Determining your knitting level

Hi everybody,

I am a new (last Sunday) knitter and I am so anxious to knit up everything. I have 5 stores around me that I can choose my supplies from. I went to AC Moore and some fantabulous sweaters on the wall. My husband was even amazed so I know I have to keep on knitting so I can make one of those.

Now my question is, how do you determine your level of knitting? I know that I am a beginner. How many beginner projects do I have to knit before I consider myself “graduated” to the next level? What should be in my list of “to do” projects before I try to go for the fancier stuff? What stitches should I master first before trying to move on? There are a few classes coming up in the area and I don’t want to impose on the instructor with my minimal level of skills if I’m not ready to go to the next level.

There are no ‘levels’. The more you knit, the better you get, the more even your tension becomes. The more patterns you read, the better you get at interpreting them. Some people knit scarves until they can’t stand the sight of them, others branch out from the beginning to hats, socks, clogs, whatever they want.

So knit and purl until you feel comfortable with that and have some degree of even tension. Try anything you want to try. It’s knitting. Not brain surgery. With Amy’s videos and the helpful people here, you’ll get to where you want to be in very short order.

well i would say you should ask the teacher what you need to be able to do in order to be comfortable in her classes. a lot of times classes will specify what techniques you need to have mastered to be able to do whatever project they are working on.

basically the only way to get to the next level is to just close your eyes and make the jump into the project. there is no real defining moment.

I’m a pretty new knitter too! I have lots of stash and tools and unfortunately little time to knit, but even reading about knitting like in the forums here you can learn a lot, even if you haven’t actually PERFORMED it yourself. It helps you for future reference.

You can start with dishcloths or scarves to practice various stitch combinations

http://www.jimsyldesign.com/~dishbout/kpatterns/knitting.html

Scarves give you a chance to practice working with different types of yarns too. You won’t be using fancy yarns for dish cloths. :wink:

Then you can move on to knitthing things in the round with ciruclars or DPNs, and projects that require seaming like sweaters. I’d say start with kid-sized projects though. :wink:

I consider myself a novice… I’ve been knitting for about 2 years now, but only recently graduated to things other than mostly dishcloths. I don’t think there’s any “minimum” number of projects that you need to do to “graduate” to the next level. I think it all has to do with your ease and comfort with a pattern, and your skill abilities. Some people get even tension right off the bat, other take ages to keep their stitches from being too tight or too loose. If you see a pattern that you think is out of your league, read it over carefully. It may only be rated higher due to the yarn, or a few finishing details. A top that I just finished the seaming on tonight is a perfect example. It’s rated as an intermediate pattern, but that was only because it had a fairly extensive crocheted edging, and basic seam and sleeve assembly. I decided to use that pattern as my first one into the plunge of clothing, and I’m so glad I did. I challenged myself to learn to do the basics needed for shaping, and I succeeded! That gave me the boost of confidence I really needed in my knitting and now I’m knitting in the round on circs and dpns… I’ve even made socks. All things I never thought I’d be able to do. I’ve dabbled a bit into designing, and my current challenge is a sweater out of a yarn ad. The next thing I want to learn is how to make thrummed mittens.

The RDCV {Reader’s Digest Condensed Version} of this all, is that you will reach the “next level” when you are ready. Be that in your next project or next year. Always be willing to stretch your abilities with a project, even if it’s just a tiny bit. That way every thing you do will teach you a little more, and give you more confidence.

WTG with your sweater, Nicole :wink:
PD, knit & purl :smiley: and when u feel confident, only you know…do what u want to do! If you mess up…you are not alone…we all do from time to time and we all have. Just remember…it’s fun!! Amy has a wealth of videos here that will be extremely helpful to you! If you learn well from books, my knitting fave is “knitting for dummies”…it’s wonderful, how I learned to knit a year and 1/2 ago and I still have aLOT to learn. So, don’t feel intimidated by things that seem hard to do at the beginning, u don’t learn everything overnight…but just remember that it’s fun…go grab some size 8 needles and worsted weight yarn (in my opinion, great for learning) or whatever your heart desires and let’s :XX: !!

Thanks to all of you for your quick responses and encouragement.

This is what I have learned so far - gauge, knit, purl, ribbing, slip, and binding off. I just watched the finishing video and will see if it works for me when I create something else with a seam.

I bought a kit “I taught myself how to knit” which includes the size 6 and 8 needles. I have a big orange thing of yarn that I have been working with and I’m gonna change up my color tomorrow.

Ok, so it looks like I will put them fancy sweaters on hold for a while and master the smaller stuff. I am going to try again with the cell phone bag in another color. The first one I did I tortured the handles. :lol: I will try and get it right this time.

And for the class at AC Moore, it was just a flyer stating that an intermediate class was coming up soon. I am going to take the beginning level class at the community college in January. I’m so excited.

I’ll tell you when I felt like I had graduated from being a beginner. It was when I could easily tell the difference in a knit and a purl, could pick up dropped stitches with my little crochet hook, and could tink without losing my mind. Once you can do that, go out there and just be fearless! You can be fearless because of the videos and help on this site. :heart:

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I just learned to knit this past summer, and I still feel fairly novice. I knit scarves in stockinette stitch until I got bored with that, then I tried ribbing, then i got a set of circulars for my birthday and learned to make hats. Now I’m just about to try making a felted bag, I’ve just learned to cable, and I’m going to try a very simple lace shawl and hat soon.

I watched all the videos I could find the moment I learned to knit, and eventually they all just made sense. I say just try something easy until you get bored with it, then try something a little harder. If what you make sucks, then rip it out and try again!

When I see expertise levels, I think they indicate to us more the effort and knowledge it will take to complete them.

So, if something says “expert”, I probably wouldn’t even attempt it at this point just because it would require me to do too many things that I haven’t had a chance to practice (although if it was something I was really inspired to do, I’d probably do it anyway).

If something says “intermediate” or “experienced”, I see that as an indicator that it will involve some different things that I maybe haven’t done before (as a novice knitter). I would either need to practice those things first (if the project needs to be really good) or the project itself may not be very polished.

Anyway… that’s how I think of it - the level of effort something will take, rather than whether I should do it considering what level I’m at.

And if you’re anal like me and REQUIRE categories to LIVE… :lol:
I recently bought a set of videos that organizes the lessons in a way I found intuitive:

Beginner projects required the knitter to know casting on, knitting, purling, and binding off.

Intermediate projects required the knitter to know all increases, decreases, how to fix mistakes if you make them (I suppose as a beginner one isn’t supposed to care? Hmph. Fat chance of that…), ribbing, double ribbing, and binding off in ribbing.

Advanced projects require a knowledge of Colorwork and Cables.

Is this “the” standard. No chance. :lol: But if you NEEED to know, like I tend to, that might help. :wink:

Hmm…your categories are interesting. I learned cables before I did any increasing at all. And I STILL only know two ways to decrease and one way to increase!

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Not my categories. I’m trying Fair Isle before I have increasing under my belt. I still don’t know how to fix my mistakes, and I only know two cast ons. shrug

I’m just saying it’s a decent ballpark “guide” for someone who might want one. :thumbsup: Many beginners do - just to have a sense.

I personally would discourage anyone from trying to categorize themselves. I think the project defines your skills. When you see a project that really excites you try it and learn the skills along the way. I wanted to do a Booga bag so I learned to pick up stitches from an Amy video. I wanted to do a hat so I learned to knit with double pointed needles not coincidentally with another Amy video. Do you see a theme developing here? :smiley: GO FOR IT :thumbsup:

If you like to knit from books, I would really recommend The Knitting Experience: The Knit Stitch by Sally Melville. It has great photos of techniques and a lot of beginner projects that go beyond scarves. There are even sweaters you can make without having to purl and only sewing up two seams!

Where in NC are you? There is a shop in Mint Hill that offers classes.