Knitting Rules: What the Knitting Police Don’t Want You to Know

Knitting has a lot of rules. You must do this, you can’t do that — so many strict rules to follow! If you’re a stickler for knitting rules and feel comfortable following them, then go for it.

But if you’re like me and don’t always like to stick to the rules, that’s ok, too. Knitting rules can be stressful, and sometimes we focus so much on the rules that we lose our creativity in the process.

Here are just a few knitting rules that it’s OK to break sometimes. Shhh, we won’t tell the knitting police if you won’t!

Rule: Always block your finished pieces.

Cromwell Court Afgan Kit

Don’t get me wrong. Blocking is totally important for some projects like lace shawls, socks, and garments. But I almost never block other types of projects like amigurumi and cup cozies. If it’s not a garment and the shape doesn’t matter to you, don’t feel pressured to block.

Rule: Check your gauge.

Like blocking, I do check my gauge for garments, but I don’t check my gauge if I’m knitting something where size doesn’t matter as much. Confession: I almost never check gauge for things like scarves. In fact, sometimes it’s ok to ignore gauge and use your own judgment on yarn weight and needle sizes. Why not experiment?

Rule: Complete one project before beginning another.

To this rule I say, “Ha!” Not everyone has the same creative process. Some of us like to complete one project before beginning another, but some of us need multiple projects on our plates to keep that creativity going. I have at least three projects going on at once, and the only thing that forces me to complete one is if I need the needles for yet another project.

Rule: Never knit a sweater for your partner.

Fearless Cardigan and Pullover

Photo via Craftsy instructor Amy Detjen

I read this when I first started knitting, and I don’t think it’s a good rule. In reality, the rule should really be something more like “Don’t knit a gift for anyone who doesn’t understand the complexities of knitting.” We’ve all been in that situation when we spend hours on a handmade gift that just ends up in a donation pile. But if you have a partner who knows how much time — and love — you’re putting into the stitches, then I think you should ignore the rule.

Rule: Don’t watch TV while you knit.

Easy Knitted Bangle pattern

Photo via Craftsy member ambah obrien

I’d say this rule applies to only about half of the projects I’m working on. If the pattern is easy enough, you can even master knitting without looking.

Rule: Seasoned knitters shouldn’t bother with acrylic yarn.

Raise your hand if you’re a yarn snob! There’s a time and a place for acrylic yarn, in my opinion. Some knitters would faint at the idea of using an inexpensive acrylic yarn from a chain store. But I use inexpensive yarns for all kinds of things including tote bags, knitted jewelry, and even home decor projects. Would I want to knit up a very special sweater in one of those yarns? Probably not. But I can find all sorts of other uses for them!

Rule: Never tie a knot in your yarn.

So many knitters have gasped at me over the years for tying knots in my yarn, whether it’s when I’m changing colors or just joining a new ball of yarn. I do not see the big deal about tying knots unless the knots are going to be visible, and I know a lot of other knitters feel the same way. I feel much more secure tying a knot there than just weaving it in and crossing my fingers that it never unravels.

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