we’ve mentioned, there’s a whole community of knitting enthusiasts (of all ages) who can be found online with just a few clicks. They’re bursting with great ideas and handy suggestions to help you improve your skills and devise fun new creations – why not take a look at some of the various knitting blogs and YouTube channels for inspiration too? Alternatively, you could even set up your own blog or YouTube channel to document your journey and provide yourself with more of an incentive to stick at it.

Consider participating in a knitting group

There are various knitting groups out there which cater to people of different levels of expertise and these can be a great way to meet all sorts of interesting new people. Of course, some people are more comfortable knitting by themselves, but you may benefit from the help and guidance of like-minded people, especially when you’re getting started.

Be prepared for trial and error

Unless you’re a natural knitting whiz kid, there’s plenty of trial and error involved when you’re first taking up this pastime. Not everything you turn your hand to will turn out quite as you’d hoped, but that’s all part of the fun of it.

It may take a while to grasp the basics, but once you get those needles clicking away, we bet you won’t want to stop – happy knitting!

We hope our knitting tips for beginners give you the boost you need to give this fascinating hobby a try, but if it doesn’t quite go to plan, we have an outstanding range of stylish, high-quality knitwear right here at The Edinburgh Woollen Mill.