Knitting is a journey, an art form that continually evolves through every stitch and row. As you progress from garter and stockinette stitches, a whole new world of textures, patterns, and techniques awaits. If you're an intermediate knitter eager to expand your skill set, y in for a treat. Here are four intermediate knitting techniques that can truly elevate your craft and provide hours of entertainment along the way!
Cables are the epitome of textured knitting. They can range from simple twists to intricate braided designs that historically told tales unique to the knitter's family and lands. We connect and bring forward those ancient tales when we learn this technique. I liken cable knitting to how we watch Star Wars films: 4. 5, 6, then 1, 2, 3. We work stitches the same way, out of order, so to speak.
Before you get it twisted:
- Ensure even tension to prevent the fabric from puckering.
- Use a cable needle smaller than your needles!
- Start simple, like the Peregrina Tuque, designed for Newbies!
Lace knitting involves intentional yarn overs and decreases to create decorative holes and patterns within your fabric, steeped in an elegant history. Lace is a technical dance between space and increase and decrease.
Before you fall down the rabbit hole:
- Use stitch markers to demarcate pattern repeats. You'll thank me later.
- Consider using a lifeline—a thread run through a row of stitches—so if you make a mistake, you can easily rip back to that point without losing more work.
- Try lace on larger needles to start, so you get the hang of things before trying smaller yarn, like the Miraflores Shawl.
If you're looking to add blocks of color to your work, Intarsia is the technique for you. Unlike stranded colorwork, where you carry the yarn across the back, in Intarsia, you work with separate balls of yarn for each color section.
Avoid tangles with a few tips:
- Twist the two yarns at every color change to avoid holes.
- Organize your yarn to prevent tangling—bobbins or butterflies can be a lifesaver.
- Look for 2 colour intarsia when learning!
- I designed Heart Warmer to be a quick way to learn the technique!
Short rows are a technique where you work only a portion of the stitches in a row and then turn your work before reaching the end. This creates curves and shapes in your fabric, perfect for garments. You'll see short rows in sock heels and sometimes toes and chest/bust shaping in sweaters.
A short not before you start:
- Use stitch markers to indicate turning points.
- Explore different methods like the wrap and turn or German short rows to see what suits you best.
- Try a sock to start your journey on the right foot! Like the Happenstitch Socks which feature German short row heels!
The beauty of knitting lies in its limitless possibilities. As you delve into these intermediate techniques, remember that every knitter was once where you are now. It's all about practice, patience, and passion. So pick up those needles and explore the vast canvas that is knitting. And don't be afraid to make mistakes along the way; that's how we learn and improve and build our patience. Happy crafting!