Knitting Witchcraft 101, a crash course by witchimplumis
To start this off, obviously there are TONS of ways to do a lot of this stuff. This is mostly the method I use. This also isn’t a tutorial to knitting, there’s lots of great videos out there explaining how to knit, if I tried to teach all of that in this post, it would be at least 3 times as long. Finally, most of this probably also works for crochet, but I don’t know the first thing about crochet, so I’ll let someone else weigh in on that.
Knitting magic is great for anyone, from witches on a budget (yarn, especially acrylic, can be dirt cheap), broom closet witches (it’s easy-peasy to pass off as a normal, non-witchy hobby), practical witches (you get a useful garment at the end!), and more. You can use it on its own, or as a part of a larger spell or ritual.
Much like all magic, a lot of knitting magic is intent and visualization. Before starting a project, come up with a purpose for the finished product. For this scenario, I’ll use a real project I’ve done. I wanted to make a shawl to help me in the upcoming school year.
When you’re knitting, focus on the purpose that you want to imbue the finished product with. Imagine your hopes for it entering each stitch, and being locked in place with your needles.
When you first start, it may feel mentally exhausting or draining, or it may be really hard to focus and you may find your thoughts drifting away, but as you practice you’ll get better and be able to focus longer. I find that once I start to lose focus the best thing to do is leave for a while and pick the project up later, once I’ve had time to clear my head.
If you’ve been a knitter for any length of time at all, you know that flat knitting has what’s called a “right side” (the side that shows when you’re wearing/using your created object) and a “wrong side” (the side that faces towards you, like the bottom of a blanket or inside of a cardigan), or rs and ws on patterns.
When working out the beginning of my projects, I come up with two different intents, one for the outside world to see (right side) and one to affect only me (wrong side). So, in the example of my school shawl, I wanted other people to view me as capable in my field. So my rs intent was “I am a learned student of my trade.” On the ws, I choose an intent that helps me to acheive my ultimate goal (doing well in school) so the intent I used was “I have the focus required in my studies.”
HOWEVER, when working in the round, there’s no wrong side. So then how do you go about wrong side intents? Two options: one, have only one overarching purpose for all knitting (such as “I will succeed in my chosen field”), or alternate lines as you would if you weren’t knitting in the round.
Yarn comes in pretty much every color and color combination imaginable. Color associations/color magic are not only possible to do with yarn but strongly encouraged. I use lots of sources for mine, googling “color associations” brings up bunches of pages, or you can use your own personal associations. If you’re going to do this, read reviews for the yarn and check for or ask about color bleeding.
Textures are an often-overlooked factor. Prickly yarn can be used in a defensive spell, or soft yarn in one for comfort and warmth. Always keep in mind what kind of thing you’re making though, and try to work off of that. Some textures are not ideal for some uses.
Yarn materials are important to fit to your project. For example, you don’t want to make a knit bralette out if dish scrubby yarn (ouch). You have tons of options, but I’ll stick to the kinds you’re most likely to run into cheap-ish. My standing recommendation for all of these is if there is any way at all you can see and feel yarn in person before buying it, do so. I don’t recommend buying in bulk of you haven’t dealt with a brand or line of yarn before.
Acrylic- acrylic yarn is usually extremely cheap and comes in tons of colors and textures, some are shiny, others are really fuzzy, there’s all kinds for all purposes. It’s really great if you have allergies because it’s synthetic fiber.
Wool/superwash wool: usually somewhat coarse, wool is a natural fiber that comes from shearing specific breeds of wool-producing sheep. Some brands will even say specifically what breed(s) or country their wool comes from. In my experience, wool is much easier to work magic with than acrylic, however it will usually also be more expensive, and there are fewer textures and appearances available.
Cotton: cotton is a nice in-between of acrylic and wool. It’s a natural fiber, but I don’t know of anybody being allergic to it. It can come in many different colors, but not really any texture variety, they all just feel like cotton. If you’re not morally opposed for any of various reasons, Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton yarn is by far the best cotton yarn I’ve found, in terms of softness. If you ARE morally opposed however, Sugar n Cream makes cotton yarn on huge spools very cheap.
Bamboo: it’s considered eco-friendly yarn. I don’t know how true that is, as I don’t use it enough to actually look into the carbon footprint of bamboo yarn. That said it feels like actual clouds and looks like them too.
Silk: we all know what silk is. Silk yarn exists. It’s on the expensive end of cheap stuff, usually only comes in small amounts.
Merino: wool that comes from the merino sheep breed specifically. This wool is really soft, I don’t work with it much because it’s usually really expensive compared to every other kind.
Novelty yarns: I love incorportating these. Some are great for practical reasons (dish scrubby yarn) and others are great for using some of their elements as part of a spell (like feathery yarns or beady yarns etc.)
I don’t think there’s a widely agreed upon set of associations for stitch type/pattern, these are just some common ones I’ve come to associate.
YO/lace- these large, open patterns I associate with “bigger” or more wide effects. Alternately, because they’re basically big holes in the object, allowing your intents to come out into the environment.
seed- just like its name, I associate seed stitch with potential and growth.
Garter- I tend to associate garter stitch with mundane life, alternately with its common use as a border stitch I associate it as a holding stitch, keeping things in (like secrets) or protected.
Stockinette- a super common stitch pattern for fronts of things, especially socks (as per the name). I tend to associate it with appearances, and spells like glamour aids.
When/if you block, visualize the water charging your finished object. You can use scented wool wash in scents that are associated with the spell you’re doing, you have tons of options.
You can get all kinds of things at craft stores! I found crystal charms last time I went that would look great on a heavier-weight shawl, there’s beads of various different materials and colors, if I went over all of these things it’d take a whole extra post. Play around and see what you like.
Clothing- either for yourself or for others. Make ritual clothing or just a warmth-intent hat. Possibilities are totally endless.
Poppet- maybe make a poppet out of yarn? Stuff it with things you want the poppet associated with? Disclaimer: don’t burn knit poppets unless you are 100% certain ALL ingredients are safe to burn wherever you’re burning them. I prefer to “destroy” my knit poppets by stabbing them with knitting needles, so that I can reuse them, even better, make the end drawstring-style, so you can reuse it with different ingredients. Eco friendly witchcraft!
Spell swatch- I call it a spell swatch but it may have another name by now. It works pretty much exactly how it sounds, knit a swatch of fabric in varying colors, stitches, etc., based on what the spell is. Knit in beads or feathers or hair or whatever you feel like you should. Then pin it on your wall or carry it with you. It doesn’t have to (and probably won’t) look nice, it’s just a little spell to carry with you, like a very personalized sigil.
Other uses: knitting is great for meditation! Finding a simple pattern to knit for a while can leave your mind free to relax and do its own thing, I love leaving guided meditations, binaural tones, etc. on while I’m knitting things like socks or blankets.
My ‘Graceful Deer’ plush made into a unicorn this time! This plush is #3 under the same collection of this pattern as a base. Their mane is a soft stringy cotton/nylon yarn, and their sides have lots of hand painted pink dogwood flowers (to match their tummy fabric).
I’ll be putting them up for sale early tomorrow afternoon (around 1pm EST).
So a few weeks ago, I found myself with some anger I needed to burn off (because if I don’t, it festers into some pretty self destructive thoughts), so to keep my mind occupied, I brought my lucet and a small ball of yarn to work. I knew there would be long periods of time when I’d be completely by myself, so I needed something as a distraction. (Not allowed to have books or my phone out)
After a few minutes of rather furious lucet work, a thought occurred to me, I could TOTALLY work this into a spell, and I did.
a lucet (or honestly any kind of weaving/crochet/knitting technique)
white cotton yarn
a safe place to burn the yarn
Setting yourself up nice and comfy, thread your lucet with the yarn and start working. As you work, POUR your anger/negativity into your work. Work aggressively (be mindful not to harm your tools). Do this as long as you feel necessary. Once finished, tie off your cord, and burn it.
You can add a chant if you wish while you’re stitching, or while you burn the cord. Scatter the ashes away from your house.
Annnnnnd it’s done!!
I started on this bad boi on Friday and was able to finish knitting the pieces by Sunday and left Monday for the sewing.
I think for my first attempt at making this it went pretty well. The cables are different from the original virgin killer sweater, but I think it still looks nice.
I written down a pattern (wrote chicken scratch on the closes pieces of paper I could find) as I was knitting and so far its for a medium size. I’m thinking about making more of these and messing with the designs and colors just to see what I like best.
- Stay away from novelty yarn. It can be difficult even for seasoned knitters.
- Cheap acrylic yarn from Walmart is fine. Some will try to steer you to pricier wool and natural fibres, but save that stuff for when you’ve got more practice in and know what fibre is best for what project.
- Cheap aluminum needles are fine too. You’ll learn what you prefer as you go so there’s no need to spend a ton. Most of my supplies actually come from thrift shops.
- If you’ve got good tension, you’ve got everything. Pick up a ball of cotton yarn and just knit garter stitch (all knit stitch) washclothes for a awhile. You’ll work your way into a natural tension for you and still come out with something useful.
- Don’t be afraid of frogging (ripping back) your work or making mistakes. Those are great for learning.
Other than that, I’m not sure. I gained most of my knitting skills in one crazy year where I knit obsessively to deal with grief. I gathered information from relatives, friends, youtube, books, etc. but can’t exactly remember how it all came together. I do know there are a lot of people out there who are too willing to tell you that how you’re doing it is wrong and what you’re using (in terms of needles or fibres) is wrong, so don’t listen to them. :D
Also, I’m here so if you encounter any roadblocks or need a bit of advice or want to show off progress, let me know!
Better pictures of Laphicet from Tales of Berseria, from all angles. Let me tell you, his hair wasn’t easy to cut. Easy to straighten and tie up in segments, but cutting while trying to keep his wiggly butt still… :|
Hopefully it still looks really good? And his ahoge, too. xD
Made with caron simply soft and some kind of cotton yarn for parts of it.
knitting is really helpful for modulating my sensory levels so I can get enough stimulation to focus. but also there is literally nothing I want to knit so I just make long-ass strips and then either unravel them or throw them away