A Lazy Guide to Knitting Like a Genius
I can't teach you how to knit. I barely know myself. But there is a way to do it without wanting to burn all the yarn factories out of spite.
Use giant yarn.
Like, giant yarn. The thickest yarn you can find. The more obscene in its size, the more it'll hide mistakes. Of which you will make many.
When I found out I was pregnant with our almost-here daughter (did I tell you yet we're naming her Annie?), I felt scared and detached. I saw the entire situation as a "pregnancy," and I wanted to start seeing her as a little person. So I decided to knit her a blanket.
Yeah, I don't know how to knit. I've tried a couple of times, but my projects always looked stupid and made me crazy. It's okay to make stupid looking things, but in that moment, stupid wasn't what my soul needed. So I went to the craft store, looked at the wall of yarn, and made an educated guess.
If the yarn is really thick, it shouldn't take as long, right? Right. Bonus: it hides mistakes. Lazy knitting turned genius, people.
Yes, you need to learn to cast on, knit, and end the project, but as a person with questionable fine motor skills, I'll say with great authority that it's far easier with giant yarn.
Knitting Tips I Learned the Hard Way So You Don't Have To
- When you knit anything from a scarf to a blanket, the "work" (as the experts call it) needs to hang on your knitting needles. It doesn't just float in midair like crochet work. So if you're knitting a blanket like I did, you need that entire blanket to "hang on" something as wide as the blanket. I thought that meant using knitting needles that were the size of pool noodles; after four trips to four different craft stores, I realized I was looking for the wrong thing. Thankfully, there's something better. They make two needles connected by a flexible wire where your work can hang, but you're knitting with regular sized needles. And I love my particular set because they're bamboo instead of metal, which means no annoying clinking.
- Don't make your stitches too tight, pulling or wrapping the yarn tightly as you go. It just makes the whole thing impossible to work with. Loose stitches might not work with thin yarn, but they're not an issue when the yarn is thick. Keep your stitches loose if you want to prevent yelling at a ball of yarn. Which might have happened to me.
- If you want to change colors midway through, this is probably the wrong advice, but it worked for me. I simply tied the ends of the two colors together at the end of a row and just kept knitting. Just make sure you change your colors on the same side of the blanket each time to make sure you get one normal looking side.
- Don't feel badly if your first couple of attempts end in starting over. It'll probably happen, especially if you've never tried before. I have tried before, and I think I started the blanket over three times before I felt ready to keep going. You're not failing if you start over; you're learning. Expect it.
So if you have a hankering to make something while you're catching up on The Good Wife, don't be scared of knitting. Just buy enormous yarn, and take it slow. You'll be surprised how not janky your project will look in the end.
My Lazy Genius Knitting Resources
- Video tutorial on how to "cast on" or begin the project. It's long but detailed and good.
- Video tutorial on how to actually knit with a knit stitch. Same girl. It's slightly out of focus, but it's the best instruction I found after watching a million videos that were too cute or too fast or too something.
- Video tutorial on how to "cast off" or finish the project. Again, same girl. I like her. No gimmicks. Just simple instruction.
- My favorite knitting needles for big yarn and a bigger project (plus they'll still work if you're knitting something skinnier like a scarf)
- Big yarn.