Top Ten Knitting Skills to Learn for the New Year

Learning new skills is a great way to try out new projects, no matter what skill level your knitting is at!
Beginning Knitters (you know how to knit and purl but not much else)

1. Finish a project.

So many people get discouraged when they don’t finish their knitting projects- and since many beginning knitters start with scarves- that is a lot of knitting for first projects!

Project: Make something small, or turn your current unfinished project in to something finished- the sense of having something you have knit being done and useable is great motivation to try another project.

2. Learn to increase and decrease.

Start by learning just one type of increase- a yarn over for holes or a make 1 for no holes, and one decrease-knit 2 together.

Project: Knit a square washcloth: Square washcloth pattern from About.com

3. Learn to weave in ends invisibly

Project: Knit a scarf in 2-3 colors, changing colors every foot. Weave in ends so they do not show on the front or back.

4. Try a new yarn.

If you have only ever knit with acrylic, try a wool or cotton yarn. If you have never tried anything besides knitting washcloths in cotton- find an unusual or textured yarn and knit a scarf.

Project: Knit a drop stitch scarf- there are many patterns and tutorials available online, or watch a video tutorial here.

5. Learn how to read and follow a written pattern.

Most of the more advanced skills you will want to learn later will require you to understand knitting patterns.

Intermediate Knitters (you know how to knit, purl, increase, and decrease)

6. Learn to knit in the round and knit a hat.

Start with learning to knit a hat from the bottom up- then learn top down. You start with learning to knit from the bottom up because holding the needles with just a few stitches on it for the top of the hat is more difficult.

Project: Hats from Space Hats Collection by Midnightsky Fibers.

7. Learn to knit a raglan sweater

There are many free knitting patterns online, and Knitting Pure and Simple also has some simple sweater patterns. Raglan sweaters are simple to knit compared to many other sweater styles and are a great way to practice reading a pattern without too many design elements.

Hint: If you don’t want to knit an entire sweater for yourself, knit a child or even doll sized sweater.

8. Learn a new cast on

Provisional or tubular cast ons are fairly easy to learn and can make a big difference in the projects you make. Bonus: learn to graft stitches

Project: Use a provisional cast on for the cast on and knit a cowl, grafting the ends together.

Advanced Intermediate Knitters

9. Learn to knit lace

Take a class or follow a tutorial online. If you are very brave, chose a simple lace pattern yourself- one without too many charts or complex stitches- and learn to follow a chart.

Project:Leaf Lace by Evelyn Clark is a fairly easy project for beginners to lace. Make sure to use stitch markers! We used to teach this pattern as a class when I worked in a yarn store.

10. Learn to knit colorwork.

My favorite project for people learning to knit colorwork is wrist warmers- they are small, include a variety of techniques to learn, and don’t take up much yarn. Choose a pattern with simple charts.

Project: Chevron Wrist Warmers by Midnightsky Fibers, or any colorwork from Winter Wonderland Knits.

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