This post is part of my AAKA series.
Do you know of any knitting resources for intermediate to advanced knitters looking to better themselves?
I love this question and I find it really difficult to answer at the same time! The most basic, all encompassing answer would be to keep challenging yourself with new patterns, new stitches and new garments that you’ve never tried before. If you never tried cables, give them a shot. If you’ve never knit a sweater before, find a pattern and get started. Improving your knitting skill is all about trying new things, especially the ones that make you a little nervous!
YouTube and Ravelry are two fantastic sources for people who are looking for more. My favorite knitting YouTuber is Staci from Very Pink. Her YouTube Channel, VeryPink Knits is chock full of amazing tutorials, tips and tricks that fit perfectly with my techniques and perspective on knitting. I learn new things from her all the time. She has a ‘do what works for you’ attitude and shows multiple ways of doing things, which is something I find incredibly important in knitting tutors. (None of that ‘my technique is the only right one’ business!)
That said, take your time. If you’ve only knit a cabled scarf but you’ve never constructed a sweater before, you can start with a baby (or teddy bear) sweater so you have an idea of how a sweater is constructed. Make a test knit for everything new and scary so you don’t waste dozens of hours on something because you messed up in the beginning and didn’t realize cause it’s a big project.
When I first started knitting socks and looked for an alternative heel, I made little test tubes and knit heels into them. Didn’t matter that they were just open ended tubes, I wanted to get acquainted with the heel method first so I knew if it was for me or not…. without spending 20 hours on the Two-At-A-Time pair of socks! This method saves so much grief over the course of a knitting project that I fully swear by it.
Last but not least… never stop knitting swatches when gauge matters. It will only take a little bit of your time and ensures that whatever you’re knitting will be in the specified dimensions. I know lots of people go “I’ve never knit a swatch before and it always fits!”, but that is not true for a majority of knitters. Knit gauge swatches! Unless you’re always using the exact same yarn (same brand, same type, same weight, just a different colorway — like I have for most of my sock yarn) you can’t depend on guessing.