Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or Prosecco, a pen, and piece of paper, and maybe a post it note. Once you have your supplies you are ready to go. Here are the 9 steps we follow when starting a new knitting project from cast on to bind off.
1. Take a deep belly breath and smile - This is the first step to a brand new project!
2. Read entire pattern first - Flag anything you don’t understand and make a mark on the page to look it up. I can't tell you how many times I've cast on a project and just ignored this step and regretted it pretty early on in a project. I recently knit a vest and didn't read the pattern before starting it, and I found that it was riddled with mistakes as I knitted along. I basically had to re-write the whole thing. Reading patterns from start to finish can help you know what you are in for, and see how the item is constructed.
3. Gather supplies - What yarn does the pattern call for? What needles will you need? Are there stitch markers or other notions required? Get everything together in one place and keep them in a bag together so you have things where you need them while working on your project. This is also the time to wind your yarn if the yarn shop hasn't done it for you.
4. Swatch - The two most important things you can do before starting a project are step 2 and step 4. If you must skip one of these items skip step 2, but step 4 is a must. You don't want to be making a sweater and too far into it realize you are knitting it two sizes too small because your gauge is different than what the pattern calls for.
5. Cast On - You've swatched and you are good to go. So pick a cast on that is appropriate and let the fun begin! If the pattern doesn't tell you which cast on to try, we like the long tail cast on for most things. However, if you are making a hat, or socks it can be helpful to try the Twisted German Cast On.
6. Post it - I like to use a post it note to keep track of where I am in a pattern. I just move it down each time I start a new row.
7. Knit 1, Breathe 2 - You're getting into your knitting groove and making stitches happen. Be sure to breath easy and take breaks every 20-30 minutes. This helps to keep the circulation going in the body and prevents injuries.
8. Admire - Every few rows take some time to admire your handy-work. See how the project is going and it is also a good time to see if there are any glaring mistakes happening. Enjoy the process. There is no rush for the knitting to be done - assuming you are not knitting up samples for Vogue Knitting Magazine!
9. Bind off - Take a moment to decide what kind of bind off is needed. For most brioche projects we like something stretchy but maybe you need a firmer edge. Pick a bind off that works for the project.
Now look back on your beautiful finished object and smile!