What is Creative Knitting?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2020
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Creative knitting uses no pattern. It's also known as freeform knitting since knitters may create as they go by varying the stitching, shaping, yarn type or colors completely at random. Oftentimes, a creative knitting piece turns out to be an irregular shape since freeform knitters may change the edge to stitch on at many different times during the project. The knitter also decides when the creative project is complete and how small or large it will be.

Other than using some type of knitting stitches — these may be original ones created by the knitter — there are no rules in this type of needlework. Some creative knitters use bamboo sticks rather than knitting needles or twine or ripped cloth rather than yarn. The possibilities for creative knitting are limited only by one's imagination and choice of materials. One freeform knitter may use scraps, while another may choose yarns especially for the creative project.

Some creative knitters may have a project idea in mind for their freeform piece, such as a rug or pillow top, while others just pick up needles or sticks and begin stitching. Freeform knitters who start without a project plan may not decide until later what to do with their finished piece. Depending on their size and texture, creative knitting pieces may be used for table runners, pet blankets, afghans, shawls, wall hangings or many other things.


A creative knitter may decide to use all one texture, color or stitch, combine many different variations of all three elements or do something in between. If knitters want to create highly textured pieces, they may combine a baby weight yarn, which is very fine, with a bulky rug yarn that's extremely thick. Different stitches used together can create varied texture as well. While some creative knitters choose their yarn colors before beginning a project, others may just bring out a large bag of mixed scrap yarns they've been saving and knit by changing a color impulsively.

Creative knitting doesn't necessarily even have to be in one piece. Some knitters make different small knitted pieces and stitch them together in interesting ways. Different techniques as well as stitches may be used when knitting creatively, such as letting stitches drop on purpose to create yarn strands in the work. For example, it's possible to experiment with twine, which is thin rope, and use dropped and other stitches to knit, creative openwork shopping bags.

Knitting in a freeform, "anything goes" style can be very relaxing and fun for knitters. Since there are no rules and creative knitting projects can be worked in a random fashion, this means there are no mistakes. In regular knitting, sometimes even a small mistake such as a misplaced stitch can affect the look of a project. Knitting creatively can be a great way for knitters of any skill level to express themselves with yarn or other materials.


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Post 3

@Ana1234 - I think that anyone can do creative knitting if they let go of the idea that the finished piece has to be useful. It can just be beautiful, or even just be quirky and that's enough. Perhaps you might even decide to unravel it afterwards.

The other option is to use creative license on one aspect of traditional knitting instructions. If the pattern calls for a particular stitch, you might use something else and keep everything else the same, or maybe you can change the colors with your whim. It's not really the same, but it might be a little bit freeing and give you a chance to be creative.

Post 2

@Iluviaporos - I think it's possible to make things that are useful with creative knitting but I suspect that people who creative knit regularly become very skilled at shaping the wool to their purposes.

The same way that someone who is particularly skilled at origami might be able to just make something up on the fly rather than needing instructions. You just learn, over the years, which different techniques produce which effects on your material and you can use those together to make whatever it is that you want.

This kind of skill is definitely out of reach for me with knitting, but I know my grandmother could have done it.

Post 1

I really like this idea, although I think I'd be pretty terrible at it. My knitting almost always turns out to be somewhat "creative", which is a nice way of putting it!

It would be nice to have some easy knitting to practice on but I guess I'd rather know that my end product was going to turn out well and end up being something I can use.

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