There are many ways in which you can add pizzazz to your knitting projects. Through the use of colors, textures, and structures you can modify even the simplest knitting project and make it really stand out against the crowd. And, while advanced knitting techniques can take a bit of time to grasp, they really are not hard once you have learned and practiced them.
Advanced knitting techniques come in four different categories. They are: color-work, cables/Aran knitting, lace, and structural techniques. Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail:
There are three main styles of color-work in knitting. They are: fair isle, intarsia, and mosaic. Each of these allows your knitting to have multiple colors knit on the same knitting row.
Fair isle is originally from Scandinavia and involves only two colors. Each color is carried through each row with one color “floated” behind the other when it is not in use. Fair isle is often used when knitting in the round and creating such items as sweaters and jackets.
Intarsia in contrast to fair isle, is generally not worked in the round, and is used to create geometric shapes and other decorative items.
Mosaic knitting, otherwise known as slip-stitch knitting, allows you to knit with only one color at a time and is much more time consuming than either fair isle or intarsia.
Aran knitting is a form of knitting where you use one solid color of yarn and essentially make patterns and cables by using various basic stitches and needle techniques. The Aran knitting technique is also sometimes called sweater knitting, cable knitting, or fisherman knitting, because Aran knitting techniques were used in the past primarily to knit cable sweaters. Today, Aran knitting techniques are used on a wide variety of hand knit items from the more traditional sweaters to blankets, scarves and bags.
While Aran knit garments and household items may look very complicated to knit, they really aren’t all that difficult to do once you have mastered a couple new techniques. Anyone with basic knitting skills can learn to do Aran knitting and create wonderful heirloom items for their friends and family.
In addition to traditional knitting needles, for Aran knitting you will also need to have a cable needle which you will use to make the special cable designs with. Cable needles come in various shapes and sizes. The shape and size you choose to use in your knitting is mostly about personal preference as they all perform the same function. Personally, I know that I prefer wooden cable needles because they are less likely to slide out of my projects.
One of the most decorative and intricate types of advanced knitting is making lace. Lace is simply made with a specifically ordered, decorative increases and decreases in stitches. However, because if the specific order, lace can vary from fairly simple to make to very advanced. The smaller the lace will be sometimes the harder it is to make.
Structural advanced knitting techniques involve those such as entrelac and mobius. Both of these structural techniques involve inverting and modifying the rows and structure of a piece. Entrelac is used to make faux woven fabrics, while mobius makes flipped but connected circles which resemble mobius strips.
Some knitting projects combine one, tow or even three of these techniques into one finished piece, while others simply show off one individual technique. Some of the most exciting uses for these advanced knitting techniques are in making unique sweaters and shawls to be worn.
One of the best things about knitting is that you can try new techniques and keep those which you like the results of. If you don’t like something, you can simply pull it out and start again using a different pattern or technique until you get one you like. By experimenting with the more advanced knitting techniques, you can make some amazing and unique knit items for yourself, your home and for gifts.