Tree of Techniques Intermediate: Beautiful Hats and Socks
In my last post I talked to you about the Tree of Techniques - specifically the trunk of the tree which contains the foundations of knitting for beginners.
Today I want to talk to you about the sweet spot at the middle of the tree which I think is the key to becoming a knitting superstar. ------------>
So let's jump in and I'll share with you what it takes to make your intermediate knitting spectacular.
Stage 2: Intermediate Knitting
There are only 3 skills that you need to learn as an intermediate knitter, with a few extra options.
- Knitting in the Round/Magic Loop
- Toe-Up Socks
- Top-Down Socks
- Continental Knitting (optional)
- Cable Knitting (optional)
Skill 1: Knitting in the Round - Preferably on Magic Loop
Knitting in the round (left) means, instead of making a flat fabric like a scarf or potholder, making a 3-D tube.
There are 3 ways to do it - either on double-pointed needles, two circular needles, or on one long needle, a technique called Magic Loop (left) -- my favorite.
By the way, knitting in the round is not required for all intermediate and advanced projects, but it does give you a boost in confidence that will always help.
Skill 2: Socks
One of the first things I suggest you explore next is socks.
Socks are not as hard as you may think -– if you've taken my sock class already you'll know that socks bring out surprising abilities in us all!
1: Toe-Up Socks
On toe-up socks, you'll learn a handful of techniques without even really noticing. You'll learn Judy's Magic Cast On, short rows (wrapping and turning), and invisible bind offs for ribbing that you can use on other projects.
Once you learn Magic Loop, you can even learn how to knit two socks at the same time, which is one of the most fun things about knitting that you can learn.
2: Top-Down Socks
My favorite way to knit socks is definitely from the toe up, but I'm glad that I learned to knit top-down socks for a couple reasons:
A lot of gorgeous patterns are written from the top down, so if you want to knit them without a lot of heinous converting and math, it's good to know how to knit a basic top-down sock.
There are also a few very important techniques that you learn for the first time on top-down socks, like how to cast on for two-at-a-time top-down (it's different than the toe-up way), pick up and knit, make textured heels, and do a wonderful seaming bind-off called Kitchener stitch.
Optional Skill 1: Continental Knitting
If you learned to knit with the yarn in your right hand, which is common in the U.S., I recommend that you explore the technique of Continental knitting, where you hold the yarn in your left hand.
This is a fast, ergonomic, and advantageous way to knit- and it won't stop you from switching back to knitting with your right hand when you want to. This technique also comes in handy for knitting with two colors at the same time.
Optional Skill 2: Cable Knitting
Learning to create texture with cable knitting is a fun way to add interest to your projects.
By now your tension will be good and your pattern-reading will be confident, so challenge your hands!
You'll improve your needle dexterity and learn how to read cable charts, as well as adding new abbreviations to your lexicon.
If you're ready to tackle these skills now, here's how I can help
My email fills up with amazing messages from students who can't believe what they were able to accomplish when they have the right instruction. They love being able to knit socks two-at-a-time and look forward to new knitting challenges.
If you're ready to knit your own hats, socks, and mittens, my Knitting Superstar course is where I suggest you start.
But DON’T BUY IT NOW – just look it over to see what's in it and if it’s right for you, because in a few days I’ll have a special surprise for you that you won’t want to miss.
The same thing goes for my classes on continental knitting, cast-ons, bind-offs, and cables -– check them out if the techniques sound cool to you, but DON'T BUY ANYTHING until you get my surprise at the end of this week!
What Awaits You When You Master These Intermediate Skills?
Once you get these five skills under your belt, you'll be ready to tackle almost anything that you desire, if you continue up the tree in the right order.
In my next post I'll show you how to get to the top of the tree -- stay tuned you may learn about some knitting techniques you have never heard of!
Free Pattern Downloads
Here are links to the patterns that I’ve mentioned in today’s post.
- Basic Magic Loop Hat
- Knit Cell Phone Cozy
- Tiny Key Cozy
- Basic Worsted Toe-Up and Top-Down Socks
- Basic Fingering-Weight Toe-Up and Top-Down Socks
Leave a Comment
I got great comments on Sunday's post from happy knitters who had made some amazing accomplishments. One reader said the first thing she ever knitted was a cardigan -- talk about zooming to the top of the tree!
What I want to know from you today is, if you've tried these techniques and had any trouble, what was it? Have you gotten stuck here or have you noticed your knitting skyrocketing after you developed these skills? Leave a comment and let me know!