“I only want to knit scarves!”
I declared this repeatedly until about five whole minutes after I’d learned to knit a scarf. I immediately found a pattern for a hat that was knit on straight needles (most hats are knit on circular needles or double-pointed needles). It turned out horribly. Like a big, purple-ish mushroom that tried to swallow my nose. At that point, after swearing for a while, I calmed myself down and realized I needed to learn some new techniques.
Knitting skills build on each other, and once you’ve got a grasp of the basics, it’s much easier to gain additional skills. A whole bunch of the new stuff you’ll learn is really just a slightly different way of doing something you already know how to do–little tweaks, very different results.
If you’re ready to move beyond knitting back and forth on two sticks (not that there’s anything wrong with knitting back and forth–I’m working on a string-and-two-sticks project right now!), here’s a list of things you can try. Accompanying links lead to tutorials or videos to help you learn these skills.
Knitting in the Round
Want to knit a hat, a sock, or a sweater? You’ll probably want to know how to do this. You’ll need either circular needles or dpns (double-pointed needles).
For circs, here’s a video demonstrating the technique.
Want to use dpns? Purl Soho has a beautiful photo tutorial. Or skip straight to the bottom of this post and check out the section on sock knitting.
Knitpicks has a tutorial that shows you how to use circs and dpns and how to knit via magic loop (useful for knitting small items on long circular needles).
Not nearly as hard as it looks. Gorgeous results. High potential for swearing as you learn to manipulate the cable stitches on and off the needles. Maybe.
How-to right here.
Can you knit? Can you wrap yarn around a needle without knitting it? Congratulations. You can knit lace.
Pick something with a fairly short, straightforward lace repeat, like feather and fan.
Lace benefits more than just about any other knitting from a wash and block. It will take your project from lump o’ tangly string to beautiful heirloom lacework, presuming you’ve done beautiful heirloom lacework. Your first lace project should, if possible, be knit with wool. I exclusively use animal fiber for lace.
More swearing ahead, probably. But you can do it! Lace is fiddly sometimes and offers a healthy host of opportunities for error, but entire lace projects are totally knittable for a semi-seasoned beginner.
As seen here.
And if you want to learn about the hows and whys of lace construction, visit Eunny Jang’s blog for a primer.
Complicated, yes. Super hard? No. Plus, once you’ve knit a sock, you’ll feel like you can knit anything. Except maybe a second sock.
The award for Most Excellent Tutorial should go to Silver’s Sock Class.
You will learn so much if you use this tutorial to knit a sock. Or even two. Grafting, short rows, using dpns if you haven’t done that–it’s a wealth of technical information. I really felt like a knitter once I finished my first sock.
If you missed Parts One and Two, you can read them here: Wanna Learn to Knit? Part One: The Stuff You Need and here: Wanna Learn to Knit? Part Two: Figuring out the Basics.