Lockdown in the middle of the winter has the incredible advantage at forcing you to stay indoors – giving you LOADS of time to work on a new hobby. What about trying to learn knitting?
I am myself an avid knitter (have a look at my sewing and knitting blog if you need proof) and this is a hobby I cannot praise enough for helping fight stress . Did you know that during the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Finnish ski team was knitting at the top of the slopes, in between runs? And that a book was published a few years ago called: “Tricotherapy: knitting is the new yoga”.
Now that you are convinced that you need to give knitting ago, here are a few tips:
Where to learn? I learned the (very very) basics of knitting with my mum and then improved on my own, with YouTube videos and a lot of determination. But since then, Lise Tailor published two amazing books: “Je me mets au tricot” and “Je deviens expert tricot” , which are absolute knitting bibles. The illustrations of all the sewing techniques are particularly clear. Lise also explains very clearly on her website the continental method of knitting, which will feel completely alien if your French grandma taught you to knit, but which is millions times faster than the classic method.
Which project to start with? I would recommend something easy… but definitely not a boring scarf! My beloved beginner project was the Trendy Chale , knitted by thousands of tricoteuses - I think I’ve knitted nearly ten of them myself. It is a very easy project to start with and this link should help you getting started.
Where to find more patterns? Ravelry is the major knitting website in existence, offering thousands of patterns from thousands of designers (most for sale but quite a few for free); and allowing users to post of all their projects – a nice way to keep track of what you’ve knitted. The website is truly amazing, if not slightly overwhelming when you are not sure what you’re looking for. The registration is free – but you cannot browse unless you are registered.
Where to buy wool and needles? I am a fan of inexpensive, good quality wool from Drops, which I buy from the Wool Warehouse and Purple Sheep Yarns in the UK; and from Kalidou in France. As for needles, I am a circular needles addict but it is really a matter of taste.
And if you want to read more about starting knitting, Lise Tailor (my knitting guru, you can tell) wrote this immensely useful article.
I hope I have tempted you. If that’s the case, happy knitting!