When I say that knitting is for all skill levels, I mean that in so many different ways. In every way you can dream it up, I mean it. I think it’s important for there to be beautiful and fun and whimsical and practical patterns for every level of knitting. I think it’s important for knitting to be accessible for all skill levels, we really shouldn’t assume that a newbie knitter is going to ‘get better’ at knitting – or that they would even care to do that! I find that so often a new knitter, or even an experienced knitter that does not have perfectly uniform stitches or has a little trouble with something specific, will see a fun pattern they want to try but shy away from it because they don’t think it’ll be perfect. I just want to remind you (and me) that the joy of falling in love with a pattern, knitting it, and happily wearing (or gifting) it is not made any less joyful if your tension of off or your cables lean a little.
I also mean that from the perspective of a newbie designer that’s been knitting for 20 years. I have purposefully advanced in my knitting by doing lots of practice because I wanted to get better at socks and cables and seaming pieces together and mostly making dog sweaters! So I have tried so many different techniques over the years and taken some classes and watched more videos that I could ever possibly remember and there are some stitches that still look a little wobbily, there are some techniques I adore that don’t look as nice when I do them because well, I still can’t do them that well and that’s ok!
This is also kind of funny as a designer because I know there is an assumption that if someone is designing knitwear, they must be an incredibly talented knitter. Sometimes that’s true, and sometimes that’s not the case at all. Where is this written? How is this a pre-requisite? Designing is about dreaming up something new by choosing stitches and colour and textures and yarns and then picking up your needles and testing them out! Sometimes it works out really well, sometimes less so….but the final pattern does not hinge on how well the designer can knit it. As long as the pattern is well written, there are clear photos of what the pattern is intended to look like, others can knit more perfect versions of it! Of course, if you can have your pattern tech edited and test knitted, that would be so much better, but that again is unrelated to your knitting. The only caveat here is your tension, and I think that’s actually one of the things that happens naturally the more you knit.
Don’t be afraid to try something new or different and if you’re a knitter that’s less than perfect and you have an idea for a design you want to make – make it! Make it, test it, edit it and share it with the world.