Inspiration station

Published on April 26th, 2017 | by Natalie


5 tips every knitter must see

The idea of a capsule wardrobe has been around for a while. It’s all about minimising your wardrobe to a few key, versatile pieces that you can mix and match, and there’s no reason you can’t apply the idea to your knitting projects! Here are 5 tips to help you get started.

I love being able to wear one of my favourite handmade knits and show it off, but now and then I make something that’s a bit of a flop and I just quietly hide it at the back of the wardrobe.  So it got me thinking, how can I make more pieces I love and less of the ones I don’t?  Using the popular idea of the capsule wardrobe I’ve created five simple steps to help you streamline your knitting and create pieces you’ll want to wear again and again.

1) Know your style

Take some time to look at your wardrobe and assess your clothes. Do you have a lot of prints and bright colours? If so, some neutral accessories might work well. But if you prefer to keep to more muted tones when you dress, knitting could be the perfect way to try out a bold statement colour. The Sea Level Jumper by Heidi Kirrmaier is a great, versatile choice.  Knitted in sport weight yarn it can be worn all year round and looks great with a pair of jeans for an everyday, casual look.


sea level sweater tips


2) Be practical

Be realistic about what you need, evening shawls are beautiful, and if you have a lot of weddings and parties (or even enjoy looking glamorous on the sofa) definitely have at least one (oh go on then, maybe two), but perhaps something like a cowl might be more useful for your day-to-day life? Useful doesn’t have to mean boring, try something like this simple but stunning Swallow Cowl by Hannah Fettig.


tips sweater capsule wardrobe


3) Colour coordinate

This is the perfect time to play with colour and find out what suits you. You can even bring in an honest friend who you know will tell you what works and what doesn’t! Hopefully you’ll find that by coordinating your knitting with your existing clothes it’ll make it easier and quicker to pull an outfit together, meaning you actually get to wear those amazing knitted pieces you worked so hard on!  The soft pastel colour combinations in the Slice Shawl by Tin Can Knits show you how you can bring together colours you might not normally try.


slice knitting tips


4) Spend wisely

If you’re planning to make something you’ll want to wear often, it might be worth investing in some more expensive yarn that’s going to last well and be a joy to wear. Nobody wants a scratchy jumper that starts to pill the first time you wear it!  The Dark Pearl Cardigan by Carol Feller uses yarns with a touch of silk, so it’ll feel great to wear and look amazing! Buttoned up it’s the perfect accompaniment to a summer dress.


dark pearl


Have fun

Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with your knitting! Each piece of your knitting should reflect a bit of your character, whether it’s a striking monochrome scarf or a quirky pair of mittens inspired by polka dots and vampires like Vampolka by Melanie Berg! And if something doesn’t work out quite the way you thought, don’t worry – there’s bound to be someone who’d love to wear it!




Hopefully by thinking more about what you make, the end results will be pieces you really love and wear regularly and don’t get shoved to the back of the cupboard, doomed to be enjoyed only by the moths. Your knitting needs to be shown off! Do you have key pieces you love to wear and wear again? Or are there pieces you’ve made and never worn? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author

Natalie loves anything crafty - knitting, crochet, sewing, baking, even a bit of DIY piñata building. Most of all she likes to make handmade gifts for family and friends. Though she is currently experiencing a bit of a backlog of requests she hopes to be taking new orders for 2050 soon.

Last updated: April 27th, 2017.

8 Responses to 5 tips every knitter must see

  1. Teresa says:

    I love shawls, to make and give away and to wear. I know my color palette and my style and how much fussing I am willing to make when caring for my creations. I know the style and color palette of my female family members. Twice now I have come home with new yarn that is exactly like some I have in my stash. (My stash is currently stored in three places do to moving and rehabbing our new home. ) I was crushed to find duplicates but there is no way I’m returning it. If sites like this would stop offering soooo many beautiful shawl patterns maybe I could exhibit a little self control.. .no probably not.

    • Marilyn says:

      Guess what! I buy duplicate books even on my Kindle. It’s the sign of addiction!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Sally Melleville (one of my favourite designers and an all-around wise and wonderful woman) says you should think about what you want to wear when planning a sweater project, not necessarily what you would want to knit. Sometimes we get caught up in how it looks on the model or how fun it would be to knit fair isle, not how it would suit our features the best. She also says the biggest mistake knitters make is that they follow the pattern! You have to adapt things to suit your individual figure. Smart lady.

    • Myriam says:

      Those are really good advices.
      I have fallen prey to the lure of the ‘oh! it looks so good on the model!’ illusion… forgetting that the model is really twenty years younger, and 20 cm taller than me.

      These past few years, my pattern choice have been about wearability. Like a nice cardi that closes well, but at the same time can be easily shrugged on and off. Or a long, wide cowl that can be worn doubled around the neck outdoors, or loosely around the shoulders indoors: perfect accessory when traveling in a cold country.
      Wearability, wearability, wearability.

    • Ruth says:

      Sounds a great idea to adapt the pattern to suit your body shape but thats ok if you can do it which Id love to be able to do as I’ve knitted quite a few garments which didn’t look well on me so I gave away to friends I’ve also ripped out one and knitted another in a different pattern which looks better on me and I’m about to rip out another and start again as it doesn’t work well with my bust shape awful.

  3. Shari says:

    Great suggestions in this post! When I shop for yarn I try to stick to only colors and fibers I love. That way I am inclined to use what I make, even if only becase the the color or texture makes me oh so happy.

  4. Elaine says:

    I agree with Jennifer. Im just learning to be a little more discerning. Would I really wear it.? Or do I just love the pattern? I knit a beautiful shawl. It was challenging. But then i didnt want to wear it so I gave it to a friend who wears scarves and shawls like a pro. So it didnt end up in the drawer but found the perfect home.

  5. Valerie says:

    I wonder if.we were being really honest with ourselves would know exactly how much yarn you have.if like me you think you have it all sorted then you find some.just appearing from nowhere

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