17 Genius Knitting Hacks Every Knitter Needs to Know

Join the Guardian Angels across the country that are click-clacking their needles to support Kids With Cancer Foundation.

Knitting has experienced a heartening resurgence in the last five years. And it’s not hard to understand why - it’s wonderfully therapeutic, practical (there’s nothing like the feel of a beautifully hand-knitted wool scarf) and once you get the hang of it, ever so addictive!

Your knitting can benefit others too

The Guardian Angels Knitting Program sees avid and novice knitters from all over the country lovingly handcraft items in support of children and families in need. It’s now in its 17th year, and has in that time provided an incredible two million garments to Australian children.

This year, Guardian Pharmacy will partner with Kids with Cancer Foundation Australia for the first time. A hand crafted item made with love can provide incredible comfort – so each lovingly knitted beanie, blanket, stuffed toy or scarf will be gifted to struggling families of kids with cancer and to children’s hospitals where they are treated.

If you’re keen to start knitting, the best way is to find someone who is a confident knitter to teach you, says Knitting Nana Dee.

“There are plenty of knitting groups which you can find advertised in the paper. There are also church groups or you can even find one at the library.” Failing that, do a search online and you’re sure to find a group or class.

This year, the Guardian Angels are aiming for 110,000 knitted items to donate. So to help get you on your way, the wonderful Knitting Nanas have shared their time-treasured tricks!

For more information on the Guardian Angels or how to donate, call 1300 888 66 or visit guardianpharmacies.com.au

1. Pull the wool from the centre of the ball instead of the outside; it’s easier to knit this way, as the wool will not get tangled.

Knitting Nanna: Tolarna Hurle from Wodonga VIC

2. Use different coloured needles, so if you are knitting with dark wool use light needles.

Knitting Nanna: Ruth Corbett from Wodonda VIC

3. When using acrylic wool you need to knit one size smaller because it stretches.

Knitting Nanna: Tolarna Hurle

4. Use Bamboo needles as they don’t get as sticky as the others.

Knitting Nanna: Dee from Wagga Wagga NSW

5. If you’re beginner smaller items are the easiest to make. Start with beanies, booties or scarves.

Knitting Nanna: Phillis Hallawell from Wodonga VIC

6. When you knit in summer knit smaller items so you don’t have all this wool hanging over you.

Knitting Nanna: Ruth Corbett

7. Before you start knitting, get familiar with the terms otherwise the language can be confusing.

Knitting Nanna: Tolarna Hurle from Wodonga VIC

8. Find a pattern that is graded as simple, and then find a knitter who can help you with the parts you don’t understand.

Knitting Nanna: Dee 

9. If you are finding the terms in modern pattern books confusing, refer back to the older books that can be easier to understand. 

Knitting Nanna: Phillis Hallawell

10. Use steel knitting needles, plastic needles bend easily or break.

Knitting Nanna: Tolarna Hurle 

11. If you want to learn to knit but are on a budget you can knit a hat from just one ball of wool, which you can get for a couple of dollars.

Knitting Nanna: Tolarna Hurle 

12. If you are a beginner start by knitting some squares which you can join together later to make a rug, that way if you make a mistake you’re not ruining a big project. Once you are proficient with it you can venture onto something more technical.

Knitting Nanna: Ruth Corbett

13. The best sort of wool is pure wool, but it’s so fiddly in term of laundry. I prefer to knit with 100 per cent wool, but it’s not suitable for busy people today as you have to hand wash it and dry it a certain way. So I use a wool and acrylic mix or straight acrylic when I’m knitting for my grandchildren or for the Guardian Angel Knitting Program.

Knitting Nanna: Dee 

14. Acrylic also washes easily and won’t get eaten by moths like the wool. 

Knitting Nanna: Ruth Corbett
15. I have a friend who makes woolen animals and stuffs them, these are great as presents. Any baby clothing is also good as presents if the parents are that way inclined.

Knitting Nanna: Dee 
16. My best tip for knitting on a budget is go to op shops – they often have a selection of wool and yarn.

Knitting Nanna: Hesper from Wagga Wagga NSW

17. An easy first project is a pot holder – to go around the handle of your pot or to lift a casserole out of the oven. It is just straight knitting using the garter stitch.

Knitting Nanna: Hesper

You need to get your knitted items in before September 30, so for exciting patterns including a Bettle Striped PomPom Scarf, Bambini Babies Hat, Pure Wool Poncho, Crochet Babies Shawl, Mary Jane Booties and others click HERE

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