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Ready for the best things about Cecelia Campochiaro’s Marlogram Scarf and Cowl according to me, Ashley? Here you go:

8. Freedom! I went a little rogue and decided to marl the recommended Ombré Merino Lace with a wildcard: Dyed in the Wool. The texture ended up magically matte and almost resembled little woolly pixels. How futuristic!

7. THIS WAS THE FIRST PROJECT I HAVE FINISHED IN YEARS. It’s true. I needed the perfect project to pull me out of the pit of non-creative despair (#drama) and this was it. Man! I feel like a knittin’ woman. (Refer to the imagined picture in my brain of Shania Twain wearing all marled knits).

6. The pattern is perfectly zen AND challenging. For a lady like myself who has mastered the art of garter stitch rectangles, I was ready for the next step. Hey Marlogram Hey. Increases? Decreases? Knits AND purls? I’m a regular pro now.

5. Rose wore my Marlogram as a scarf and then shimmied her way into a belly band while begging for pizza. Either way, #fashion.

4. Who needs to worry about zero sunshine and uncharacteristically snowy Tennessee days when you get to wear Spincycle colors like DEVILISH GRIN and ABSINTHE (2 skeins each—yes, restocks are coming) plus Tina Whitmore’s WILDFLOWER Ombré Merino Lace?  It’s like wearing a neck full of Skittles. In a sophisticated way, of course.

But seriously, there are no color mistakes when it comes to this project. Any combination will miraculously float between your rows and create a galaxy of beauty. 

Still life with Marlogram and Bananas (You’re welcome)

3. It’s honestly the perfect weight. Society doesn’t say that nearly enough, am I right? Combining Dyed in the Wool with the Merino Lace added just enough comforting weight to the garment. It’s light enough to throw on and not feel overpowered, and will transition perfectly into warmer days. Or for us Nashvillians, immediately scorching hot days that make you question all of life. 

2. I learned some things! Remember how I used to only knit garter stitch rectangles, LOL. Well believe it or not, I didn’t know anything about blocking or weaving in ends until I worked at MDK. I know, wild. I blocked my Marlogram before weaving in the ends because I really had no idea what I was doing (is this right?). I also most definitely stretched my little guy too much while blocking (help!). But you live and you learn and you live la vida loca.

1. I received SO much validation from my knitting peers (that’s you)! OK, well I’m not there quite yet. But a girl needs some encouragement in these times. And I will gladly accept tips on future projects. I want to know what you know! And . . . you know, it’s fun to hear from you guys. Now, on to the next project! 

A Giveaway

The prize? Block like Ashley with a Soak Basin Bundle.

How to enter?

Two steps:

Step 1: Sign up for our weekly newsletter, Snippets, right here. If you’re already subscribed, you’re set.

Step 2: What’s your top tip for a new-ish knitter or the MDK pattern you’d like to see Ashley give her #fashion stamp (and see Rose model!)? Answer in the comments!

Deadline for entries: Sunday, January 30, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email.

About The Author

MDK ECommerce Manager Ashley Balding can freestyle a wild Garter Stripe Shawl and build a spreadsheet that makes sense instantly of the messiest data set.

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  • To the newbie knitter: Find your rhythm and breathe with it as you K, P with soft yarn that practically massages your fingers as you row on.

    • My tip for a newbie knitter—find an experienced knitter to help you find an appropriate pattern, suitable yarn (good quality!) and cheer you on/help you out. Local is nice but online mentors can help, too!

    • But nice yarn, you won’t regret it.

      • Knitter tip: Enjoy the journey with each technique you learn, or pattern you knit.

        • For a new knitter, relax and enjoy your new skills.

      • Hmmm I think every knitter needs to experience the joy of an MDK log cabin blanket of love!

  • We’ll done, girl! You rock!! #nodrama

    • *well

      • RELAX!!! if it is not right the first time rip and try again

        • Amen. Best advice!

      • Ashley love the colours you picked they are stunning!! I agree with most of the comments on here enjoy the journey it’s magical what can happen when you knit the relaxationI get; the boost in confidence when you try a new technique and master it, but one thing I really love about knitting is the friendships I have formed through this lifestyle skill.
        My advice is to not be afraid to try new skills or limit yourself knit with pretty yarn life is too short to knit with anything but lol. When in doubt ask for help and don’t get discouraged if you can knit and purl you can do anything!
        Can’t wait to see your next project I know it will be beautiful

  • Rose needs a log cabin blanket!

  • the colour choices are just superb! and love the two yarns you chose and suggestions re weight! lol 🙂

    • Choose a project that challenges you to learn something new. Be fearless because the worst thing that can happen is you rip back and try again. Also have something mindless on your needles for rhythmic relaxation. Both wonderful!

  • It looks absolutely gorgeous. With your wonderful eye for colour, Kaffe’s Painterly Pillow from MDK 16 is definitely on the horizon. And the wonderful tutorials by Jen Arnall-Culliford will keep you on track Ashley. Go for it.

    • Two things:
      #1: I used to rip everything out because it wasn’t perfect. So I never created anything. Then my niece said to me, “It’s hand made, it’s not supposed to be perfect. That’s the beauty of handmade, that’s what makes it special.” That changed my knitting world!

      #2: I’ve learned to slow down NOT speed up. As I pick up my yarn and needles to begin, I take time to ready my brain. Do I have all my tools nearby? Where did I leave off? Now…I begin to knit calmly, with rhythm, and enjoy the process. I stop to check my work. I’ve found my stitches have become more uniform, my rows more beautiful.

      Yes, I know the end result is important, but really if you slow down it’s the process that delivers the joy of creating.

      • I love this! Thanks!

      • Great advice!!

    • For the newish knitter, I’d recommend learning from a good teacher, which could be your aunt, someone who teaches at your LYS or MDK’s Skill Set app. They can help you understand patterns and show you correct techniques. It’s much more fun when you understand it!

      • Hi Ashley, I agree with this comment. I would like to add learning how to fix mistakes without ripping back. If you can do this there is less frustration when you do make a mistake.
        Have fun and give Rose a hug for me

  • A most wonderful sweater for a new Knitter is the Hadley Sweater from MDK Field-guide #2 on Fair Isle. You get to work with Brooklyn Tweed yarn. It is approachable for new knitters as it is a Worsted weight, yoke style sweater with a simple but beautiful Fair Isle design and colors to keep it interesting.
    P.S. When MDK did it as a KAL in February 2017, It was my first sweater and first KAL. I had just taught myself to knit 6 months before and stayed w the group in finishing the sweater in 3.5 weeks thus meeting the challenge of Banging Out a Sweater in the Shortest Month of February.
    That enforced my love of knitting, working techniques and traditional designs and I just became a Master Hand Knitter a few weeks ago.

    P.s. I chose three of the colors in my Fair Isle sweater and made Norwegian Ganseys and a Marius colorwork sweater for my three sons. Photos of my MDK sweater and the boys sweaters are in the link.

    • I also love the hat in the link

      • Thank you, Susan!

    • Congratulations on becoming a Master Knitter! I am working on level one.

      • Thank you, Jennifer! Good luck and enjoy your journey!

    • Wow! You take great notes! Following your link, I read through them all and made some for myself. Thanks for all the info you packed in.

      • Thank you for the kind comments!
        I love learning and trying out new techniques!

  • Take notes as you go. For a sweater, knit front and back so you can tally rows for both pieces to ensure they match sizewise. Read all directions carefully. If you note possible errors in the text, inspect the sketches. Then ask the author or publisher if you still aren’t sure. There are still books and online patterns published with errors and subsequent corrections. Or have a friend replicate the pattern with you simultaneously, as in a Knitalong!

  • For all new knitters — Plan a time to knit every day. Give yourself the gift of 10 calm, uninterrupted minutes. First, think about your stitches, your project, your garment. Then pick up your needles and enjoy the magic of changing yarn into fabric.

    Think “flow” not “fight”. Make a mistake? Keep it and let go of any judgement! Reset your mind to think “flow” and make another stitch. You are on a journey, and this first piece is a precious record of your learning experience.

    When you are more proficient, you will be able to look back at your work and understand how that mistake was made. You will learn to read your knitting and use it as a guide on future projects. Do not — DO NOT — rip out your practice pieces.

  • Your marlogram is stunning. And having done that I think the knitting world is your oyster now.

  • Don’t give up on a project unless you are hating it! Too little time for that.

  • The colors you chose are outstanding! Tip: just keep at it! Can’t play the piano without practicing either.

  • For the newbie, keep it fun. Mistakes can be fixed or become design elements and colors are amazingly flexible so go with what you like. I was told “pick 2 colors you like together and one you don’t think goes then wait to be amazed.”

  • Your scarf is gorgeous – I love the colors, so cheery!! You can tackle any project that appeals to you!! I’m sure your coworkers are already offering suggestions! I think the marled blanket could be next!! Good luck and keep knitting!

  • My top tip for new knitters is to watch out for yarn overs! I didn’t understand how I kept ending a row with extra stitches, LOL. My other tip is to be open to new challenges. I prefer knitting, but the past year I made the Dover Shawl in crochet by Sara Kay Hartmann in a lovely silk yarn and have also made some forays into Tunisian. Experiment with different yarns, colors, and techniques!

  • I just wanna say I enjoyed reading your notes – gave me some smiles. So whatever you knit next, write about it. And I once had a dog like yours & her name was Smiley. 🙂

    • Smiley! What a great name 🙂

  • For the new knitter – don’t be afraid to have more than one project going at a time. Sometimes you’ll feel like something challenging and sometimes you’ll just need to feel the yarn flow easily through your fingers.

  • To the newbie knitter. You are not a machine. We all have random (holes, knots, twists, insert the appropriate reference) appear. That is the joy and beauty of handmade with love.

  • My advice for any new knitter (or seasoned knitter for that matter) is simple. Apologize for nothing! Too often, I’ve seen a knitter apologize for, say, using an inexpensive yarn from a chain store or for using stitch markers or life lines. Even worse, I’ve seen knitters perpetuate the idea that there is some sort of virtue in only using luxury yarn or never using stitch markers. There isn’t. Knit with want you want to knit with. Use the tools that help you feel comfortable so you can enjoy your knitting. And if someone get’s all Regina George on you, just smile and keep on doing what you do! This is not a competition. It breaks my heart when I see someone working really hard on something they really want to do and somehow be made to feel like it’s not good enough.

    The flip side of that is that as you gain more experience and your knitting world expands (which will happen quickly) be generous and share that experience with kindness. There’s a big difference between saying “Ugg, don’t use that yarn” and saying “Hey, there’s another yarn that you might like better for that project. Here’s some leftovers from my stash if you want to try it out.”

    Oh, and one other thing, when you’re swatching (yeah, you’re going to want to do that) remember that the suggested needle size is a SUGGESTION! I’ve seen a lot of new knitters make the mistake of thinking that it’s a goal that you have to achieve – getting that particular gauge on that particular needle with that particular yarn. The goal is the stated stitches and/or rows per inch. Not the suggested needle size.

    Congratulations on your Marlogram! It’s beautiful and Rose is a delightful model. You should be pleased as punch!

    • Ain’t nobody got time for Regina Georges! Thanks Karen 🙂

    • P.S. If you over blocked your beautiful project wait a bit to see if it relaxes. If it doesn’t, just soak it and block it again a little more gently.

  • My top tip: just take the pattern one line at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by pages of instr. just go one line, one stitch at a time. You’ll surprise yourself with what you can do! (And when all else fails, there’s a YouTube video for that.) Give Rib Lace Scarf in FG 15 a try!

    • I agree with this — entire patterns can look overwhelming. Just take it one stitch at a time, and if you get lost or confused, YouTube is there to help

    • The best advice I’ve received as I’m learning is to not over think anything. Read the pattern and do what it says. It’s supposed to be fun!!

  • Oh boy, sounds like you need a nice pair of mitts to keep your hands warm. Rose might like some booties!

    • Would love to see you play around with colors on the some log cabin squares. Over time, you’ll have enough for a lap blanket!

    • She would look so cute!

  • My friend is a brand new knitter, she’s struggling through her first garter stitch square. My advise? Have smooth needles, patience, and accept the mistakes. Holes from dropped stitches are how we learn!

  • Your Marlogram is beautiful! My tip is to use markers while working pattern repeats. . .they will help you to stay on track, letting you know (usually!) When you have gotten lost or off.

  • Lean into garter rectangles with a log cabin pattern! That’s one of my favorite field guides from back in the day.

    • Find a great cowl pattern you like. Kay has made several great ones; my favorite is AVFKW’s Nightfall. Easy patterns and I wear mine all the time.

  • Congratulations on leveling up your knitting, Ashley. You look quite fabulous in your new scarf- as does Rose.

  • Tip top top tip for a new-ish knitter? Don’t be afraid to knit anything you want! For any instructions you need help with, there are you tubes galore, and MDK’s website is a fantastic resource!

  • In order to find the peace of knitting, I knit every day. Even if it is only one row, daily knitting lets one see progress and it is so soothing to have yarn in hand even on the craziest of days.

  • You have a wonderful sense of color.

  • Advice to a newish knitter? Subscribe to the daily gift of the Modern Daily Knitting Letters! It provides a sense of this joyful and brilliant community, it lets you know that you can laugh about your knitting even while passionate about it, and it lets you see that we knitters never stop learning❤️.

  • Top tip – picker or thrower? Learn to do both Continental and English early in your beginning knitting. It makes it easier as you gain confidence in more complicated patterns and ultimately stranded colorwork, as well as build up muscle memory.

  • Hats. There is always someone that needs a new hat. I understand the marled hat pattern is a winner.

  • My top tip would be to just do it. Whatever you want to do, go for it. Don’t think that just because you are new to knitting you can’t do a sweater or socks or brioche. Knitting breaks down to simple steps and even the most complicated patterns can be tackled if written well.

  • Go for it is my knitting advice, you’ll learn as you go. Maybe a smallish project. Fingerless gloves?

  • For the newbie: turn off the TV, put down that glass of wine, and no chatting during the challenging parts of a pattern!

  • The comment: Nice job. Looks great on you. The advice for a new knitter: Join a knitting group! So much fun, so much inspiration, so much support.

  • Dear Newbie, place a locking stitch marker at the beginning of a right side row to know which edge begins the RS. Move it up as you add length.

  • New knitters shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves; by that I mean…yes read the pattern but don’t be daunted if you don’t totally understand some parts of it. Sometimes you just have to Do It to Learn It There is lots of help on line for the unknowns.

  • Advice… swatch, even if you don’t think you need it… you probably will gain some insight you didn’t anticipate!

  • The colors in your scarf are amazing! And for your next trick, now that you can handle 2 strands of yarn held together, try 2 strands worked separately – intarsia! Or stranded! Tons of fun.

    • I definitely would love to learn color work!

  • Log cabin

  • Top tip: do not be afraid to take a stab at fixing mistakes without frogging (ripping back). The more time your take to really see how things go together, the more you’re able to identify mistakes and how to correct them. Master that, and mistakes become no big deal, you reduce anxiety about making mistakes, and you are the master of your knitting! The worst that can happen is you frog back, and you’ve lost nothing and gained knowledge!

  • Don’t wait until you “get better” to knit with the “good yarn”. Your love for the materials will be stitched into fabric making it better.

    • Great point. Knit with the good stuff — it’s totally worth it and makes you take pride in your work.

  • Wow! Those colors are really stunning! I’d humbly offer to a fellow newbie, go with what motivates you and it looks like it’s color!!!! Go for the colors you love and everything else will follow!

  • Wow, beautiful marl. Tackle any knitting project that appeals to you,
    you will learn so much. When I started knitting yarns were so basic , now , well , all these beautiful fibres make a knit so amazing and fun.
    Happy Knitting.

  • Dear newby knitter, I suggest that you keep trying new things and keep practicing. Your talents will improve over time.

  • I think Rose needs her very own Marlogram!

    • she 1000% does!

  • Whatever you knit today — keep it. Who knew that the marled sweater I made in 1971 would finally come back into fashion!

  • Beautiful scarf! As a new knitter, I wish I had been taught about gauge. Not so important for a scarf or shawl but very important for a sweater.

  • Sweet color choices! Newbie-ish tip: be vigilant with placing your knitting in bag/purse/bin whenever you lay your knitting down…even for the 30 seconds it takes to get a coffee. It is not ‘cute’ fixing/cleaning your fiber once the cat/dog/toddler have played in it.

  • Tip for a new knitter: very little in knitting is irrevocable. Use the wonderful learning tools now available and persevere!

  • You are my kind of girl. Keep going! Every spreadsheet master needs a place to put her logic skills in her downtime. Knitting is the solution!

    • Yes!!

  • My advice is to remember that patterns are a list of instructions meant to be followed, not understood. Read it, do it, repeat. You will be surprised at what you can do one step at a time! That said, patterns are still only suggestions. It’s ok to make a change and make the project uniquely yours!

    • I say this all the time to myself and fellow knitters! Also, remember there are no knitting police….so do what you want!! And don’t be afraid to frog what’s not working. Sometimes the yarn is telling you what it wants to be.

  • What a gorgeous cowl/scarf! I love easy projects that allow you to just play with color (like felting bags). As a teacher of beginner knitters I encourage them to find a comfortable way to knit, if you notice no 2 knitters really knit the same. Knit what makes you happy and try to “read” your knitting.

  • Love the colors you were able to get with 2 very different yarns. Not sure I would have been that brave. New knitter creativity is the way to go! Does Rose need mittens to go with the cowl?

  • Tip: Get in the habit of swatching. Check your gauge! It took me many failed knitted pieces before adopting this habit. Not that I’m keen on it but it avoids heartache.

  • For the new knitter, don’t be afraid to make whatever you want. You learn by making those mistakes and reading your knitting. A good stitch dictionary is wonderful for practicing different combinations of stitches . Just find time everyday to play with yarn.

  • The Ballband dishcloth is a great newbie project and one of my MDK favorites.

  • Don’t be afraid of cables. They look complicated and hard to do but they aren’t. You will be surprised at how simple they are.

  • Ashley! Beautiful!!!

    If you want to leap into a sweater, try the Main Squeeze cardigan in Rowan Big Wool. It’s easy peasey for a sweater and knits up really fast. You will learn how join sleeves and to add on front and neck bands and pockets. There are only a few tricky parts. But there are videos! And you don’t have to block it.

    You have all the skills you need from your Marlogram, and it won’t take you much longer to make because the yarn is big.

    One hint: Either untie or snip out the knots in the Rowan Big Wool. Knots always pop through to the front.

  • For the new knitter I recommend relaxed hands! Try not to grip the knitting so tight!

  • Knit for love. Either you love the yarn or the pattern or the person who will get (can be you!). Hopefully all three loves are in a project but love can take you far (really? black socks?).
    Find your knitting helpers/teachers. It is wonderful to have someone who will cheer you on and bail you out when you have a knitting disaster.
    Learn to read your knitting. A good knitting helper will explain and show you the why and how mistakes are made and will fix them for you in the beginning so you can see how to fix and move on. Soon you will be doing that for yourself and that is a wonderful feeling.
    Blocking almost always improves your knitting. Don’t give up on a project until you block it unless there is that nagging little voice that is telling you that your mitten will likely fit a polar bear (and you don’t know any polar bears) or that hat could be a market bag. It is ok to rip out. Think of it is doubling the pleasure of working with a lovely yarn.
    PS As a long time non swatcher I have discovered swatches can help but I can use sleeves or hats or a beginning of projects as swatches if I pay attention to what I am making. It is better to rip out early than to have regrets much later. Also it really helps to swatch a confusing new stitch or cable pattern first.

  • You don’t need to correct every mistake. You’ll be the only one to notice most of them.

  • For the new knitter (or life in general) don’t be afraid to ask questions. Go to your LYS and ask “Am I doing this right?” Or “Can you help me figure this out?”

  • It’s not that hard. Take your time. Read the pattern through. And breathe:)

  • Don’t be afraid to try new techniques or buy yarn you love. Great yarn keeps you wanting to knit.

  • Next up You should knit a hat to give you quick confidence on a project you can see progressing quickly that will continue to build on your knew knitting mojo!

  • My advice for a new-ish knitter is to be patient with yourself as your skills grow, and if you keep at it, your skills will grow. No one was born with needles in hand, and we all started somewhere

  • I usually encourage new knitters to get comfortable with frogging and fixing mistakes. It helps them learn to read their knitting and keeps them from feeling devastated when they inevitably drop stitches.

  • For the newish knitter, remember that TINKING and FROGGING are part of the knitting process. Don’t be dismayed or discouraged when you find yourself FROGGING a sweater sleeve, as I’ve done more than once.

  • Read the pattern though first and use your tools!

  • Stitch markers and charts. Only way to keep the knit on track.

  • Give yourself time to learn a new skill. A concert pianist didn’t become that way after a few weeks, it can take years to develop muscle memory and technical understanding of knitting. You will get there and can do it. Be patient with yourself.

  • Hats! Easy, quick, confidence building hats. A chance to combine colors and yarns any way you want and still end up with an object that will fit someone.

  • Beautiful indeed!!

  • Swatch (and wash it!) Even if you aren’t making something that needs to be a certain size, you can know in advance whether you’ll like the fabric and also practice new stitches and techniques.

  • Just find a pattern that you love and knit with colors that bring you joy! It’s all just knits and purls! Have a couple of friends who can answer questions and help you work through questions. Welcome to the adventure!

  • Jen Geigley’s Main Squeeze Cardigan from Field Guide 12.

  • I would like to see the Mood Cardigan in Field Guide 15. I’ve had my eye on it ever since it came out. I’ve looked at yarn, I just don’t seem to pull the trigger on this project.

  • Beautiful knitting, Ashley! My advice is to buy the very best yarn that you can afford because your time knitting is valuable and your finished product should last long, not pill or distort over time and washing and it should make you happy very time you wear it with pride❤️

  • Time to knit in the round….. toques are the way to go! So many different weights, textures and of course colour combos. Have fun exploring. And share with all the awesome knitter friends. We are cheering you on!

  • Beautifully done. I have been knitting for years and still find things sometimes grow too much when I soak them. It is amazing what strategic squooshing can do to put things back in order. I would like Ashley to make Rose a doggie swarf. I bet Kay will help her figure out the stitch counts to use for Ashley!

  • Read through the pattern before you start knitting. Make certain you understand how the project will flow and get advice early on for any trickier parts.

  • A heap full of congratulations and a hug for finishing this. Luxuriate in feeling proud of yourself for making something that is beautiful, you can wear and keep for forever. If you can do this, you can knit anything. I’ve been knitting for 50+ years and I am still learning and excited to knit the next new thing. I love knitting and it’s now so much a part of my personality that I can’t imagine my life without it.

    I have knit during the different stages, some tough and some easy, of my life and variety of emotions that being alive brings: sad, mad, glad, lonely, busy, bored, stressed, relaxed, made new friends, worried, relieved, praying, laughing, happy, grateful – you name it, that’s just life. Somehow knitting provided joy and solace at the same time. My advice is not so much on patterns, yarns or technical matters, but rather to absorb this wonderful talent you have into your life until it becomes a lifestyle and make it uniquely yours.

  • Well done and gorgeous. Keep a notebook for “Things I have learned” and to add notes to yourself. I see so many great patterns (thank you MDK) and I add to my notebook to do this “technique” next or after I finish project 17. Life is about learning and having fun.

  • If you hate knitting something, don’t continue! Hide it, give it away to charity, whatever, and start on something you may love. After 60 plus years of knitting, ask me how I know this.

  • If you can’t find joy or fun in the pattern you’re knitting, move on. Maybe it’s the yarn or maybe it’s the pattern. There’s no shame in stopping and finding a new pattern that speaks to you and makes your yarn dance!

  • For a newbie knitter: MDK Skillset by your side and you can NEVER use too many stitch markers to help keep track of your work!

  • To the new knitter. Learn the magic loop for knitting in the round. Wish I had known before I invested in lots of needles I don’t use anymore. All I use or buy now are 40 inch circulars. I can knit from the smallest circle to any project you would use straight needles for, sweaters to afghans.

  • Don’t be afraid to rip your knitting back to the beginning if it isn’t going right. You’ll be happy you did rather than upset the project never turned out correctly. Knit on!

  • Ashley,
    I echo everyone’s thoughts. If you are knitting with a beautiful yarn you love and you make a mistake, you get to rip it out and knit with the yarn again. Enjoy your journey.

  • Tips for newish knitter: it’s all just knits and purls….so when you find something you want to make, cast on and go.

  • The Shakerag sweater. As casual and comfortable as a T-shirt. As sublime as a classic cashmere sweater.

    It is a really good starting sweater because you can achieve a really sophisticated look with a fairly basic set of skills. It’s a nice piece to have because you can use it year round. Layer when it’s cool. On it’s own when it’s hot. Even if you spend a bit more for “luxury” yarns, the value is in the low cost of price per wear. But you don’t need to do that. I think this sweater would look good no matter what yarn you use. As long as the yarn is the right weight.

  • Patience- just read the pattern and take your time.

  • Advice: just keep on knitting. This is a choose-your-own-adventure experience so don’t compare yourself to others, especially super-experts.

  • Have patience with yourself and keep practicing.

  • find yarn you love knitting! It will keep you motivated to knit every day.

  • Buy beautiful yarn….don’t skimp AND know you can ALWAYS GET HELP!!

  • Musselburgh hat in a fun colorway

  • Begin and you’ll find the fun.

  • Your cowl is beautiful! My tip is use stitch markers and a row counter-it helps me stay on track when I’m relaxing while knitting. Have fun and enjoy it’s a bad day when I can’t knit.

  • How about a nice pair of vanilla socks in some wild skittles colored yarn.

  • Great work! Hope Rose got some pizza and maybe some banana bread!! Knit on!!

    • Rose is a beautiful model! My tip is to keep good notes… 1) with your project about where you are in the pattern and any modifications you wanted to make; 2) after your project about how it went and and things to remember if you want to make it again; and 3) with yarn purchases, if you had a specific project in mind. This will help you get back on track if your knitting ends up on the back burner for a while.

  • if you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to pull back your knitting to fix it. The yarn doesn’t get wrecked by doing this and you can learn a lot of knitting skills by doing this—plus patience and resilience. Oh, and pleasure from producing a nice finished object.

  • When I was a new knitter, I tried any pattern that caught my eye, and watched instructional videos to see how a particular technique was done. Lucky for you, there are in-house instructors to answer your questions! My favorite early project was MDK’s mitered square blanket from their first book, which literally took me one year to finish. My 30-something daughter still loves it, 13+ years later.

  • Well done on your marl!!! Makes me want to knit one up as well even though I’m running out of needles due to all the started projects currently going. 🙂 To the new knitter: knits and purls rule. SO many combination choices with just those 2 stitches. Embrace them with good yarn!

  • Wow, Ashley! Those colors with your complexion/hair are stunning. But, let’s face it even Rose looks great in the Marlogram!
    As an “ever learning” knitter, I select my next project so that I am learning at least one new thing. I would consider myself an advanced beginner, but a few months ago I taught myself CABLES!!!!! This is not difficult, but looks amazing! Thank goodness for online tutorials. Sometimes I watch the same one 27 times, but I get the process in the end.

  • Read through the whole pattern before you start, and takes notes on what you’re doing, especially for things like sweaters. Relax and enjoy what you are doing. It’s not hard, it’s new!

  • Only knit the good stuff! Life’s too short for yarn you don’t love.

  • To the new knitter: Enjoy the journey!

  • Don’t fear any project…knit whatever you want and don’t let anyone tell you “that’s for an advanced knitter”. It’s all just knit and purl stitches in different combinations.

  • Use the recommended yarn. Don’t skimp on a new project thinking you’ll learn with a cheaper alternative and do it again later with the good stuff. You’ll be disappointed with the result and may never pick it up again.

  • Find a yarn you love and consider a multicolored yarn, mistakes are much less apparent than with a solid color.

  • Brava, Ashley! I think Rose would love a Kiki Mariko rug. I think it’s an easy intro to colorwork, and you’ll feel like a boss for doing a (totally safe, felted!) steek. You can do it!

    We all began with garter stitch squares. You are in very distinguished company.

  • Definitely The Shift.

  • My top tip is not to wait too long to knit something with some nice wool. I started knitting early on with cotton because it was less expensive and I live in a warm climate. But cotton doesn’t have the give that wool does. I think wool is easier on a new knitter. My other tip is to learn as early as possible how to fix common mistakes. I finally began to feel some confidence once I learned how to undo my goofs. And I agree with all the comments about knitting at least a little every day. That’s when it becomes addictive!

  • Being somewhat in the garter stitch rectangle stage myself, I have no tips but will gladly read those given by others. I think you should try the Swoof for Rose. And you did a wonderful job by the way!

    • Rose definitely needs a Swoof!

  • I think the number one thing that propelled my skills as a new knitter was constantly surfing Ravelry and knitting magazines to find an item I really REALLY wanted. When I found a thing I felt I couldn’t live without having, I was ready to learn whatever it threw at me.
    And always knit with the prettiest stuff! Which won’t be a problem for you at MDK, of course.

  • This week I’ll be making the fingerless mitts from FG Beginnings with a friend who hasn’t knit since childhood. She will learn increases and decreases and won’t need to purl or worry about gauge. Looking forward to having another knitting friend.

  • Top Tips:

    – knitting is reversible. Don’t like what you’ve got? Pull it out and try again!

    – want to learn a new knitting skill? Find a pattern you REALLY LOVE that uses that skill. Desire will get you a long way.

  • Tips for a new knitter—Don’t be too hard on yourself or too critical of your work. Most “mistakes” can be fixed. Take a class on this subject. I found it very helpful. Knitting takes practice and patience. Read your pattern carefully. You’ll be surprised at what you can do if you just take it step by step. The internet is a great resource if you need more information on a specific technique. Also, knitting friends and colleagues. Don’t be afraid to ask. Knitters love to help and encourage each other.

  • For brand new Knitters I recommend winding the tail into a little ball/knot type of thing to make sure you’re using the working yarn from the very beginning. To any knitter, if you don’t want to continue with a project, then don’t. life is too short to work on something because you think you “should”. But don’t get rid of it (unless you repurpose the yarn)because you may change your mind days, weeks, months or years later.

  • Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book Knitting Without Tears changed my knitting life. Just like that I understood what I was doing.

  • Ashley, you should bang out a sweater! Don’t worry about keeping up the big kids (process, not product), but it’s all just knits and purls.

  • Newbies? Check your stitch count regularly. Stitches have a sneaky way to multiplying or disappearing when you aren’t checking them!

  • Remain happy and calm and know that repetition is what makes knitting great and makes great projects. Even if you are doing something wrong, don’t change in the middle of the project — stay on the same track and it will be great and yours.

  • My little nubbins of kitting wisdom for a beginner: best way to integrate your learning is to knit (at least one row) every day. That is how your body and mind learn together.

  • Give yourself some grace! It takes a while to master knitting, and even the masters mess up sometimes!

  • My top tip: Always cast on, work and finish one project at a time. Having multiple UFOs can cause stress!

  • Socks are a good way to keep going. Just when you think you can’t keep going, you have to change – ribbing to stockinette, leg to heel, etc. and even the tricky areas are short-lived.

  • Knit on your favorite project before you go to bed, sweet dreams will follow.

  • Be fearless and don’t sweat it if you have to rip out. (Except if knitting with boucle, it’s a pain to rip out. So don’t pick it as a yarn until you are ready.

  • I agree that a log cabin blanket or maybe a cowl. Lo e the colors you used.

  • The Parallelogram wrap is…well, if you enjoyed the Marlogram, just wait. The Parallelogram is to me what a ball band dishcloth is to Kay. Put the needles in my hands in my coffin, and I’ll start knitting it.

  • A wise teacher once told me that I’d eventually be able to “read” my knitting to see where I went wrong and it’s true! Once yore not afraid to “tink” back (that’s knit backwards ) to fix a mistake you’ll know you’re a pro!! Love your marlogram!!

  • Use markers and count!

  • To anyone learning … it’s one big adventure, don’t aim for perfection, any mistake is a design opportunity, weaving in ends can help hide any ooopsies, and know that with MDK by your side help is never far away.

  • A cabled tuque is a surefire way to dazzle your friends (and yourself). It’s just ribbing with different counts and every few rows you slip a couple of stitches to a holder and either put them in front or behind, work a couple more stitches, and then work the stitches from the holder. Piece of cake. (Mmmmm cake!)

  • I just received my order of four skeins of ombre merino lace–itching to cast on a marlogram once I get through the finishings of a lopapeysa for my husband. Last night I started dreaming of a Purl Soho half and half shawl made with the Feria OML.

  • Knit and keep big swatches of your project yarn and pattern, and include eyelets in the swatch to record the needle size used.

  • For your next project – something you really WANT. Nothing helps you finish a project like wanting to wear or use it. Lovely job – I especially like the colors you chose on YOU.

  • There is nothing like a friend or teacher to guide you as you knit with excellent yarn (soft wool, not fuzzy or dark). I like to learn one new thing with each project – build up your skills slowly. I recommend log cabin patterns next! I also want to try the picket fence pattern! BTW, I did not block for years after one bad experience! I’m better now – actually blocking swatches! If you like YouTube, I recommend Rox Knits for tips and knitting conversations. Patty Lyons taught me to refine my purl stitch – a game changer!

  • Your scarf is beautiful! Now you can knit a sweater for Rose. You are absurdly lucky to work in a place where you have so many knitting mentors! Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  • I tried to knit for so many years, and gave up in frustration because the cast on row was so tight. The only cast on my mom knew to teach me was backward e, but once I learned some new ways, it was easier to knit into that row. So my advice for a newbie is to make sure that first row is loose enough to work into by using any kind of cast on other than backward e. Seriously, any kind!

  • Gosh Ashley, that is gorgeous! Love your color choices. One of my favorite projects ever was the Leif Cowl by Dianna Walla in MDK Field Guide 3. So much fun to knit and simple enough for my first try at colorwork. Have fun!

  • Have good tools, good quality yarn and don’t be afraid of a thing you don’t know (yet).

  • New knitters, DON’T GIVE UP, and don’t be intimidated by crusty old cows like me

  • Read Elizabeth Zimmermann’s book “Knitting without Tears” and learn about circular knitting, and how to practice it. Then get Barbara Walker’s
    “Learn-to-Knit Afghan book” and learn that you can understand directions while knitting a beautiful afghan!

  • Love your marls! The colours are beautiful! You’re knitting in the best of times! I began knitting as an 18 year old, and everything was local. One or two brands of yarn only. Knowledge was limited by the books I could afford or that my library stocked. Patterns were something I bought one at a time. Fifty years later, the pattern and yarn choices are endless. There’s been an explosion of creativity and knowledge in the last 25 years. We have knitting superstars and shows! The internet gives us the ability to communicate with other knitters everywhere, video how-tos to spread knowledge. Keep being curious because it keeps your knitting vital, interesting, and if you want it to be, challenging too.

  • Lots of great comments and bravo on your marlogram! My tip is to finish your row before you put down your knitting. It’s a habit that will save you heartache and frustration many times over, I promise.

  • To the new knitter: Have Fun! Mistakes are part of the process of learning and can point the way to design variations

  • If you can knit and purl you can create all the knitted things!

  • Beautiful! Congratulations ❤️

  • Pick a pattern that YOU love, then you will want to work through it. And either print it or make a copy, or use an iPad program that you can scribble on and write whatever is helpful to you. I find it useful to read through a whole pattern in advance and highlight numbers relevant to me, where to change needles, etc.

    Love, love, love your shawl.

  • Best tip for becoming a better knitter: Read the entire pattern before you begin. Just like reading through a recipe to make sure you know what order everything should be done in, reading through the pattern can help avoid surprises, counting errors, and more.

  • My advice would be try something a bit more challenging each time so you add to your skill set. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake–that’s how you learn. The best advice I ever received is “The only people who don’t make a mistake are the people who don’t do anything!”

  • You and Rose are beautiful in your Marlogram!!!
    My best tip for a new knitter is YouTube. If you look around, there are videos for EVERYTHING!!!
    I think you should set your sights on Bang out a Sweater next month. 🙂

  • Enjoy each step & let perfectionism melt away. I love the results of your Marlogram and think you should make another in blue & green shades.

  • Periodically stop and Start noticing each stitch and discover you can read your knitting

  • I think Rose needs a Kiki Mariko rug!

  • Swatch until you’re happy with the fabric you get. Make your gauge work for you.

  • My top tips for newish knitters are: 1) just keep knitting; 2) trust yourself to fix mistakes; 3) find patterns that you love – don’t worry if they’re too hard or too easy – you’ll figure them out. And have fun

  • Pick a pattern you will love and buy nice yarn. You’re worth it!

  • My advice for new knitters is always to k it whatever makes you excited. As they say, its all knits and purls so you can knit anything!

  • The colors in your Marlogram look fabulous on you. Bravo! You are truly a ‘knittin’ woman’ now.

    In my early knitting days I attempted patterns that I now know are considered advanced but I didn’t know better at the time. They came out just fine.
    My motto is: If you want it badly enough, you can make it.

  • An experienced knitter once said to me, “You can’t knit if you won’t rip.” Learning to fix mistakes is a great confidence-booster (I.e., a dropped stitch seems like a disaster until you learn how to — usually quite easily— fix it.). But sometimes ya gotta rip back. Of course it’s frustrating, but try to accept it as an occasional necessity that all knitters face. Don’t beat yourself up over it or give up on the project. It’s all practice. And practice brings new skills, more confidence, more pleasure!

  • For a new knitter, don’t be afraid to try something new. There are some many good YouTube videos to help you if you are unsure what to do!

  • I want to see Rose model a marled hat!

  • Never be intimidated! it’s “only” yarn. If you can read and/or search the internet, you can figure it out. And never be shy about getting a little help from your friends.

  • ti all beginners, knitting is mostly practice. knit every day, try for 10 rows. more is better. i was hugely frustrated by my purling. i found a pattern in stockinette that intrigued me and i made it. by the end i had become at peace with purl. it was the effect of practice.

  • A great pattern from MDK to get into sweaters is the Shakerag and since it uses two strands, you could marl it too! Ideas, ideas,, ideas!!!

  • Rose needs a swarf! She would look lovely in blues! Top tip for a new knitter is don’t worry about little mistakes. Keep trying and know that we all make them. Turn them into design features!

  • When starting a new project, stay away from the wine until you get the hang of the pattern. #learnfrommymistakes

  • my best hint is that patterns are NOT cast in stone!

  • A marled hat, you can do it! And Rose will wear it well.

  • Find a pattern you like and just do it. I didn’t know brioche was supposed to be hard. Just liked the hat. Ditto on my first double knitting (a checkerboard!) and lace shawl projects. I just thought “I like the picture, I’m smart. I can read. How hard can it be?” Yes, slow and occasionally problems, but I finished all of them.

  • To the new knitter–be kind to yourself, keep breathing. We are talking about string, loops, and sticks. Beauty takes shape in lots of ways

  • After you soak you knitting spin it in your washing machine it will not hurt or shrink it and it will dry much faster!

  • My tip is to never get caught up in what others think is not a beginner pattern. If you can knit, purl, increase and decrease you can pretty much knit anything. Just be patient and work step by step. Best of luck!

  • My top tip for new knitters. Choose projects that can be easily finished in a short time and in fun colors. This will give you early success and joy. I gave my first projects to friends who did not knit. Double joy finishing something & giving something.

  • Best advice I can give newish knitters (and that I wish somebody had told me when I was new) is to take a couple “fix your knitting” classes. Once you learn how to read your knitting and fix your mistakes you can do anything! And every teacher has different ways of doing things so taking more than one class on the topic is incredibly helpful.

  • Knitting tip: Spend some knitting time with a more experienced knitting friend (who is hopefully patient and glad to help you learn new things). I did this over the weekend and learned a new technique as well as the reason I am choosing the wrong size sweater to knit for myself.
    Good luck and happy knitting!

  • For the new knitter: Keep trying new stitches and new techniques. There is so much help online if you get stuck.

  • Learn to read your knitting.

    Read the pattern before you start.

  • Know there’s always more than one way to do things! I am a self taught knitter and followed patterns as written, not knowing there could be another, or better, way to do them (this was the 80’s – pre-internet!). A lot of too tight necks and bottom bands…

  • To the newish knitter: Learn to love the process. Every time you have to frog back, you receive the gift of knitting again!!! And remember that you can’t learn everything about knitting in a short amount of time. I’ve been knitting for 60 years and am still learning, which is a delight to me. Happy knitting!!!

  • Go slow, keep notes, buy good yarn and needles and FINISH what you knit!

  • Beautiful colors! I would like to see Rose in another fashion show. She’s a cutie!

  • My advice to a newer knitter is to try new things, but try them in heavier yarn (worsted, aran, bulky) so you get the satisfaction of a finished object even faster (and I find bigger yarns less fussy).

  • Ashley, your marlogram is beautiful!! I like to weave in ends, then wet block, then trim ends leaving about 1/8″.
    Next up? I recommend a log cabin blanket – you can use garter stitch (and learn to pick up stitches along the cast off edges),or mix it up with a stitch dictionary or some sequence knitting for each rectangle. I made one lap blanket with marled Felted Tweed and different stitch patterns in each block – I love it!!

  • To the new knitter: make sure you’re knitting into your actual first stitch, and not the two legs of the stitch below it! Especially in garter stitch that first stitch will try to twist up and hide itself behind the stitch below it. Do not be fooled, it’s the one on the needle directly attached to your working yarn.

  • Love Rose! Beagles are the best! She’s a great model.

  • Learn to “read” your knitting! Makes so much difference in spotting and correcting mistakes before it’s too overwhelming.

  • Don’t use cheP yarn

  • 1. Rose can wear anything.
    2. Restart a project as many times as you need to.
    3. Take a class if you need to! My first pair of socks are my ‘$80 Socks’ and totally worth it.
    4. Don’t use crappy yarn.

  • Seriously? You can marl two different weights together??

  • Hadley Sweater #2- good for a begnner and a classic.
    buy yarn you really like don’t buy it because it is cheap!

  • Do some hand yoga: wrist rotations, flexing, open and close your palms, tap your fingers with your thembs ~

  • Tip for new knitter: keep hand lotion nearby, moisturized hands hold the yarn better, yarn is less likely to slip

    • Oh, smart! Thank you

  • Slip as if to purl unless the pattern tells you different

  • My Advice to Newbies? Just dive in and do it. Making mistakes is how we learn! If anyone is so unkind as to criticize, remind them you love to be educated in a sweet way and that there are very few “wrong” ways to knit. There are just new things waiting to be “unvented!”

  • Have fun and share !

  • Knit a swatch to check your gauge and read through the pattern before starting your project (okay, that’s two tips but both are equally important.)

  • Be fearless! There are very few mistakes that can’t be ripped out and corrected. (Anything knit with mohair and anything steeked are all that come to mind.) Take chances! What’s the worst that could happen?

  • If you need help with learning/making a stitch, understanding/working with a pattern, ask someone for help! It will get you through the rough spots. Rip out if you have to.

  • Just keep knitting, knitting. Just keep knitting

  • If you make a mistake you think you “can” ignore but know you really “can’t”, correct it now, not 20 rows down!

  • I read somewhere once to stop often and look at your knitting. You may see a mistake but you will also see how much better your are becoming!

  • Tip #1 for a new knitter: if you like a pattern but you want to use a different yarn, be careful! It isn’t enough for the new yarn to have the same recommended gauge, if it doesn’t have similar drape and elasticity then you may be disappointed with the result. But if you want to live dangerously and try it anyway, and it doesn’t go well, tip #2: you can rip out knitting and start over with a new yarn!

  • Beautiful work! Top tip: no project is ‘too’ hard if you desire it enough. (You’ll figure out the hard parts as you go along.)

  • As tempting as it is, don’t buy every pattern and every pretty skein of yarn you see – your knitting taste might change as you work through various projects!

  • My advice is to go ahead and try the new thing— seaming, brioche, shaping, tubular thisnthat— there are technique videos and Ask Pattys and tutorials about every aspect of knitting.

  • Be patient. Almost every pattern is just how the designer combines knit or purl variations. Even when it looks like more.

  • Your Marlogram is beautiful. I love the yarn choices. See … you’re already doing it … making it your own. And since you work at MDK, you have knitting gurus in your back pocket. Keep trying new things; it’s how we learn. My last piece of advice is to work on or take a class to help you learn how to fix simple mistakes and “read your knitting.”

  • Swarf! Great blocking practice and you will feel brilliant!

  • Along with all the new skills, I’d recommend learning how to fix mistakes early on. Had been knitting for a couple decades and the thought of fixing something remained out of my reach…a mountain, I’m learning to climb!

  • I suggest new knitters use light colors so they can see the stitches better

  • I love love love it! You rock out loud!

  • I returned to knitting after a long hiatus by making a baby hat. It made me confident about knitting in the round and inspired me to make hats, mittens, and socks.

  • Use needle holders to keep your project on your needles or you may find a terrible mess in your knitting bag after the stitches slide off!!

  • Practice. Practice … Practice. Make a blanket with all your practice bits. Enjoy

  • My advice to a new knitter is to give yourself time. Give yourself the time, space, and permission to learn at your own pace. If you are feeling intimidated by listening to seasoned knitters discuss knitting projects/techniques that you do not yet understand, give yourself the permission to not understand stand them while also simply focusing on your own progress, your own project which is before you. Remember that you are walking on your own unique knitting path. Although you will meet many along the way, and make many meaningful connections, no one can walk that path for you.

    Make use of resources which are available to you, such as beginning knitters classes, joining a knitting group/the local knitters guild, good basic reference material, such as Skill Set by MDK which is not only available in print, but as an app which can travel with you anywhere.

    And at 2:00 a.m. when you need to know how to do a stretchy bind-off, remember that there is a lot of good information which is just a Google or a YouTube search away!

  • My top tip for a new knitter is don’t give up. Knit with a friend and stop to feel the yarn. It’s a wonderful hobby.

  • Don’t underestimate the beauty of simple projects in lovely yarn. Also, if something doesn’t turn out just as expected, don’t be disappointed, someone will love and use your creation. Set it

  • I was going to say”Don’t be afraid of color”, but I think you are already way ahead of me on that, so I will just advise you to give Rose some pizza.

  • Knitter Tip: Pick a pattern enjoy, relax, and have fun doing your project.

  • Learn to read your knitting then learn to fix your mistakes.

  • Beautiful colors! Newbie tip: Understand how to tink back stitches. I’m a newbie and knowing that I can go back and fix mistakes is pretty empowering!

  • newish knitter: Mucklestone hat from Field Guide 17. Hats are instant gratification and a great small place to practice new skills like color work.

  • My newbie knitter advice – don’t compare yourself to others. You are on your own path!

  • My advice…..keep knitting and don’t look back or judge yourself in the beginning. It is a process and you will always be learning.

  • Don’t be afraid to rip it out and start again! It’s all about the process, isn’t it? Frogging a project is OK!

  • My tip for new knitters? Succumb to all the lovely yarns! Touch them, knit them, horde them as a collective, we were most prepared for a lockdown with our stashes! I always have a spare mindless knitting project in the back seat in the event of an unforeseen delay…the perfect opportunity to knit a few rows!

  • Ashley should knit freak flags next! That’s what I’m doing anyway! Love the marlogram!

  • Well being new does not mean you have to do or not do any one thing. I mean there is Beginnings, Big Joy but as a newbie I had help and made socks. My first pair are very loose and more like slippers. My next pair was better. I tried toe up and cuff down. And now I just like socks and I am finishing my first pair of knee highs. I like the idea of Log Cabin knitting too.

  • My advice: don’t be afraid to rip back as needed. All of us experienced knitters do it. It’s more painful when you are new, but it’s worth it! You just get to knit more, and end up with something you’ll be happier with.

  • Use stitch markers and row counters! It will save a lot of headaches.

  • Less of a tip, more of a secret: We are all newbie knitters, because knitting is endlessly learnable. It’s truly incredible. How many other hobbies/businesses are there in which the canon of knowledge continues to grow?

    Okay now a for real tip: Let mistakes happen so that you can learn to correct them (or discern to ignore them.)

  • Every mistake is a learning opportunity!

  • Don’t be afraid to try increasingly difficult projects. You will learn new skills and be very proud of yourself.

  • Stop and check over your work every few rows. It’s much less daunting if you find something that needs to be fixed when it’s 2 rows back than 20!

  • Taking time to check my number of stitches every few rows

  • Tip: for the marled knitting, you need contrasting colors, not necessarily complementing ones. If they are too close in color density they end up muddy.

  • Absolutely stunning scarf! Love, love your choice of colors. Tip for a new knitter: Find projects that inspire you and never be intimidated by the thought that anything is too hard. Everything is within your reach, one stitch at a time.

  • Well, I think she needs to bang out a sweater. Colorwork, steeking! Just jump right in

  • Count your stitches!

  • Don’t be afraid to try a pattern that has techniques you haven’t tried yet – that is how you learn!

  • I’ve recently taught my son’s girlfriend to knit, and there were two things that really helped her. First, just keep reminding yourself that holding the yarn will feel very awkward at first. Everyone has to figure out what position on the fingers/hands works best for them. Then, push each new stitch past the point on the needle and then tighten. This really helped her maintain consistency in stitch size.

  • My tip for new knitters is ‘Dont be afraid to ask’. Join a real or online knitting group, you will find the kindest people always willing to support you and provide help. Soon you will be the person helping other newbies. And use the resources on google to find knitting tutorials. Even if you type just the abbreviation from your pattern google, eg. M1R, it will lead you to a range of excellent tutorials to get you through and on to the next step

  • Get to know YouTube. There are so many kind and generous knitters who have freely shared their knowledge on YouTube. I learned most of what I know from there.

  • The Rose who lives here says that dogs who own knitting humans must instruct their humans to avoid patterns that are too stretchy because dog paws can easily get tangled in loosely knit dog sweaters.

  • Try not to set deadlines. Takes the fun out of frogging.

  • My best tip that took me forever to get on the bandwagon with- actually weaving in ends pre blocking, but waiting to trim until after so you don’t get the pesky ends popping out after.

  • For a newby, join a knitting group for constant encouragement and undying, caring support x.

  • Advice for a new knitter : Go For It ! Don’t think, don’t compare yourself or skill to others, just enjoy knitting with reckless abandon.

  • Get used to knitting with circular needles right off the bat, even for flat projects. Your hands will be more comfortable and your knitting is less likely to slide off your needles! And get the good ones with smooth joins.

  • Don’t be afraid to fail!

  • Love the marled scarf!
    My tip is to count stitches after every row to begin with. Once you have confidence that you’re not adding or dropping stitches you can move on to counting every so often.

  • Learn how to fix mistakes! Lots of YouTube videos on the subject to watch… game changer to improve the quality of your work.

  • so many great tips here! this craft/art journey is part of my life; I’ve embraced it deeply. sometimes if I’m in a mood I push the needles away, but then the endless array of colors, textures, patterns, peeps, bring me so much joy!

  • Relax. It’s homemade and the little imperfections will be endearing to you as you remember your first project years down the road.

  • Top tip for newish knitter- learn to fix mistakes (like the tutorial this week) and you will be fearless! I did a complex cable sweater after earlier failed attempts to become a knitted, and after I learned to fix cable mistakes nothing ever seemed scary again.

  • Don’t worry about mistakes. Just knit and enjoy.

  • My tip (h/t to Marie Kondo) – do what sparks joy. If the never-ending scarf you’re working on bums you out, start another project! There’s no shame in having multiple UFOs. You never know when some project you’ve started will be perfect for your frame of mind.

  • New Knitters tip: just follow the pattern as written, even if you think it is wrong …. especially when knitting socks.

  • Start small, get the basics down, then start to stretch yourself with different types of knitwear or harder patterns. Always remember you can frog back to the beginning!

  • Every mistake is lesson learned.

  • Such an accomplishment! I look at knitting as one stitch, one repeat, one row, one section at a time. It is all doable! As for colors, as long as you or the recipient likes them it is a win. Your piece is beautiful in all categories! My life moto is : Perfection is an illusion. This relieves a lot of stress. Now for Ms. Rose, when can she expect a matching scarf and belly band?

  • My tip for newbies is it’s worth the time to tink back to your mistake so you can learn from your mistakes and can recognize what they look like compared to what they should look like.

  • Wait til you see how easy cables are…or slip stitches. The possibilities are endless and it’s all only knit and purl.
    Welcome to the journey!!

  • For a beginner knitter, I recommend starting with an easy pattern. My first knitting project was an afghan made of squares of different stitches: moss stitch, garter stitch and some other easy ones. This way, you can practice these stitches before going on to more advanced stitches.

  • My advice—keep notes as you knit. Don’t trust yourself to remember that little chance you made in the first sleeve…

  • Always always always read the entire pattern before you start the project. And remember to swatch.

  • To a new knitter,
    Find a knitter or knit store who can help you fix mistakes and give you feedback. Don’t get frustrated, discouraged and stuck. Just drop by, have a chat and get back up on your needles. Who knows, you may also make a new friend!

  • I love the colours you’ve used – wearing a bundle of Skittles is a great image. What a way to brighten winter. As I write this in Canada, it minus 25C (minus 35 C with windchill), so I need me some colour!

    It sounds like you are already bringing a sense of adventure to knititng, so I have no advice. Just welcome to the joy and camaraderie of knitting.

    Hello to Rose!

  • The MDK pattern that gave me the most confidence when I was a newbie was the ballband dishcloth. Knitting, purling, slipping stitches, and color changing. Also, the pattern is easy to memorize. And they’re so quick and satisfying.

    Great work!

  • Tip: you can do it!!

  • I would like to learn how to get my edge stitiches to look elegant.

  • Remember that there are no knitting police. Nobody is standing there telling you what you should or should not do on your project.

  • Pick yarn you love and then each stitch is exciting and you’ll stay motivated. 🙂

  • find a knitting buddy

  • My top tip is to not sweat it – this is just yarn and if you end up with something you like, and you enjoyed the process, that’s key! Gauge is MUCH more important for fitted items such as socks, mittens, sweaters, and hats than it is for scarves, shawls, and blankets, although you might have yardage adjustments if it’s coming out on the bigger side. There is no “one true way” for knitting, crocheting, or anything, as long as the end result is what it should be – and if you “unvent” something on the way, cool, you’re a designer! Lastly, anything can be made in ANY colour, so don’t let the photograph put you off if you like the design.

  • Others have already said it, but choose yarn you love. How it feels in your hands as you knit is also important. Knitting should be fun. Don’t feel like you have to knit something (whether that is the pattern or the yarn) that doesn’t bring you joy.

  • I think new-ish knitters would like booklets with simple patterns you can knit flat like washcloth, scarfs, baby hat, that has pattern, needle and yarn and perhaps video for support. I know in the beginning it is hard to learn all types of yarns, needle sizes and finding patterns. Putting it altogether can be overwhelming.

  • Count your stitches! Even if you have hundreds. All too often, I find myself in frogging purgatory if I don’t count every few rows (or after increases/decreases). If you have hundreds of stitches, drop in a stitch marker every 25 stitches – makes it easier to keep track. (I’m taking out an entire sleeve right now because I got absorbed in the last episdoe of The Tower on BritBox last night and ended up with 17 stitches instead of 18 and no idea where the double decrease happened. Wish I could say lesson learned…) Happy knitting!

  • For the new knitter: get some yarn in a color (colors) that makes you want to eat it and choose a pattern that lets you see progress. Endless stockinette is easy but it can seem like you’re not getting anywhere. The ‘gram projects are great because there are increases and decreases and knits and purls to pay attention to, but the fit is nothing to worry about.

  • My advice for a new knitter is to take your time to select a good quality yarn that you love–the feeling of a luscious yarn in your hands helps learning a new skill that much more enjoyable.

  • start with a light color worsted weight, buy a book with good pictures, use you tube, try to take a class, relax!

  • My advice for you is to keep writing! I really enjoyed your humor and your voice. They’re as sparkly and bright as your scarf.

  • I would really enjoy a thorough article on knitting tension – I’m not exactly a newbie knitter anymore, but it’s still a struggle! Thanks!

  • Make a sweater first— no need to be afraid to start big. You will learn a lot and have a treasured garment to wear.

  • For new knitters: invest in interchangeables.

  • When using magic loop (for socks perhaps) give a good firm tug on the SECOND stitch from the beginning when you start on the new needle. This will help minimize ladders in the fabric where you have divided the stitches onto the two needles.

  • Being a total amateur knitter myself, I would encourage any newbie knitter to find a support group and source of information, hints, etc. It can be this great website for certain, there’s so much information here and encouragement.

  • That is a great project for adding skills! That’s my tip for the newish knitter: Pick something you really want that has a skill or two that you’ve not yet tried. Also, swatch that skill on your swatchity swatch to get a feel for it.

  • Loved reading this! I would love your take on the Carbeth Cardi. I’m thinking hot pink…

  • Elizabeth Zimmermann said that there are no mistakes in knitting. Well, possibly a split stitch could be a mistake. Learning how to fix mistakes though. It is gratifying!

  • Choose your own level of challenge—not too easy/boring, not too difficult/frustrating. Find the next project that is JUST right for you! And second the beautiful yarn advice…

  • Mark pattern repeats with stitch markers. That way, you’ll know quickly when you’re off pattern and you won’t have to learn what frog or tink mean quite so soon. 🙂

  • Only use good yarns. Go to your LYS and touch all the yarns! You will want to use the ones that feel the best!

  • I think of myself as a newbie-ish knitter too. Getting beautiful yarn and a new pattern is a fun thrill. Mistakes made along the way are learning experiences. (I’m always surprised at how “not upset” I am when I have to undo. Ha! My husband is surprised too.)

  • Anything worth knitting is worth knitting twice – meaning don’t be afraid to rip back and reknit when you need to.

  • Be fearless! Find something you want to make/wear and go for it!

  • My advice to a newer knitter is 1) understand what gauge is and why it matters and 2) almost everything is actually easier than it looks, so go for it!

  • It doesn’t have to be perfect.

  • Hooray for the encouragement of our fellow knitters

  • Remember that you’re wiggling your fingers with string and 2 sticks to MAKE FABRIC! That was such a magical moment for me.

  • Learn how *you* knit and what your relationship to pattern gauge is as fast as you can.

    Yes, you should swatch, and yes, swatches are important, but also, yes, sometimes swatches lie wildly. (I have been knitting since 2008, and I have figured out swatching — took me a while — but just last summer, I had a gauge swatch lie wildly to me even though I seemingly did everything right.)

    Look, I’m not talking about swatches, though. I’m talking about you. So you knit that shawl or scarf without swatching using the recommended needles. Cool, cool. But how did *your* gauge come out? Was your gauge bigger or smaller than the pattern gauge? Are you a loose knitter or a tight knitter or, for fun, are you like me with my wild combination of loose horizontal knitting but tight vertical knitting?

    Figure this out as soon as possible for all those times when you want to recklessly fail to swatch but don’t want to run out of yarn or still want a thing that is the approximate size of the item in the pattern. If you know how you knit, then you can figure out the adjustments you need to make to get an item you are happy with.

    And also, once you figure out how *you* knit, if you aren’t happy with it, you can seek or the tips and tricks for adjusting how you knit so that you will be happy with it.

  • Find a pattern you want to knit with yarn you love and go for it. Your knitter friends and YouTube will help you along the way.

  • Buy good yarn…and expect and accept mistakes. If you can live with it, move on.

  • Don’t hesitate to rip out a project that is not making you happy …… you can soak (or steam) the yarn back into hanks and its like finding new yarn you forgot you had …. and dream about the new possibilities

  • Yarn weight matters, but go ahead and play with color and fiber – the more, the merrier. And start with projects you can felt where size doesn’t matter.

  • Enjoy the process and splurge on your yarn so you love the end product!

  • Tip: try to learn a new skill with (almost) every project. The worst that can happen is you frog.

  • use stitch markers in pattern repeats

  • Keep knitting! Don’t give up! It takes awhile to feel comfortable

  • Knit patterns based on what you want to knit most, not just what you think you can. Being excited about your project is the best motivation!

  • Don’t stress over your mistakes, you’re learning. The knitting police will not come to arrest you; or worse, take away your yarn. Relax, there are
    no knitting police.

  • my best tip for a newish knitter is to just keep doing it, even when you are frustrated, try again and keep at it

  • To all new knitters: Keep going! We learn by doing… and all the satisfaction of finishing those early projects!

  • Don’t buy cheap yarn. It’s so frustrating to learn to knit (or a new technique) with yarn that keeps splitting. Good quality yarn is absolutely worth the price.

  • Knitting tip for beginners, and old timers alike! Be a “triple-counter!” I learned that from my local knitting shop when I brought in a mistake to be fixed and my stitch count was off. Even though I had thought I had counted twice, her advice to me was to be a triple counter. I think of that advice when I don’t want to take the time, and then I remind myself it takes longer to frog than to count!

  • new-knitter tip: don’t stop! You WILL get it!

  • Don’t get frustrated! Take a deep breath, relax and don’t stress if it isn’t “perfect”! You’ll get more comfortable with it as you go!

  • To the newish knitter: learn to recognize a knit stitch from a purl stitch, and that the right leg of the stitch is in front of the needle. It makes it easier not to twist your stitches.

  • Remember it’s just sticks and string. Don’t be afraid to frog and start again if you’re not happy with a project. Even the most experienced knitters make mistakes – it’s part of the learning process.

  • Hi Ashley! I would highly recommend the everyday cowl from field guide 18. The yarn is wonderful to work with, it’s really just Knits and Purls and its a great in-the-round easy pattern. I get lots of compliments on mine because it looks so interesting. I would also suggest you embrace the zen of swatching. It really helps to know how your knitting gage is turning out. You can also see if you like working with that yarn before you commit to the “big” project. Have fun.

  • I’d say invest in an interchangeable needle set. There’s nothing more discouraging than not having the right size/length needle for a pattern. And also learn how to do the magic loop and there’s no circumference you can’t knit.

  • Tip for a newbie: don’t be afraid to go backwards. It’s worth it!

  • Pick colors you love. I have several works in progress that I will probably never finish because the colors don’t bring me joy.

  • My best tip for a new knitter is to buy yarn that you love, the feel of it, the look of it. There is nothing worse than to knit a project in bargain wool that you settled for.

  • For the new-ish knitter: before you begin a project, knit a swatch to get the knit stitch down. Then do the same with a purl swatch.

  • I think you could knit an actual dog sweater for Rose. Why not make her a sweater that won’t roll down and be a belly band? She might appreciate it when the snow does fall. :>)

  • My top tip and one I use all the time! Consult the internet when you aren’t sure how to do something with your knitting! Can’t remember the stretchy cast-on? Aren’t sure about left leaning decreases? This has helped me be successful many times!

  • Don’t get frustrated if you make a mistake. Every knitter has ripped stitches out in some project.

  • Dear Newbie Knitter, do not shy away from any technique, stitch or pattern that seems, or you’ve heard, is too difficult. It’s knitting! It’s yarn! If things don’t work out, you take it apart, learn from it and start over.

  • I would encourage new knitters not to be afraid to try new patterns and make mistakes, because that’s how you learn!

  • Knitting is the best craft because: if you don’t like what you end up with, pull the yarn, unravel, and start over. In fact, when you’re first learning, unravel your work several times so you get used to the idea. Nothing is wasted, not even the time you spent knitting all those stitches you unraveled. It was a time of sitting, knitting, thinking, setting aside your busy life for the moment.

  • Advice for a newbie . . . Knit with friends . . . great company and help if you need it.

  • There are so many tips and tricks and things to learn. Blocking is a key difference between a project that hangs nicely and looks well made and those that just sort of hang around,,,

  • My top tip would be to keep learning! There’s often more than 1 way to do something, and the ‘other’ way might click with you more.

  • Knit things that delight you, with yarn that delights you, and remember that knitting mistakes can be undone. Tinking back or even frogging a project and starting over just means more opportunity to knit.

  • New knitter tip: go for it! Knit what you want! Learn to “read your knitting” so it’s easier to fix things you don’t want to leave in (mistakes/ your own design elements to the pattern).

  • My tip is something I just started doing(after many knitting years.) Take notes as you work your project. If a cable looks a little weird but you can’t find anything you did wrong, note the row and what you see. When you determine you didn’t do anything wrong and all’s well, 12 rows later when you get nervous about the same weirdness, go back to your notes.”looks wonky here, but turns out fine” Or not. If you have to fix, write down how you did it. It truly saves my sanity—and lots of time in the long run. Keep your notes with your pattern!

  • For the newbie: there’s not one right way to knit. There’s many different styles and ways of making stitches

  • knit a gauge swatch, it’ll tell you much more than stitches per row and inch.

  • So many great tips. Also don’t forget to try different types (metal, birch bamboo etc.) of needles!

  • Do not be afraid to unknit or restart when something is not working. It is also okay to never want to knit a sweater. 🙂

  • Buy a hand dyed yarn to knit your first project. It will inspire you to keep knitting

  • How does the brambleberry cowl marled sound?

  • My advice would be to find a new project every season, but start it the season before. Start a spring sweater on the coldest day of the year, that way you will look forward to working on your project.

  • Ashley, please give us more felted box patterns. I love them!

  • Don’t be afraid to try new things and to ask questions! This is a fun adventure!

  • To the new knitter: take your time and enjoy the process. Find a project you love and a yarn you love more and don’t sweat the little imperfections. They become part of the beauty of your new handmade.

  • Make sure if you can buy a different yarns they’re all the same weight.

  • Knit with wool and felt your project. Throw that hat-with-holes into a washing machine and out comes an impressive artsy bowl.

  • Top tip for new-is knitter: Don’t give up – get help, keep going!!

  • For your next project how about casting on a Swarf?As a beginning knitter you will get to play with color and make a useful accessory that should knit up fairly quickly. Also, if you are so inclined , you could make Swoof for Rose. Kay has already shown the way.

  • Be kind to yourself. If and when you make a mistake in your knitting, stay calm, walk away if you have to, take deep breaths, and tell yourself that you capable of fixing any mistake.

  • Pick yarn that you love and be a little adventurous!

  • My advice is to check guage! I spend the first few years knitting shawls on the recommended needle size and running out of yarn because I didn’t realize that I am quite a loose knitter.

  • My advice to new knitters: relax! There are no knitting police. No time clock. Take it easy. Accept mistakes and revel in your progress!

  • Ashley, I think you are ready for a Big Squeeze! I made one as a first sweater for Bang out a Sweater a couple years ago and I’m so glad I did! Big needles and big yarn and I wear it all the time.

  • Knit what makes you happy. Whatever that is.

  • My tip for a new knitter — give yourself time to learn. Knitting is a skill that increases over time, and it doesn’t happen right away, but if you keep at it, you will “suddenly” find yourself knitting easily.

  • Top tip is don’t be afraid to have more than one project on the needles. Sometimes you need a break from a particular pattern or stitch combination when it seems like you’ve been slogging through it forever and working something else in a different weight yarn or complexity of pattern is a welcome relief.

  • Use good fiber- learn a cast on and bind off that provide plenty of stretch- keep calm and knit on.

  • Read the instructions before you start!

  • Love your colors, Ashley! And your writing! My best advice for a new knitter is to be brave and keep trying new patterns. You can do it!

  • Learn to read your knitting! Game changer!

  • My biggest fave is using circular needles for every project. I never had to worry about stitches falling off the needles in the knitting bag like I did when I was using straight needles. Just slide the stitches onto the cord when you aren’t knitting and they stay there until you pick them up again!

  • Tip: be patient and slow down, you don’t have to be a fast knitter, that comes with time.

  • Top tip? Take time to relax and enjoy the process of knitting

  • Choose a project that truly interests you. Leave the cowls to others if you don’t think you’ll wear it. Choose a hat which can be a welcome charity donation if the result doesn’t suit you. Find a good teacher and take a class with others at your knitting level. Keep it simple while you build confidence.

  • Find a person to sit by your side. Pick a yarn that feels good to you- but not too skinny. Get a pretty set of needles that dits your hands. Not too long. Make a scarf for you. Don’t choose black thin yarn for your first project. It will make you crazy. Inhale exhale- go with the flow. Blessings on your knitting adventures!

  • Have fun with it! Life’s too short not to knit fun!

  • A mood cardigan would look great on Rose

  • Choose yarn that you love. You are much more likely to stay interested in the project

  • I think you need to knit what you like to wear. Look in your closet and knit a style you like.

  • Be adventurous, have fun and count your stitches!

  • My suggestion to a newbie knitter is to remember that being a newbie is temporary; being a knitter is forever.

    So think ahead, you will always be learning in knitting so get comfortable with a little awkwardness, a little confusion – these are the tweedy nubs, the scattered sequins of knitting.

    And now get a subscription to the MDK Field Guides. There’s a simple project in almost all of them. All the projects are interesting and inspiring.

    I just bought the whole collection because I failed to figure this out earlier!

  • Find a comfy place with good lighting and relax.

  • Start with circular needles! You’ll want them in just a few days for almost all of your projects.

  • I have two tips for new knitters. 1) stop and admire your knitting after each row. It’s also a good time to check for mistakes while it’s still easy to fix. And 2) put a bandaid around the top joint of your right index finger – it will cushion it while it does the hard work of making and moving stitches, and will let you knit longer in comfort.

  • I learned a lot from these amazing comments. Being still a new knitter, I need to force myself to relax. To set down my project every 1/2 hour or so and stretch. Walk around a minute or to. I am very tense with concentration as I knit. I am sure it will get better with time.

  • Just started my log cabin temperature squares! Love this idea

  • My tip: don’t be intimidated by new techniques! You can do it! Andrea Mowry says “skills to indulge in” and I love thinking of it that way.

  • If you can’t see your mistake driving by it at 90 mph, don’t fix it. It took me a long time to realize this. I always wanted my knitting “perfect”. It’s handmade. The pattern diversions are what make it perfect. Then you know for sure it’s handmade!

  • Tip for a new-ish knitter: knit a hat in the round. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s warm. Cast on about 18-20″ worth of stitches and it will fit somebody.

  • To all (new-ish) knitters starting a garment-knitting journey: don’t skip the swatch!!

  • For the next step after a marled scarf think small, and think about using up smaller balls of leftover yarn, and think, Keyhole Scarves. You won’t regret the new bits of learning and you will have cute, easy gifts for the next time you need something FAST!

  • I like to use markers made out of small ponytail elastics, that way I can snip out my mistakes.

  • My best tip for a new knitter, would be, before you start knitting, is to sit down with a cup of your favorite drink, (mine is lavender green tea) and quietly read through your pattern. This way questions won’t come up later to frustrate you. Reading through and going over all the parts of the pattern, including any schematics, help to understand the construction of your project too. You’ll have confidence from the beginning to end to finish a beautiful project.

  • My top tip for new knitters is to knit something that you’re excited to use/wear. It can keep you going when you get bogged down.

  • For the newish knitter, don’t be dazzled in to buying novelty yarns. It can be a recipe for frustration in so many ways.

  • Be patient, don’t give up and use quality yarn and needles, it makes a difference!

  • Count me in!

  • You tube is your friend. You’ll find everything you need to know there, and look for your style of knitting. Continental or English.

  • It’s only knitting! Mistakes don’t matter , go for it!

  • Don’t start with dark yarn. Use size 7 or larger needles. Don’t worry about mistakes—depending on your personality, frog or just keep going. Most important… have fun!

  • I just watched Jen Geigley’s magic know video. I think this would be gold for a new knitter! And also not to worry too much about your knitting. There will be mistakes and things you don’t like, but you have forever to knit!

  • Anything MDK and fun

  • start out knitting continental, you’ll be happy you did! Or if you don’t want to do that, let a friend cast on and bind off your first couple of projects so you can just focus on knitting. Pretty soon you’ll want to learn how to cast on and bind off, and it won’t be hard at all.

  • Learn to read your knitting. That will save so many headaches!

  • Try knitting a stitch sampler scarf, trying easy combinations of knit and purl.

  • I think a hat is a great second project It’s quick ( one or two evenings), learn circular knitting, including DP’s for crowd, and there are cute Bucket Hat patterns around right now if a beanie isn’t your thing

  • If you aren’t certain if you are “ready” for a certain pattern (i.e., stitch pattern), try it as a dishcloth first. You will end up with a useful finished object…and you will probably surprise yourself as to how well you knit.

  • Use great yarn that you don’t want to put down from the first time you touch it, and if you want to make it, GO FOR IT! Learning new stitches and skills is fun!

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