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Tree of Techniques Intermediate: Beautiful Hats and Socks

Blog » Tree of Techniques » Tree of Techniques Intermediate: Beautiful Hats and Socks

Tree of Techniques Intermediate: Beautiful Hats and Socks

Liat Gat - Founder

November 4, 2014

To become an intermediate knitter, you need to know 3 important skills: Knitting in the round, toe-up socks, and top-down socks. Continental knitting and cable knitting are bonuses. Here are recommended video classes and patterns to help you get started.

tree-of-techniques-topIn 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.

tree-of-techniques-bottomToday 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.

  1. Knitting in the Round/Magic Loop
  2. Toe-Up Socks
  3. Top-Down Socks
  4. Continental Knitting (optional)
  5. Cable Knitting (optional)

Tree of Techniques: Stage 2 - Intermediate Knitting - Close Up
The Tree of Techniques: Stage 2 – Intermediate Knitting. The “Sweet Spot”

Skill 1: Knitting in the Round – Preferably on Magic Loop

magic-loopKnitting 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.

intermediate knitting-03-basic hatThe first project I suggest you make is a basic hat (right). Other easy round projects you could make would be a knitted phone cover or even a tiny key cozy.

At this point you’ll need to become familiar with making a swatch and checking your gauge so that your project comes out the right size.

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

intermediate knitting-07-socks-07One 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

intermediate knitting-05-toe-up-socks-05Learning to knit socks involves staying calm and following the directions, plus learning some new techniques, and on socks you learn some fantastic ones.

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

intermediate knitting-02--top-down-socksMy 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

intermediate knitting-08-continental-knitting-08If 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

intermediate knitting-01-cablesLearning 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.

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!

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6 thoughts on “Tree of Techniques Intermediate: Beautiful Hats and Socks”

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  1. When I started knitting, I did both a ribbed scarf and a hat.
    I struggle to do socks, especially Magic Loop, two at a time. I have tried using videos, but I still feel like I am all thumbs.
    I think I might just try to master a sock and then try the Magic Loop technique.
    I have already made some baby clothes, so I guess that I am sort of in between intermediate and advanced.
    I love your bind offs and cast ons. They have helped me to expand in that way tremendously.
    You are always so up beat and helpful. Thanks.

  2. I thot could click on ea pic and see how to do but only a few pics show more. Like the fingerless grey gloves in pic – nothing happens when click

  3. I am so excited about this tree of techniques. I consider myself an intermediate knitter (but I have done a few more advanced projects), but I am so ready to learn more great knitting techniques and patterns. I just wish I had more time to devote to the great videos and patterns on your website. Keep it up, thank you.

  4. Good morning, Liat,

    Thanks for these great emails! I was considering myself an intermediate knitter until i read your blogs and examined your tree. My goals this year are (1) to learn continental knitting to improve my speed and tensioning, (2) master the Kichener stitch, and (3) overcome many mistakes in seaming. I’m currently working on a beautiful afghan for my bedroom: it is just the pattern of stitches and gauge I want in just the color and fibers I want. I used the long tail cast on and will use the Latvian bind off that I found in your I Love Bind-Offs class. You have helped me tremendously in getting to this point!

    Thank you,

    Cindy Childs

  5. Hi. I paid for the toe up class by Pay Pal. My Pay Pal receipt # is: 6YN13180YB109913T. I did not receive a confirmation email from you acknowledging my purchase. I think my email was typed in wrong. The email above is the correct email. Please advise me about the class. Your website will not accept my email reply now.
    Thank you
    Carol Ogle

    1. Hi Carol,

      I’m so sorry that you were having trouble getting in touch with us. I checked your transaction and it looks like it went through to this e-mail address, but I am re-sending your class right now. If you don’t receive it shortly, please feel free to reach out to our support team directly at [email protected].

      Happy Knitting!

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