9 Tips for Knitting with Vision Loss

Knitting needles next to a bowl filled with pink yarn rolls.

Whether you’re new to knitting or wanting to pick it back up again, knitting can still be an enjoyable pastime, no matter your level of vision.

Here are 9 tips for beginners and beyond:

  1. Start small. Your first few projects might be a little messy, but with continued practice, you’ll feel more confident trying more difficult projects.
  2. Trust your touch. Pay attention to how different stitches feel.
  3. Check the size of your needles using a knitting needle gauge, then label with a braille or raised marker.
  4. If you found a dropped stitch or two, put a safety pin in it to keep it from unraveling until it can be fixed.
  5. If you need to take a break, stitch stoppers can be placed on the needle tips to prevent your stitches from slipping out.
  6. Mark your place, the end of a row, or a pattern change with stitch markers. You can buy some, or make your own with paper clips, beads, or embroidery floss that contrast to the color of your yarn.
  7. If you have low vision, having the right lighting is key.
  8. Whether you have just one skein of yarn or ten, keeping your supplies organized can save you time and energy.
  9. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Join Hadley’s Crafting Circle, a monthly discussion group, to hear from crafters. The National Library Service (NLS) also has a variety of knitting books and patterns free to access.

You may feel frustrated at first. If you have to redo pieces of your scarf, or even start over, that’s OK. As we often say, give yourself time, patience, and practice and you’ll get there.

More resources: Hadley's workshop on Knitting and Crocheting: Yarn and Tools.