YarnCraft Blog Tour: Interview and Lion Brand Yarn Giveaway!

Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 in Crocheting, Fiber Arts and Felting, Knitting | Comments


REMEMBER: To win today’s contest, you must be a Craftsy member (it’s free and easy to join!)

YarnCraft, Lion Brand’s audio-podcast, will air its 100th episode on September 13th.  To celebrate, the hosts are on a blog tour, and today is our stop.

Since launching in 2007, YarnCraft (iTunes link) covered all kinds of yarncrafting topics, from tips to running an Etsy business to dyeing your own yarns. In that time, we’ve also interviewed guests from knitting humorist Stephanie Pearl-McPhee to authors Sue Grafton and Kate Jacobs, celebrities like Vanna White, and knit/crochet bigwigs like Lily Chin, Nicky Epstein, Vickie Howell, (and even me! Here’s my interview.)

Liz and Zontee, the hosts of YarnCraft,  are both yarncrafters passionate about knitting, crocheting, and yarn–crafting wherever they are. Liz is the director of yarn development for Lion Brand. She’s appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and has a degree in design from Parsons The New School for Design. Zontee is the editor of Lion Brand’s three weekly e-newsletters, the official Lion Brand blog (the Lion Brand Notebook), and the YarnCraft podcast. She was also the host of the knit-alongs on Knitting Daily TV, series 500.

If you follow the Craftsy blog, you know that we are finishing up our Holden Knit-Along. I’m planning to host a Crochet-Along next, and am a total crochet newbie.  Needless to say, I had a few questions for Liz and Zontee, the YarnCraft hosts:

Me: What advice would you give someone just starting to crochet? 

Liz: Experiment with different crochet hook handles and ways of holding the yarn until you find one that is comfortable for you for extended crafting time.

Zontee: That’s right; everyone is different in terms of how they distribute weight, so different ways of holding the handle and yarn may be more or less  comfortable for you.

Liz: A few more: Use a bigger hook to keep your tension loose, as crochet tends to be denser than knitting when using the same yarn. When working flat, count your stitches after every row at first, because it is very easy to inadvertently make an increase or decrease. Make your foundation-chain ridiculously, comically loose at first—it will make it much easier to work into the chain.

Zontee: Yes, most beginners have a tendency of thinking the stitches should be kept tight in order to be neat, but just like with knitting, it makes it much harder to work into them in the next row!

Me: Do I need to start basic and gradually ramp up to more difficult projects, or should I just jump right in? 

Liz: I think it’s good to experiment with the basic stitches and one or two flat projects before jumping into motifs, granny squares, working in the round, etc. But if you do some swatches and practice single, half-double, and triple crochet, there is no reason your first project can’t have a creative stitch pattern or basic shaping.

Zontee: Personally, I think it’s great to look at any kind of yarncrafting project as a challenge that can teach you something. I love encouraging people to take on projects that push their skills and force them to practice new ones, so if you want to learn to crochet an oval, make a tube, or do crochet intarsia, there’s no time like the present!

Me: Which techniques do I absolutely need to know first?

Liz: Slip knot, chaining, single, half-double, and triple crochet, increasing, and decreasing.

Zontee: I also think it’s important to learn how to recognize each of the stitches by looking at them. This is true for both knitting & crochet, but being able to “read” the stitches will allow you to fix your mistakes, improvise a design, and more.

 Me: Are there yarns that just work better for crochet, or can I use my regular-old knitting yarns?

Liz: If you can knit with it, you can crochet with it! That said, it is best to make your first through projects with ‘classic’ yarns (roving, two-ply, three-ply, etc) so you can most easily see the stitches. Once you have a little more practice at knowing where to stick your hook, you can move on to fancier textured and eyelash yarns. For those of you who may have laceweight yarn in your stashes that you never seem to use up, many people find themselves preferring to crochet (rather than knit) with these very fine yarns, as crocheting tends to be much faster than knitting.

_____

The Giveaway:

Zontee and Liz are giving away 3 balls of Lion’s new Vanna’s Colors Yarn (and the winner can choose the color!)

You bring the creativity, and Vanna’s Colors will do the rest. This silky-soft premium acrylic features a unique painterly effect that creates subtle, sophisticated color changes. Its bulky weight makes it a breeze to create fast-finish afghans, home décor, and accessories.

To win, simply be a Craftsy member (it’s free and easy to join!) comment below, telling us whether you knit, crochet, or both, and what beginner tips you’ve found to be the most valuable!

 

 

Comments

  1. Angie S. says:

    I mostly knit, but I learned to crochet first. Occasionally I will do a crocheted project, but my passion is knitting.

  2. Helby says:

    I love Vanna’s yarn! I use it pretty often when I crochet.
    My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was very young and the rest I taught myself from books and online resources. A tip would be: don’t be afraid to pull out! Mistakes happen…. often. Better to have it right than regret it later!

  3. Shannon says:

    Great crochet tips! I have also found that using light colors when I was beginning to crochet helped to see the stitches.

  4. Betsy Kleger says:

    Hi Liz, Zontee and Stefanie: Like Stefanie, I am a relatively novice crocheter (learned three years ago compared to my 20 years of knitting). After learning the basics from SnB Happy Hooker, I dove right in with a Robin Chachula design from “Crochet Me”. Here is a link to the Ravelry photo:
    http://www.ravelry.com/projects/BetsyK/comfy-cardi
    Of course it helped that Marly Bird is a friend of mine and she helped me quite a bit (we’d see each other at our LYS). I loved the project and it gave me alot of confidence even though I had to fix some mistakes (which I still have to do with my knitting..lol)
    I truly believe that if you are going to learn a skill set, you should do it with a project you are excited about as opposed to making squares or scarves (unless that is what you are excited to make).
    Congratulations on 100 episodes! I’ll be listening as usual!!

  5. Tonya says:

    I do both knit and crochet. The most valuable lesson I learned as a beginner is that ripping back is a learning experience not a mistake.

  6. Cometgirl63 says:

    I crochet, although I did learn to knit a few years ago. I learned to crochet when I was a kid and it is easier for me than knitting. I picked it back up after realizing that knitting wasn’t for me, and relearned using youtube videos and good visual pattern books. Seriously, Youtube is a tremendous help. The advice that has saved me was to keep counting my stitches, I’ve inadvertently missed one here and there that I caught early.

    I recommend to my friends to start with a medium neutral yarn, not too dark and not too light so the stitches are easy to see.

  7. Lundy says:

    I knit and love Lion Brand Yarn. They have great free patterns. My tip for beginners is to not be afraid to make mistakes. I’m starting to realize it’s okay if my finished project isn’t completely perfect.

  8. Jenn Setlak says:

    I have been crocheting for years and am just learning to knit. My best tip for a beginner crocheter is to use light colored yarn. That way it is easier to see your stitches. I spent a good part of my first scarf working into the front loop only. This is a nice technique to learn to give your scarf a bit of texture, but it wasn’t what I was trying to do!

  9. Sandra says:

    I have crocheted for almost 40 years and learned to knit four years ago. If it is an afghan that I am making – it would be crocheted but anything else I would knit it. I formed a knitting/crochet group at work and taught a number of co-workers to do both. I would tell them to start with something small and to not give up. I told them to just practice a little each day and they would soon be comfortable. We ended up making an afghan together to give to a veteran last Veteran’s Day. It was red white and blue stripes and he really liked it.

  10. I knit and crochet! The beginner tip I have found most helpful is to GO ONLINE and don’t try and tackle a new knitting/crochet skill by yourself…forums, YouTube and LionBrand.com provide an amazing source for you to get help and learn how to do things properly!

    I know I tried to “tough it out” when I learned to crochet and thought I could go it alone. I got so frustrated I put the yarn away and gave up. Luckily I discovered the YarnCraft podcast and got inspired AND learned enough to pick up the yarn again and try my hand at amigurumi.

    You will learn so much from online blogs, forums and podcasts in a way that’s easy to understand and personal. I think the internet’s revolutionized the way we craft!

  11. Liz says:

    I just joined Craftsy a few days ago and already have 20 projects listed! It’s so fun! ALMOST every project I have listed is made with Vanna’s Choice!

    I crochet and am addicted to it! I think in the beginning, crochet can be a difficult craft to learn if you’re not ready to DIVE IN. So my advice to beginners is find a project you love, sit down with a teacher you trust (and can gossip with), and just have fun!! And don’t forget to count your stitches!! :)

    http://www.craftsy.com/craftsyer/176644

  12. Nicole Parker says:

    I knit, and my favorite beginner tip is to recognize that you don’t have to be perfect! Mistakes happen in knitting, and that’s okay! It adds to the homemade quality.

  13. I love to crochet! I recommend to my friends that they learn to crochet with a tightly woven yarn rather than a fancy one with loops, ribbons, and sparkles. It’s not as exciting, but it will be less frustrating and easier to see what you are doing.

  14. Gwynna says:

    I enjoy both crochet and knitting. Best tip is to frog fearlessly. If it isn’t working, be free to reclaim the yarn and, either try again or, use for another project.

  15. Andrea Giron says:

    I knit and crochet, my tip for crochet? Study the stitches! Once you are familiar with how a crochet stitch looks, how they work together, etc. learning new stitches and techniques will make a ton more sense!

  16. laron2009 says:

    I’ve been a crocheter for many years. The best tip I can share is regarding stitch markers. I needed some stitch markers and realized that the one’s I had were loaned to a friend who has since moved away. I looked in my bathroom and found some of those small bobby pins in a box and I thought that they might work…well, they did and they do! No need to buy stitch markers now.

  17. BTW, I adore Vanna’s choice. The colors are great and it’s probably the one yarn I use most since it’s soft and high quality for an acrylic but doesn’t cost a fortune…just the right yarn for beginners or even us well seasoned crafting veterans!

  18. Megan says:

    I crochet and I think the best place to learn is on yarn websites and tutorial videos on youtube!

  19. Amber says:

    I knit and crochet. I taught myself how to do both, so the best thing I have learned is to have fun. Try everything you can, and if you mess up just undo your work and start back up again. Mistakes happen all the time, you just gotta keep at it and over time you will get better.

  20. michele says:

    I love to crochet and am self taught. The biggest tip for beginners I think is to HAVE FUN! In handmade little imperfections add to the character of a creation. Don’t spend time pulling apart items to make them perfect. Spend time crafting each stitch to be your creation. My freehand items are some of my favorites! AND HAVE FUN!!!!

  21. I love to knit. The Lion Brand Yarn meets all my needs.

  22. Lynn says:

    I knit, my husband taught me, and the best beginner tip i know is this: have patience and enjoy the process.

  23. aimee says:

    I first learned to crochet only very basic stitches. Then I started to watch a Knitty Gritty and wanted to learn to knit……long story short turns out I’m a knitter! I still crochet flowers but knitting is for me! :)

  24. Megan says:

    I’m a “hooker”, which means I crochet (what did you think I meant?). I taught myself when I was 12. I knit alittle but find crochet so much easier. My tip would be to start basic, and then go from there. And don’t be afraid to “unravel”, crochet is easy to undo and redo. I’m looking forward to your crochet-a-long.

  25. Maria says:

    I mostly crochet but I have knit a few simple projects. I think the most helpful beginners tool for me was Utube videos. I found it super easy to learn stitches by watching stitch videos – especially since I’m a lefty and most directions are written for right handed folks. Also…don’t be afraid to rip out stitches. It’s all part of the learning process.

  26. Margo says:

    Congratulations to Liz and Zontee on 100 episodes.
    I knit and crochet. Be prepared to make mistakes and expect to rip out your work from time to time. Learn from those mistakes.

  27. mary says:

    I’m one of those knitters who hasn’t gotten much past scarves, and I try to crochet once in a while. I have signed up for a couple craftsy courses already though to try and improve my skills. plus I’m taking a nearly year-long course at my local yarn shop to get past the scarf rut too.

  28. Tiff R says:

    I just started to crochet about three months ago and I absolutely love it! One of the best beginner tips that I’ve learned is that making mistakes, whether it be losing/adding stitches or unexpected results, is not something to fret over. Yarn is forgiving and you can always start over or you can work with what you have. Other good tips are: start out with a larger hook and once you’ve gotten the hang of it, then you can use the smaller ones; get a small skein of yarn and reuse it over and over with different stitches to practice; and, my favorite, don’t ever give up!

  29. Vikki says:

    I am a fairly new crocheter and the best tip I can give is to have great lighting. I sit right beside a table lamp when I crochet, or in the kitchen under the bright task lights. I used to have a hard time figuring out where to place my next stitch and with poor lighting it’s even tougher.

  30. Shawn says:

    I do both knitting and crochet. Love each for different reasons. My best novice advice? If you really want to do a project, go ahead and do it, don’t be scared by a project. You may have to redo parts as you learn the specifics to make the project. I have heard so many times, people who have been knitting for years say that they haven’t tried “socks” or some other project because it was supposed to be hard. Don’t let something new intimidate you!

  31. Andrea J. says:

    I both knit and crochet, though I’m a little more partial to the former. I think the best advice I got when I was starting was that crocheting (which I started with, but this also applies to knitting) ought to be comfortable; and if it wasn’t, a different way of doing the technique should be tried.

  32. Terri H. says:

    I knit and crochet both. Right now I knit more, because I learned to crochet first and I’m learning more new stuff in knitting. I always want to try something new with each new project! I just gave a baby gift consisting of three knitted items and one crocheted bib (which used a crochet technique I’d never seen before).

  33. Hooking Geek says:

    I learned to knit first, but just couldn’t get excited about it. When I learned to crochet (from YouTube!) I just “got it” faster.

    My favorite tip for those looking to start crocheting is to use YouTube. The videos don’t get frustrated if you rewind and re-watch a half of a stitch seven times so you can get it right!

  34. d says:

    I knit and crochet, but I’m much better at crochet than knitting. My recommendation to beginners is NEVER START WITH A SCARF! I need instant gratification to keep me interested when I’m learning something new, so I pick something small & simple, like a hat or something made out of squares (not necessarily granny squares, but they work for some people).

  35. Patti Bodenhamer says:

    I love to crochet and would love to try this yarn. Some great crochet hooks to try are the crochet lights.. They are hard to find know but have a great handle and are not hard on your hands.

  36. Stephani Beattie says:

    Although I’ve been crocheting for 40 years and there is always something new to come along. My suggestion is go to your local yarn shop, there is always a bee going on and the ladies (and gentlemen) are very happy to help you learn the basics through the experienced stitches. The process is usually free for the asking and you get to make some very special friends along the way.

  37. Devora Baronofsky says:

    I enjoy boith techniques. If you knit Continental, crochet will feel similar. My first project was a scarf in a worsted yarn with a “J” hook. The patttern alternated rows of double and triple crochet. Its a bit more difficult to keep even ttension with crochet, so sit back relax, practice and don’t be afraid to “frog.”Count your stitches frequently, Since you work one stitch at a time, its easy to miss stitches at the beginning or end of rows. good Luck.

  38. Terri Neu says:

    I have been crocheting for far too long not to be more advanced in my skills. I really like the suggestion that we need to be able to recognize the stitch on sight. Sometimes that is easier than at other times, but it certainly helps in keeping the motif in perspective.

  39. emily says:

    Hi! I started as a knitter but now I crochet much more often! I teach crochet classes at the yarn shop I work for, Hill Country Weavers. When it comes to brushing up my own skills, I often rely on SNB “Happy Hooker”, youtube, and the Lion Brand “Learn to Crochet” walkthrough! I often suggest new crocheters use the Learn to Crochet pamphlet from LB to figure stuff out!

  40. Linda Hux says:

    I crochet and knit but don’t really have a preference for one over the other. I enjoy them both. My suggestion for beginners is to measure your work against the instructions. Otherwise your finished project may not fit or look like what you expect.

  41. kpurl says:

    I knit and crochet and love tips about fixing mistakes.

  42. Wahdidah says:

    I crochet but want to learn to knit! But I think that would be dangerous! 2 yarny obsessions!

  43. Kacy says:

    I do both, and I love both equally. If I’ve been working on a long knitting project, I feel like I need to crochet before I can go back to knitting again, and vice versa.

    My advise for beginners: Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you don’t get something right away–frog the area, and try again. There are so many great knit and crochet designers, who create excellent patterns, so pick a pattern you really LOVE. Then make it your goal to learn the skills needed to complete it. Goal setting will keep you going during rough patches.

  44. Wanda says:

    I only knit and I’ve been making shawls with Vanna’s Choice. This yarn is lovely to work with and will be warm and cozy this winter.

  45. Maryann says:

    I love to knit and crochet. I’m lefty and I knit, and crochet, in the opposite direction of most people (mirror reverse). I taught myself to crochet first, then taught myself to knit. My advice to beginner lefties would be to try mirror reverse, if knitting and crocheting like a righty is not comfortable. I follow most patterns just as written, and the few adjustments I have to make (like getting buttonholes on the correct side of a cardigan) are well worth it. Plus it’s pretty cool to surprise everyone by knitting from right needle to left needle!

  46. Pat Empson says:

    I knit and crochet both. My suggestion for beginners is to start with a small project, such as a hat or scarf so as to not get discouraged. The best thing I have learned in knitting is the long tail cast on and to measure the yarn to start with (3-1/2 times the finished width desired).

  47. Monica Lowe says:

    I’m a hooker! I don’t even know how to knit. If it involves a hook, I’m all over it.
    Beginner tips? One I found SUPER useful (and it works for knit and crochet) is using old nylons to make yarn covers. Best idea ever, plus it keeps the outside free from pet hair, dirt, etc!

  48. Stacey says:

    I crochet, but would love to learn knitting. I’m
    Interested in the crochet-along! I liked the tip about making your foundation row quite loose.

  49. Mary A. says:

    I learned basic crochet techniques from my cousin during our family’s annual summer vacation in Long Beach Island. Then I bought a how-to book aimed at children; it has been invaluable! My grandmother learned to knit in 1st grade. My three Aunts all learned to knit when they were young. My mother was a tomboy & she said she never had the patience to learn. I would advise a beginner to buy a how-to book written for children, pick up a skein in a color that appeals to you & to just start experimenting. Start with something simple that you’re likely to stick with. If you can’t figure something out, look it up. The internet is a great resource too.

  50. Sarah says:

    I am just reteaching myself how to crochet. I would really like to learn knitting though as well. For a beginner I would recommend always practicing and never stop working on projects because it is a pain in the butt to re-learn everything.

  51. Karyn says:

    I love the Vanna’s Choice yarn and would love to add this to my stash. I knit and crochet. Learned both from my grandmother when I was little and enhanced my skills through YouTube videos, the Lionbrand website and knittinghelp.com after taking a nearly 25 year break from doing either craft. Now, I’m and avid knitter and crochet when I want an afghan or blanket because it’s faster.

  52. Meg P. says:

    I’m a crocheter only; tendonitis makes holding anything straight (like a knitting needle or a Tunisian crochet hook) too painful, but thanks to padded handles on many crochet hooks, I can work away with no pain (Clover SoftTouch are my favorites). Love LionBrand yarn; I discovered this blog through their tour — thanks for hosting!

  53. Shama D says:

    I mostly knit and occassionally crochet amigurumi. As a beginning self-taught knitter I would practice and rip and practice and rip until I got it down. And the original Stitch n Bitch is the best book for a beginner!!

  54. Tami says:

    I’m a crocheter, and suggest that all newbies ease up on their stitches a bit. I had the hardest time getting that down properly.

  55. Knittingdancer says:

    I can only knit. I love to knit with Vanna’s yarns. They are so soft and such beautiful colors.
    One of the things that help me in learning to knit, was to count my stitches every couple of rows to make sure I was dropping stitches or knitting 2 together. Another hint was to slip the stitch purlwise and knit the last stitch to have a pretty edging.

  56. Kristen Shaffer says:

    I knit, but would love to learn to crochet. I think that the best advice yet was to knit a swatch for sizing. It seems like a bit of extra time, but it really pays off in the end!

  57. Ursula says:

    I’ve been crocheting since I was 8 and non-traditional, funky color-ways always keep me motivated- such great patterns out there certainly prevents “creative stagnation”…

  58. Dana Bincer says:

    Great interview. Loved the discussion about beginners. I loved the tip about creating very loose chains at the start of a project. Sooo true. I think beginners also need to understand that the length that they chain will not necessarily be the length of the project. At least, that’s been my experience. Thanks for showing a photo of Vanna’s yarn. It is very beautiful! I would love to win some and choose some adorable colors.

  59. Tamara Glenn says:

    I crochet, but am starting to learn to knit! I also dye and spin ;)

  60. Linda says:

    I find that when I have had the most horrible day at work I can come home and knit my troubles away. Best therapy in the world!!

  61. Samantha Gibbs says:

    I knit and crochet often, but lately I knit every day. Lots of friends having babies, and they all need welcome blankets! The best beginners tips I ever got were knit loosely, count your stitches after every row (I used to only crochet ‘triangles’) and don’t be afraid to rippit if you make a mistake…it’ll save you in the end! :)

  62. Anne J-Z says:

    I taught myself to knit and crochet. Lately, I am very passionate about crochet. Beginner tip:use lionbrand.com. It is an amazing resource!

  63. Jodiebodie says:

    The most useful t[p I was given when learning to crochet was an explanation of the turning chain and where to insert the hook at the beginning of each row – it solved the perplexing problem of unintentionally increasing or decreasing the number of stitches in each row.
    My tip would be to learn the crochet symbols from the very beginning, because although the stitch names vary around the world, the symbol stays the same. As soon as I realised this, I was able to learn a stitch and associate it with a symbol. Then I would list the symbols and write all of their varied names next to each one. The main thing was that when I saw a symbol/chart I could be certain about which stitch to do and, from there, work out the notation/conventions of the pattern (whether it was using UK or US terminology)

  64. Heather says:

    I knit and crochet (and Tunisian crochet, weave and spin, and am learning tatting and bobbin lace), but definitely do more knitting than anything else.

    The best beginners’ tips:
    1. If you don’t like the project, don’t make yourself do it. It’s your hobby, it IS okay to quit a project that is being uncooperative. Or put it in time out until it can behave.
    2. Use stitch markers to count rows, stitches – everything. Always count at least twice.
    3. Have one project that’s a challenge and one that you can do while you watch TV or chat at knitting group – you never have to be without something to knit!

  65. Susan T Clifford says:

    I crochet and am picking-up knitting again, but getting the right tension is hard for me as I am going along I want to hurry and then the stitches get tighter and tighter. I have to remind myself to loosen-up!
    Thanks for a chance to win

  66. I’m a crochet junkie…I can’t get enough! I’ve ‘started learning’ to knit several times, but I just can’t get it right!!
    My biggest beginner’s tip is to PRACTICE….and don’t be afraid to frog a project if it just isn’t working out…it always makes you feel better to finish something you love!

    Great Interview!! Thanks so much!

    ~ Sarah

  67. Sheryl Sato says:

    I learned to knit when I was young (from Mom) and to crochet about 6 years ago. I was hooked (!) and couldn’t stop thinking about the new crochet stitches in my sleep. My best advice is to start off with something simple like a dishcloth – it’s functional and it doesn’t matter if it’s perfect!

  68. Karie says:

    My great-grandmother taught me to crochet about 25 years ago and have been creating things on and off since then. I really like Vanna’s yarn line. The colors are great and my hats and scarves turn out really nice. My tip to beginner’s would be to be patient and start with the easy stitches. You won’t be disappointed.

  69. Angie says:

    I love to crochet on my front porch swing. My mother taught me to crochet 15 years ago, and her mother taught her. I hope to teach my daughter too! The most helpful advice my mother had was to not be afraid to pull out and start over! Practice makes perfect!

  70. Toni says:

    I crochet, wish I could knit, too! I love Lion Brand yarns!

    I think the best tip for a beginner – don’t be afraid to make a mistake! Just pull it out and do it over, and consider it a learning experience!

    The next best tip is to count your stitches.

  71. Gloria Masley says:

    I learned to crochet first, and taught my self to knit. I enjoy both equally. Love trying new yarns and techniques, that’s what keeps these crafts so popular and adding new crafters all the time. Thanks so much your site and tips as well I really enjoy your input. Thanks!

  72. Shari says:

    I crochet. I have tried knitting, but we just don’t get along.
    My best advice for someone just starting out is find a knitting or crocheting group to participate in. It’s fun and you can learn so much from one another.

  73. Gwendolyn T says:

    I knit only (right now). I can’t say anything for sure was the most helpful beginner tip. What I can say is that black and white photos are no help. Color is a must, video is better!

  74. Mollybean says:

    I’m a knitter and have only crocheted borders on my knits. Know if your yarn is in the front or back is my beginner tip.

  75. Sarah says:

    My mother taught me to knit when I was in college. She taught me the basics and the rest I taught myself from books and knitting websites. I attempted to teach myself to crochet, but have yet to be successful. The most valuable tip for knitting that I can think of, is try to learn new skills/stitches when you are awake and focused. Trying to learn new knitting techniques when you are tired or distracted can be extremely frustrating!

  76. Terry says:

    I taught myself to crochet as a teenager and made a granny square afgan as my first project. My tip is not to be afraid to try something new and with practice you will improve.

  77. bwilliams says:

    I knit and crochet, but I prefer knitting for mist projects. Having taught a number of people to knit over the years I always feel compelled to stress the necessity of checking gauge; I find that many beginning knitters do not see the value in this part of the process. Also, it Canberra helpful for beginners to count the number of stitches on their needle regularly to make sure they have neither dropped nor added stitches.

    Although I normally work with natural fibers, including my homespun yarns, I like to use synthetics for baby items. They are easier for new mothers to care for during this busy period. Vanna’s Choice has both a good hand and wonderful stitch definition…and the colors are beautiful.

  78. Keddy says:

    I started with crocheting in college, and only got around to knitting 4 decades later. Crocheting is much more improvisational. So learn the basic crochet stitches and techniques and then you can really dream up whatever you want, whatever size, etc. If you are new at improvising, you might want to write down what you are doing in each row in case you wonder later on. I agree with others here about using lighter color yarns when you begin. That helps me with knitting, which I still feel a major frustration factor over. But I have to admit that even though knitting takes more time and is more challenging for me, I really feel satisfied by my rows of knitted stitches. Unlike crochet, I’ve learned you can’t use just any needels with any yarn. Check the label of whatever yarn you buy and you’ll ususally see the needle size recommended. I actually did not notice that until about my 4th knitting attempt (duh!). Lastly, find friends to knit and crochet with. I love my Common Threads circle — there is always someone to ask for help or inspiration or simply trading patterns, etc. Recently we all crocheted or knitted scarves for an orphanage in India!

  79. Carmen says:

    I crochet and am learning to knit. The best advice I got was to start by not knitting or crocheting too tightly! It just makes it frustrating and difficult. After you practice the stitches a while to get the rhythm, you can start to tighten and work on keeping tension consistent.

  80. MelodyJ says:

    I do both. I like knit and crochet equally. The best beginner tip I have is if you are unsure about how to do something check free online videos.

  81. CLee says:

    I am a begining knitter and crocheter! thanks for the lovely giveaway.

  82. Vi says:

    I knit mostly, and learned to crochet just to make amigurumi. Best beginner tip: don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek answers! Try to learn something new with every project.

  83. Becky Lax says:

    I knit and crochet. I enjoy the diversity of all the needlework that I do. The best tip I have is to not be too critical of your work. Remember, if you don’t like something, you can always rip it out.

  84. m white says:

    I am just starting to knit again, I knit a lot when I was younger. I weave, sew and spin also. I think the best advice is to find something you really love and work at that. And for a beginning project start with something that finishes fast so you get that satisfied “I made this”, then you will want to make something bigger. Dont overwhelm yourself with a huge project that will make you want to quit.
    Happy crafting.

  85. Amy Lounsberry says:

    loving Craftsy – love to watch what the newest deal is.

  86. Mary Anne says:

    I knit and crochet. The best thing I learned to do is read charts!

  87. Brenda says:

    I’ve recently returned to the crochet-world. When I was younger (LOTS!) I crocheted all the time. Since returning to it I’ve made several large blankets for various family members. It’s a shame that I’d forgotten how very much I love crocheting! As with most crafters I always have too many projects going at the same time. I wouldn’t change a thing!