Knitting For Beginners Part Two
Have you ever received free yarn from your mum, granny or friends who finished their crafts and handed the leftovers to you? We LOVE yarn and this is exactly how you can start little projects without spending too much money.
When I came to England to stay with my boyfriend (now husband and best friend!), his mother generously gave me all her scrap yarn and spare knitting needles that she didn’t need. I made little baby hats, cardigans and cute booties for our newly born niece. I also raised money for my local charity shop by knitting egg and tea pot cosies. They were small projects but when I started to see the impact of what I could do, I felt magnificent! I simply could not stop making stuff! I had always knitted but not with great love, or the right tools or deep knowledge of it. You can start your journey like that too. Not only for yourself, but you can please somebody with your tiny little creation! If you need help getting started, look no further.
First of all, have a look at the label of your yarn. It will contain helpful information, such as its thickness (ex: 4 ply, DK), the fibre, its weight, the type of knitting needles they recommend using as well as washing instructions etc. This will make finding the right project for your yarn easier.
If you don’t have the label, simply take the yarn to your local yarn shop. They are the experts and will give you the right advice for the type of yarn you have. Plus, don’t forget to ask them to find a pattern for you, especially a super easy one!
Now, go to any website such as Lovecraft.com and search for a pattern with your yarn thickness. They will show you endless results in particular yarn thickness and you can search by type of projects too, for example hat, baby cardigan, scarf etc.
Let’s have a quick look at different types of yarn and how they can suit particular types of projects. Don’t worry, I won’t give you dictionary knowledge, just some basic stuff for you to read in your lunch break!
Lace yarn (or 2ply) – This is one of the lightest weight yarns to make perfect lacey shawls or wraps. It is normally very fine for delicate knits and made with luxurious fibres such as cashmere, silk, mohair or alpaca…...so it’s an expensive one and easily broken if you pull hard! Best to knit it with some thicker knitting needles to make holey lace. Never say never but it could be quite a challenge for a beginner!
4ply – 4ply is made with 4 strands of thinner yarn that have been twisted together to produce it. It is normally known as “socks yarn” as it is perfect for knitting socks, but it also works beautifully for babies and kids wear. It is quite strong compared to 2 ply and easy to get cheaply and in a range of colours.
Sports – This is a new weight of yarn for UK knitters as it is more common to American patterns. It is slightly thicker than 4ply but thinner than DK (8ply). Some people call sports yarn 6ply. Many designer wools come in sports weight in beautiful shades and fibres. One of my favourites is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn.
DK (8 ply) – For me, this is the most common and basic knitting yarn. It is an abbreviation for “Double Knitting”. As the name implies, it is made with two 4ply strands of yarn, which makes it 8 strands in total, twisted together to make one strand. Nearly any kind of project is suitable for DK and the limit is endless! You can make so many things including little baby blankets by knitting granny squares with all your left over scrap yarn in DK and patch them together. It has the most variety ranges of colour shades, fibre and price so you can easily add more complementary yarns to finish your project if you wish.
Worsted / Aran – This yarn is slightly thicker than DK. I personally would recommend beginners starting with Worsted / Aran thickness or even thicker, as it will be finished in such a short time. Finished items knitted with Worsted/Aran yarn have a slight bouncy texture which makes it perfect for knitting adult/kids knitwear or accessories.
Chunky – Now tell me, who doesn’t like the word CHUNKY? Chunky chips, chunky chocolate bars, chunky knitted jumper! This is one yarn that is very popular for making cosy and cuddly big projects. However, the yarn thickness can vary by brand and fibre, so you won’t see a standard thickness. Recommended for beginners making simple and stylish scarfs, cowls or even cushion covers! Stephanie Lau has a great pattern how to make a chunky knitted jumper. Why don’t you make one for this cosy winter?
Super Chunky – This is my favourite range. SUPER CHUNKY!! They require huge needles or none at all, because you must knit them with your ARMS! My favourite one is Hoooked Zpagetti Solid yarns or Woolly Mahoosive Mammoth yarns. Hoooked Zpagetti is recycled T-shirt yarn made with remnant fabric from fashion factories in Europe. Upcycled and recycled are the hot keywords nowadays and in the knitting industry too! You can make sturdy home decorations, summer bag or knitted necklaces. Mammoth yarn is a gorgeous extreme chunky yarn from which you can make arm knitted blankets in no time! Perfect for the beginner to try out a new skill and make beautiful home accessories too. Once again, their thicknesses can vary slightly by brand. I am not sponsored by any of the brands!
I hope you find the right project for your yarn and have great fun to knitting! See you next knit time!
If you have any questions or want to check out where my knitting journey has taken me, please join me on Facebook or tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see a picture of your first project!
Article By: Jamie Simpson