Beginner knitter struggles happen to us all. But here’s something I noticed when teaching people to knit. Some people can figure it out – easy peasy lemon squeezy. These magical people just seem to not struggle AT ALL with holding needles, yarn, or figuring out how to knit row after row after row. These are not my people. And don’t get me wrong, I love these people. Possibly, in the darkest corner of my knitting heart, I envy these people. But they are just not my people. Other new knitters? We struggle – where my people at?
Over here y’all! This is where you struggling new knitters can find community with other knitters who STRUGGLE. If you’ve seen my blog posts, or listened to any of my training videos for new knitters, then you already know. Learning to knit for me was a struggle.
But you know how that butterfly struggles against the cocoon? And then it helps the butterfly gain strength to fly? If it had it easy, it was just like – poof – “I’m a butterfly” Like that’d be cool, right?
What’s so incredible though, IS the process. First it builds the cocoon, then it stays in there and finally the struggle to free itself. That process gives the butterfly wings strength. And when it finally comes out – WOW! We are appreciating not only the incredible beauty of that butterfly as it flies away. We remember that struggle. It makes it so much more incredible that this little butterfly did not give up. It struggled and struggled building the strength it would need.
So, that’s how I feel about my knitting journey. When I knit something fantastic – I just look at my own project. I’ll admit it. I look at my own project and say “WOW! I just knit this thing!”
Because, yes, the object is beautiful. But every time I knit something beautiful, I remember my beginner knitter struggle. And the fact that I overcame that struggle, and can now knit beautiful things. Wow – that’s the feels we want right there.
That’s what I want for you too! If you want to knit, but it is too hard, or you feel like you are all thumbs, or you just can’t seem to get it right. Gurl, you are in the right place. Because right here with me, we are going to figure it out together.
Teaching myself to knit or my intro to beginner knitter struggles
I know we all hate it when people repeat themselves, so bear with me for anyone who doesn’t know my knitting journey. But yeah, I had a “learn to knit” book that came with a pair of needles, and my husband got me some cheap acrylic yarn.
It was a nightmare.
I could NOT figure it out. Not even a little.
I read the book. None of it made sense to me. I felt like I was waving my needles around in the air hoping for magic. And between us, that’s exactly what I was doing. Surprise, surprise – it didn’t work.
So, I turned to YouTube video tutorials. I watched so many tutorial videos! Every time I thought I had it, I was wrong. And even if I managed to get a couple stitches on my needles – they’d unravel.
I felt helpless, hopeless, and stupid.
Next, I went down a rabbit hole of yarn wrapping. Left hand, right hand, around the neck. Dude – seriously? There are soooo many ways you can hold the yarn. It was too much for me.
“Look,” I said to myself, “I’m a smart gal. I can figure this out.” And this is when everything changed. I had my needles, I had my yarn, and I looked at photos and watched videos.
But this time, instead of being distracted by how the yarn was wrapped, or which hand was holding the yarn, I just watched the knitting needles and the yarn.
Here’s what I learned: it kind of doesn’t matter how you wrap the yarn or which hand holds the working yarn. What matters is that the knitting needles are inserted correctly and the yarn is wrapping the right way. It’s truly much more simple than it appears.
Teaching others to knit and conquer beginner knitter struggles
How could I possibly keep this secret to myself? I could not. You guys! I HAD to share it! When I thought of how frustrated I felt before, and how happy knitting made me now that I could do it. Well, I’m not that selfish – I had to share and encourage other struggling knitters.
You CAN do it!
So, I started teaching others to knit. And what I quickly realized is that my suspicions were correct. So, there are two basic beginner knitter categories. Number 1: those who immediately can begin knitting, and number 2: those who can not learn to knit without some major help.
I want to take this moment, to talk to the category of knitter who just can not figure it out. Listen, it’s ok. You are smart. You can do this. It is muscle memory, like legit. And if you want to be a knitter, don’t give up because it’s hard. Stop looking at that crazy person who can knit a sweater right out of the gate. Come over here where we knit small squares and rectangles. Because you know what? You will be knitting those sweaters too. I promise.
Now that my suspicions were confirmed, I had to act. Because I don’t want people to give up on learning to knit. I don’t. You see, learning to knit has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It is a creative outlet that allows me to make amazing things for myself and those I love.
Knitting is the best.
Introducing the Beginner Knitter Finger Flex Challenge!
So, I created the Beginner Knitter Finger Flex Challenge. This is a five day challenge to help you get comfortable and confident with your knitting needles and yarn before you even start trying to knit.
Look, have you ever tried to eat with chopsticks? Most of us can’t do it right away. We need some lessons. We drop food. It’s kind of a mess. But it’s ok, because the more you eat with the chopsticks – the better you get.
Holding two knitting needles, yarn, plus moving the needles and the yarn may feel like more than your brain, arms, hands and fingers can handle all at once. My solution: don’t do it all at once. Let’s ease in. We don’t have to go mountain biking when we first learn to ride a bike. And we don’t need to knit a sweater as our first knit.
Just imagine if when you start to learn to knit you don’t feel awkward holding those needles or yarn. Then, imagine what it would feel like if you felt comfortable maneuvering yarn and holding knitting needles.
Just you learning how to hold your tools and move them a bit and feeling comfortable, maybe even confident. (I hate to say this next sentence because EVERYONE says this but… ) It’s a game changer! (Sorry, is there another phrase we could use? I don’t know.)
Here’s what the 5-day Beginner Knitter Finger Flex Challenge look like:
Did I mention the Beginner Knitter Finger Flex Challenge is FREE?!?!
That’s right! It’s absolutely free. So when you are ready to join the challenge, you can just select your preferred way to participate.
Practice, pictures, comments, encouragement and fun – yeah – Live is definitely the way to go.
I’m so happy right now to tell you that the next LIVE session of the Beginner Knitter Finger Flex Challenge will be October 16-20 of 2023. Be sure to join my email list so that you will be notified when the date is set!
Day 1 Taming Tension
Look, tension is something you will be working on throughout your knit journey. And truth be told between you and me, for me tension is dependent on the yarn and my skin’s moisture levels. Yes, I’m weird, I notice these things, but it’s just the way it is for me.
So, we’re not actually going to learn how to tame tension. But we are going to dip our feet into the tension-taming waters. And begin to learn what tension is and what it feels like when the yarn is going through our fingers at an even and consistent tension.
Day 2 Slipknot Savvy
Learning to make a slipknot is a really great way to start feeling comfortable with working your yarn. I like to spend a lot of time just making slipknots. Your fingers are getting used to grabbing the yarn, moving it around where it needs to be.
Best. Of. All. It gets your brain to get over the crazy fear of “messing up” if you move the yarn weird. Like, you didn’t mess up. You can still make a slipknot. And once your brain gets that message, when you’re knitting and the yarn does something crazy, you won’t freak out. Honestly, it makes a big difference if you aren’t afraid of the yarn.
Day 3 Learn the Terms
With any new hobby or activity, whatever, there is always a bit of lingo you need to learn. Because if you are watching a video of someone knitting on YouTube, or whatever, and they start saying all these words it can be SO overwhelming.
You’re just trying to keep up with the movements, all these words and your brain may feel like exploding. To keep your brain from exploding, we are going to learn some basic terms to help you on your knit journey. We won’t over do it. I promise there’s plenty of time for you to learn more knitting terms as you move forward.
Day 4 Embrace Your Needles and Get Knitwise!
We are finally going to pick up our knitting needles! This is exciting, and we are just going to place the slipknot on a knitting needle and practice holding them. This may seem silly, but it’s not. Giving your hands and fingers one job to do like hold your knitting needles and just relax is HUGE.
Once we feel good holding our knitting needles, we’re going to start practicing inserting our left hand needle into the slipknot on our right hand needle knitwise. First, we won’t even insert – we’ll just practice the movement. Next, we’ll actually insert.
Day 5 Achievement Unlocked: Feeling Comfortable (maybe confident?)
This is the day we practice everything we learned, and add a baby step. This last step is what is going to push you over into “I’m ready to knit!!!” But don’t get too hasty. If I’ve taught you anything in this 5-day challenge, it’s to go slow. Be OK with going slow.
Learning to knit is not a race, don’t compare yourself to some amazing person who is knitting up a sweater. That’s their journey, yours is different. Mine was different. The end result is the same, the person who knit for the first time and knit a sweater and I can knit all of the same things. It may have taken me longer to get that first sweater done, but it’s done!
Does the challenge overcome all beginner knitter struggles?
No. I wish it did, but it doesn’t. You will still have some more beginner knitter struggles. Just remember that butterfly. When you struggle and learn, you will emerge a beautiful knitting butterfly! How cool would that be? Knit up your cocoon!
Need more info about Beginner Knitter Finger Flex Challenge?
Oh and I’m still here for you. I do have some other courses, and a Learn to Knit Resource Kit that you can use to help you learn to knit. But first – take the Beginner Knitter Finger Flex Challenge! A video version is available all the time online, just click the button above. If you want to join the LIVE version, the next date will be in October 16-20, 2023.
What is your biggest beginner knitter struggle? How did you overcome it? Leave me a message in the comments.
Need more beginner knitter resources? Check out some of my more popular posts for beginners!
Everything you need to learn and get!
How to Learn Knitting for Beginners
What is Knit Gauge?
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