With Sleepy Eyes Knits, I wish to inspire the love of knitting. The feeling of luxurious yarn and smooth needles in my hands is the highlight of my day. Knitting not only brings me joy and a feeling of accomplishment, but also a sense of peace and calm. Though there are times of frustration (arghh…yarn barf…or tangled yarn on the swift…or, ugh, knots! Knots!), the times of contentment and happiness with a finished project always outweigh the small annoyances.
Knitting with friends (or with a knitting group) brings social connection, emotional support and a time to let go of daily grievances…or to celebrate wondrous occasions. I love my knitting group (Manchvegas Knitters) and they have become my family. I look forward to seeing the amazing projects that they are working on and the beautiful garments or accessories that they finish. (It’s also the BEST time to wear and show off knitted items that you’ve knit yourself.) As the group has changed or grown, I have also changed and grown. When I began, I was a newbie who didn’t even know that actual yarn stores existed…or that there were yarns made of cashmere…or which fiber came from which animal.
Now, I teach knitting, create my own patterns and published my own books. Crazy! (but awesome)
If you are new to knitting, here are some tips on making the most of your knitting experience:
- Join Ravelry (and expect to be engrossed there for a week or more)
- Google “knitting groups” in your area to find new knitting friends
- Google “yarn shops” in your area and visit some (the stores might have their own weekly knitting group)
- Try a new type of needle. If you are used to knitting with metal needles, try bamboo or birch wood. If you usually knit with straights, try circulars. If you’ve only knit flat, try some double pointed needles and see what you think of them.
- Try a new type of yarn. (I highly recommend splurging once in your life on 100% cashmere. Even if it’s enough to only make fingerless mitts or a small cowl.)
- Take a knitting class and learn a new technique or stitch.
- Borrow (or purchase) a knitting book from your local library or bookstore. Become inspired by what you see in these books!
- Visit a local (or local-ish) Sheep and Wool Festival. You can see and touch (and, unfortunately, smell…lol!) fiber animals, learn new techniques (like spinning or weaving) and find all sorts of wonderful yarns, fibers and accessories. Plus, the food is usually pretty yummy.
- Knit, knit, knit! Have your knitting bag with you at all times (or in the car). I used to be incredibly impatient when I had to wait in line or wait in an office. Now, I go early so I’ll have MORE time to wait…so I can knit! Practice makes perfect…and, once you begin, you’ll be quite as addicted as I am. (Just be careful to keep your yarn stash manageable…it tends to have a mind of its own…)
- Last, but not least…find or make yourself a knitting bag. (Please do not use a paper or plastic bag for your lovely tools and supplies!) Add as many of these items to it (over a period of time, of course) as you can:
- small scissors
- big eye tapestry needle (metal ones work much better)
- measuring tape
- needle gauge
- different sizes of stitch markers
- rubber bands or point protectors for the ends of your needles
- a small crochet hook
- travel size hand lotion
- small nail file
- mini notebook and pencil or row counter…the list goes on and on.
- You could also buy The Knit Kit, which is portable and helpful.
I hope that my tips are helpful to you and I hope you are (or will be) loving knitting as much as I do.