Hand Knitting to Save Money – How to Get Started

Who knits these days?

In the last ten years, knitting has become a phenomenon.  People all around the world are learning and enjoying this craft as a way to save and even to make money!  There are a variety of yarns, needles and patterns to send any knitter into knitting nirvana and knitting books are available online, some of them in free eBook form!  Free patterns can be found on so many online sites, and this article will provide you with a few to help you begin.

What exactly is knitting?

Knitting is a needlecraft involving two or four pointed needles and yarn that is prepared into loops that are worked by the needles.  Knitting can form any sort of shape depending on the skill level of the knitter and many knitters knit to clothe themselves and their families in cold weather.  Baby clothing is one of the most popular objects to knit as it saves the parents from spending too much on clothing that baby will outgrow within months, and all clothing can be saved for future babies or given to other family members for further use.  With the variety of yarns available, baby knitting can be as pretty or as plain as the knitter wishes and sales for baby photography prop clothing is fast becoming a growing business for many more experienced knitters.

When to begin to knit for winter?

Knitting for winter should begin in the summer months if you have a lot of knitting to do.  A frugal family of three would be in need of at least four pairs of socks a piece, that’s 12 pairs of socks or 24 socks!  Depending on the skill level of the knitter, a sock can take a day or a month!  More experienced knitters can make 24 socks in 12 days.

Sweaters for three can number at least two apiece.  That’s six sweaters.  Sweaters can take up to a month each, so knitting in June for December is not such a stretch of the imagination.  Each person in the family may require one hat each. Three hats will not take quite as long to knit as socks and sweaters but can be a bit tricky if you do not know what you are doing.

Scarves are easy to make, and most beginners will begin by learning how to make a scarf.  Mittens are much the same as socks but with a couple of differences such as the need for a thumb hole, thumb and fingers covers.  Gloves are far more complicated, but can be fun to knit!

Where to find knitting patterns for free?

hand knitting

The internet is ripe with free knitting pattern sites as well as sites where you can buy patterns for less than two dollars each.  You can usually download each pattern in PDF form and save them in a binder for future use.

Here are some of the sites offering free knitting patterns for knitters from beginner to experienced

www.allfreeknitting.com

www.favecrafts.com

www.redheart.com

www.bernat.com

www.lionbrand.com

Patterns range in sizes and styles as varied as the stars in the sky.  You can find patterns for baby, toddlers, children, preteens, teens, young adults, mom and dad and each one can be fitted and altered to suit the taste and needs of the wearer!

Why knit?

The decision to knit is a personal one.  Some choose to knit for fun, some for profit and some for the need to save money.  For those who like to save, knitting to be frugal is the best reason of all. Besides, giving something you have made creates a special feeling for both giver and receiver, and machine-made products will never offer much character.

How to learn to knit or where to begin?

Learning to knit can be as easy or as difficult as you make it.  Make it easier on yourself and your wallet by going to a yard sale or thrift shop, finding some discarded yarn and some needles and then logging on to the internet for online instructions.  Why buy expensive yarn and new needles when you may find you do not want to continue?

Find a quiet place, sit at your computer and make a deal with yourself that you will spend one hour giving it a try before allowing yourself to stop. Then do the same thing the next few days.  If after the third day you have not managed to knit anything at all, knitting may not be for you. However, if you have something on your needles, continue with a smile!

After you have conquered the first three lessons and the basic stitches, feel free to research yarns and sizes of yarns, sizes of needles, gauging and so forth.  (Gauging is the way to figure the sizing of the yarn + the needles + the pattern to create a garment of the proper size and shape.)

Now to tackle the subject of yarn sizes.  Yarn comes in many different sizes, colors and styles.  Walking into a yarn shop can be overwhelming if you do not know what you are looking for so do your homework first, find a pattern, read beginning of the pattern and find the section marked Materials.  This is where you find out what size yarn(s) you will need.  You may find something that reads like this; 3 ½ oz. / 100g skeins each approx. 459yd/ 420m.  Do not panic!  This actually tells you that the yarn in question is an expensive one.  Patterns that have yarns that are sized by numbers are the ones you are looking for.

Inexpensive yarns are sized by numbers 0-6, 0 being lace and 6 being super bulky or chunky.  Usually these yarns also carry words like lace, superfine, fine, baby fingering, worsted (or sport weight), bulky or super bulky or as previously stated, chunky.  These are the yarns you want to work with to save money.

Needles are different.  You will want needles that will do the job without hurting you in any way.  Some needles are sharper than they need to be and some are softer on the tip and softer all the way around.  The type of needle you buy and use is something you will have to decide for yourself.

There are straight needles, like the ones you see on many television programs.  They are like pointed sticks with metal stoppers on the ends.   These needles come in wood, metal, plastic and bamboo.  Wood needles are typically very artsy and expensive; bamboo can be expensive, but most of the time they are not; metal is fine but again may be too sharp depending on the brand, and plastic is usually a good choice for the beginner.

There are circular needles, these are two shorter needles attached by a plastic cable in the middle of varying lengths.  They are used to make sweaters and if very small, socks, mittens, hats, and so forth.  Circular needles usually come in metal, but bamboo and wood are available as well.

There are double point needles.  These needles come in packages of four and are as stated, pointed at both ends.  These are used for making socks, hats and anything you want to make in tube form.  These needles sometimes come in plastic and bamboo, but mostly they are metal.

Now you must keep your eyes open for sales on yarn!  This happens from time to time, and you can either sign up for sales updates from your favorite craft stores or you can peruse the ad inserts in your Sunday paper for details.  Often, there are coupons for 50% off one regular priced item, which does little for your budget if you are buying enough yarn for a garment or, if you are on your toes, you can find sales for 60% off your total store purchase!

Now to sum it all up!

Knitting to be frugal is not only fun but can be profitable! Selling your wares can be as easy as starting an online shop with etsy.com and an account with PayPal. Now go and save yourself some money, have fun and create, create, create!

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