crafts should be an enjoyable experience. Pitfalls abound but many
of them are our own doing. I hope these suggestions will help you
avoid feeling overwhelmed or disheartened as you explore the world
of knitting and crochet.
1. Don't be afraid to try new things.
You've never knit with circulars? Thousands, if not millions, of
people have done it. How hard can it be? You won't learn a new
skill unless you give it a go. Try out the new skill and you'd be
surprised how many skills come naturally to you. Need extra help?
Check out LionBrand.com's Learning Center or YouTube for videos.
2. Break it down.
If you're working a series of instructions [such as this bobble:
Knit into front, back and front of next st, turn and k3, turn and
p3, turn and k3, turn and Sl1, k2tog, psso] you don't understand,
try it step by step without thinking ahead. It's easy to get
overwhelmed by only seeing the entire sequence. By looking at it
in steps, it's easier to break down.
3. Knit or crochet with a yarn you love.
If you're finding a texture cumbersome or that the yarn is rough
on your hands (doesn't slide, feels like plastic...whatever the
case may be), perhaps it's not the right yarn for you (or this
particular stitch pattern). Pick a smooth yarn for more complex
stitch patterns and use a simpler stitch when using more textured
yarns. Finding the right pairing will make your project more
4. If you're frustrated, walk away.
Come back to it the next day. It's amazing how often you will then
see something you previously found puzzling with clarity.
5. Read the entire pattern before you begin in order to get an
overall sense of how it works.
This will help you understand for example, that the pattern is
worked from side to side and not bottom up. Remember though that
sometimes you'll read an instruction that may not make sense until
you're actually working that portion of the pattern. Don't let it
stymie you before you even begin.
6. When you get through a project (or even if you only
finished part of it) and decide you want to rip it out, it's NOT
a waste of time.
What have you learned from your experience? Was it the wrong size?
(Did your gauge go awry?) Did your stitch definition get lost?
(Hmmm, the pattern used a cotton yarn but you switched to
boucle...) Was the color scheme all wrong?
It's like that old saying goes: Live and learn!
Editor's Note: For more tips on knitting & crochet, visit
our blog, the Lion Brand
Notebook or get a copy of our helpful e-book, Secret
Stash: Helpful Tips for Yarn Lovers.