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Knitting is a wonderful hobby. There are patterns out there for any skill level and even if you are a beginner working with handpainted yarn will give you so much joy you will probably never stop knitting once you have started. But how about that gorgeous jacket you have seen in the last issue of your favorite knitting magazine or on Ravelry? Will you be able to make it? Oh, it seems so hard to do! Surely the skill level will be far above your abilities!

– STOP! In this post we will talk about how you can REALLY increase your knitting skills before you start with that advanced piece. The key is to feel confident to take that next step up the ladder. First, take a pattern that fits your skills TODAY, maybe a little on the advanced side but not totally out of your league. You may want to check our website www.skeino.com and take a look at our knitting kits. Each item will show you the required skill level in the technical description below the photos. Most of our pieces including the very popular and successful Arabella Shawl, the limited edition Arabella Royal Shawl and the Scarf-In-A-Scarf are beginner’s pieces so consider those for your next project.

SKEINO Co-Founder and knitting designer Bjorn holding some skeins

SKEINO Co-Founder and knitting designer Bjorn is knitting for over 40 years.

Now that you have your project laying before you, let’s start. The best way to increase your knitting skills is by diving deeply into the pattern. Here are 6 top tips from our knitting designer Bjorn that will help you boost your skills:

1. Review and understand the pattern before you begin.

Have a good read through the pattern before you cast on. No one likes to unravel a piece or portion of it and start all over again. This is not good for the yarn. Therefore read the pattern first, all the way through, before you start your project.

2. Try to “unlock” the pattern to understand its construction and logic.

Think about the big picture! If you follow the pattern stitch by stitch you might create a piece, which does not fit or will not please you. Be sure to put your skills into a piece that you like so that it is the right piece for you.

3. Do not just follow a pattern without first understanding what you’re about to do.

Stay focused! Every single stitch should make sense. This allows you to become more and more comfortable in terms of knowing what to do next before you read the pattern to confirm that you’re on the right path.

4. Reach out to your knitting friends to find help or provide help.

Just ask your friends! There is always help in a group for you. Don’t allow frustration or disappointment to take over. Your work should be pure joy. If you don’t have a knitting friend near you try a Skype video conference to interact with your friends and family or be active in the biggest knitting community in the world – Ravelry. Fellow knitters are always so helpful as everybody knows what it’s like to be stuck.

5. Sometimes it’s wise to follow your instinct and have the courage to change the pattern to please yourself.

Be brave! But also don’t forget to use your brain and think about it all the way. Will my changes use up all the yarn before the piece is finished? Will the dimensions of the piece be distorted? All those things are important to have in mind when you decide to be brave and change parts of the pattern to make it yours. Ideas could be throwing in a row of glitter yarn or adding buttons and other accessories that will make your project stand out from the crowd. You will be proud of your accomplishment and enjoy the “show and tell” about your piece!

6. Never forget: You can do it!

Believe in yourself! Be creative, crazy and confident with your knitting! If you love what you do your KNITTING SKILLS will grow and make you more successful the more you knit.

We hope these pointers will help you find the right way to turn a pattern into a piece that you can be proud of. Use them and find your way to increase YOUR knitting skills. You will make progress as you go along the way creating all those beautiful pieces for your friends/family and of course yourself.

Enjoy, Bjorn

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