Once you’ve been knitting for a while, you’ll find that the basic knitting techniques are second nature. If you’re wondering whether you’re ready for advanced knitting techniques, you probably are. Once you’ve begun searching out patterns written for more experienced knitters or changing up a more basic pattern, you’ll know you’re ready. This is how you know you’ve become an advanced knitter. At this point you’ll be ready for some more advanced knitting techniques to expand your knitting repertoire. Some fun advanced knitting techniques to try include knitting cables, lace or knitting with double pointed needles.
Cable knitting is the technique of crossing one group of stitches over another on your needles. Cabling creates the twisting rows and knots that you see on many knit goods like sweaters because they are so popular. Standard row cables are the most popular style, with a single column of twisting stitches.
Cables are knit with a cabling needle in addition to your standard knitting needles. You use the cabling needle to suspend the stitches, which can be any amount that you like, and knit the same amount of stitches off your left hand needle before returning the suspended stitches to your left hand needle to knit. This creates the twisted design that is so well recognized in knitting.
Knitting with Double Pointed Needles
Many knitters consider using double pointed needles an advanced knitting technique. These needles are used for knitting in the round but since circular needles are so much easier to use, they are more popular among beginners. However, once you’ve been knitting for a while you may realize that there are many circular patterns you want to try that are too small for circular needles, such as newborn baby hats or skinny tubes. For these projects, you will want to use double pointed needles.
Double pointed needles, or DPNs, are needles used for creating circles without the plastic cord that holds the stitches. These needles are shorter than standard knitting needles and have points on both ends rather than on just one end. They come in sets of four or five, which are all used in the course of knitting in the round.
Knitting lace is considered one of the most advanced knitting techniques around, due to it’s complexity and attention to detail. Most knitters consider knitting lace to be the ultimate goal to show off their skill, because this transcends the typical knitting techniques and becomes a form of art. True lace is a piece that is reversible, and where the holes are separated by only one strand of yarn and no more. However, there are many ways to create a lacey pattern in your knitting without it being true lace. The biggest aspect of lace knitting, and the part that makes it so difficult, is the holes. Since woven fabric is not made to have holes in it, this makes lace a very advanced technique because you not only have to have the artistic eye to create a lace pattern, but you have to have the ability to create the holes and stitches in a functional and aesthetic way.
In order to create lace in your knitting, you need to combine a series of yarn-overs and decreases in a way that creates a design of stitches and holes in your piece. Some popular lace motifs include:
Once you’ve learned enough about knitting to go beyond the basic knitting techniques, you may want to begin to expand your repertoire. By doing this you can continue to broaden your knowledge of the craft and keep pushing your skills. Since many knitters are striving to challenge themselves daily, they are excited to learn about new techniques to try. You can try your hand at these advanced knitting techniques to start with, or you may just find a technique in a pattern that you’ve never heard of and decide to try it. That is how most knitters learn about new techniques to try. Don’t second-guess yourself when it comes to knitting. Once you have mastered the basic stitches and decided to change things up, you’ll know that you are ready for the more advanced knitting techniques.