New knitter looking to improve skills

I have been looking at the really cute patterns on this site for women, and most of them are intermediate level knitting. How do I know if Im ready to attempt an intermediate project, or should I just jump right in and hope for the best? I have been knitting hats mostly, but am looking for a good project to improve my skills, something I will be excited about finishing. please help with any suggestions.:knitting:

Just jump right in and give it a try is my advice.

I was tired of passing over patterns I thought were out of my skill set. But after a year I realized that my skill set wasn’t expanding without trying any new skills!

I decided to try to knit Bombshell from Big Girl Knits (top down, seamless, raglan-sleeved sweater). I figured I’d just keep going until I couldn’t anymore. I picked that particular pattern for a few reasons- it had tons of shaping and was a solid color. I could really concentrate of getting all the shaping down pat without worrying about color changes etc.

I finished it in like 3 days. I learned SO much just doing it. I even learned how to just drop a stitch and run it down 40 rows to fix a twisted stitch I hadn’t noticed. That was a big jump for me because previously I’d just abandon projects when I’d find a mistake that happened 40 rows ago.

Even if you aren’t a big girl (or boy!), the Big Girl Knits series has so much information on how to create your own shaping for whatever shape you have. If your library has it, give the first chapter in each book a read someday. You’ll be happy you did.

Anyway- really. Just try something you think you can’t do. Perhaps it will end in disaster, but I assure you that you’ll learn at least one thing you didn’t know previously. And perhaps it’ll end with you having completed a fabulous hand knit you had no idea you could do!

Good luck!

I personally don’t like those skill level labels. If it looks like something you’d enjoy knitting, go for it. Don’t let labels stop you (unless they read wet paint).

Haha, Thanks I will remember that!

Hi! :waving:

Just thought I’d mention this. Even though you’re a relatively new knitter, you’re still in the same leaky little rowboat with the rest of us! :slight_smile: Whatever skill level you have, there are always things you can learn to improve. And most of the knitters I’ve “met” on here are always excited about learning new things and tackling more challenging projects.

There are wonderful videos available here that can help you gain so many new skills! Just pick a pattern that really zings you. Then read through the pattern to see if there’s anything there you’re uncertain about, go to the videos to get it straight in your mind, and then go for it!

If you meet the frog - rip it, rip it, rip it - just consider that it’s all part of the game! Before long, you too can have your Frogging Merit Badge, just like the rest of us! :roflhard: And who knows - you may never make the frog’s acquaintance!

Good luck to you and happy knitting! :knitting:


I love the Yarn Harlot’s philosophy. It’s just yarn, if you mess up you can frog it and try again. It’s made me much braver about trying more fitted garments. If I don’t like the fit I can rip it out and try again. You get more knitting time for the same amount of yarn.

Just find something you want to knit, and start it. You’ll never know if you’re ready for a new technique unless you try it. That’s also another way of saying, you might not learn a new technique unless you try it.

Oh yeah, do what you want
I was 3 months into knitting, and decided to to teach myself some new techniques
I went to the marrans illustrated, and designed and knit a Doll
free hand, no pattern
just basic concepts and an understanding of anatomy (how a body should look)
I will never make anything as wonderful as She was, but I am greatful I did make her
I read about a woman whose first project was a cabled sweater
if you find something you want to make
do it
I find top down sweaters easiest, but not everyone does
have fun
I will stop now

I agree that the “levels” are meaningless.
If you know how to
cast on
bind off
you can tackle anything.

Look for a project that has one or two techniques beyond what you already know. (Could be cables, lace, textured stitches, colorwork.) That way you won’t get bogged down with too many new things to learn at once.
When you’re finished with that one, start something that teaches you another couple of techniques. And so on ad infinitum – because there’s always something new to learn about knitting.

I agree with everyone here. I knitted for a long time just knowing the knit stitch. And one day I decided to learn more. Don’t tell yourself that you can’t do it, because you CAN. It’s all a matter of trying it. Watching the videos on here are a huge help. I didn’t even understand the purl stitch until I watched the video on here. And if there’s something that you don’t understand beyond what the videos show you, there are plenty of people on the forums who are more than willing to help! Anyway, go for it, and have fun!

Happy Knitting! :knitting:

Im going to attempt the Hush Hush nightie (dress) pattern I found on this site! Im excited to get some new yarn=) I plan on putting some kind of lining inside the top to wear it in public if thats possible, its so cute it would be a shame to not wear it outside my home. Maybe I could have it done by spring. Thanks again:hug:

Knitting is like following a recipe; you the first thing, then the second thing, etc. Take it one step at a time.

When I was first learning to knit, I would often read through an entire pattern and get scared. By following the instructions one step at a time, MOST patterns are manageable.

I just finished knitting two Christmas stockings. My cousin was watching me and asked how in the name of heaven I knew what to do. I told her about the recipe analogy.

I agree with others about ignoring the skill level listed on patterns. Some that are listed as “easy” were more complicated than I would have expected for a beginning knitter.

If you see a pattern you like, try it. You can always tear it out. You will only improve when you challenge yourself. Otherwise you will still be knitting scarves two years from now. :slight_smile:

Charann has it right!

It really is exactly just stitch by stitch by stitch. And thank heavens for places like thise where you can go to look at a video to help you figure out how to do that next new thing you’d never encountered before. I’ve spent many nights restarting a video over and over and over because I just couldn’t get something. Me learning to knit has been ridiculously hard. But I love it oh so much!

But can you imagine being a new knitter before all this technology? You’d have to wait until Christmas most likely to see that one Great Aunt who used to knit 30 years ago and ask her for help!

Glad to hear you’re plunging in, newknitter!

Edit: and i really like the pattern you picked!

One of the great things about knitting is that it keeps me at a “new Knitter” level by offering new projects and challenges, giving me e opportunities to learn new things. I don’t really know many people in my area who knit, and the few groups that meet don’t match up with my work schedule, so as a new knitter, I felt like I was on my own. I was nervous to try new things, because I wasn’t sure who would help me if I got into a jam. Knitting groups, and knitting friends help provide the courage to take on a project. After I had made scarves for everyone I knew, and had my kitchen drawer, and other Kitchen drawers, full of dish cloths, my daughter who lives in WA challenged me to try a sweater she had started. She told me what book it was in, I bought the book, the yarn, and gave it a try. I called her frequently to ask questions and had to stop by my local knitting store for help on a sleeve that I messed up, but other than that I completed it with just the help and encouragement my daughter gave me over the phone. The sweater turned out great, I went from that to socks, even though it took me 4 pair to finally be able to do a pair with no help, I kept trying. To try is to grow and learn. I like to try new things. Be brave, find something you like and go for it.