Rowan has those little balls of yarn with numbers in them; Ravelry employs a sliding scale judged by those who’ve completed the pattern and Vogue has that strange “Very Easy Vogue” thing, not “Advanced Vogue”, that’s just “Advanced”.
I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of what my pattern skill levels mean.
Beginner – A beginner knows how to knit, purl, cast on and cast off. A beginner is not quite ready to knit anything that isn’t square yet, most sweater knitting patterns look like hiroglyphics and that hat did not turn out well. The only Beginner pattern I have at the moment is the Skull and Crossbones Cushion Cover, it’s free and you can download it just there on the right. If you don’t do the design as intarsia and use the stitch pattern explained in the pattern instead it will come out very well. Trust me, I was a beginner once too.
Advanced Beginner (or Adventurous Beginner) – An advanced beginner is starting to tire of square things and has their eye on something a bit more interesting, maybe learning how to knit on dpns or do some colour work. Some of my toy patterns are for an advanced beginner, short row shaping is an interesting little skill and you could also learn a bit about sewing seams, or using dpns to make i-cord, there are hints and tips to help you do all of those things, here on the blog. And the best thing about the toys is that these a small projects, they only take a few hours to complete.
Intermediate – An intermediate knitter has a number of skills under their belt, maybe they’ve discovered that they like making socks, or have a love of cables. My Intermediate Knitter patterns have some fiddly bits, things like M1 increases, knitting in the round, intarsia and making tiny beaks, which need neat firm stitches. Once again though, I still find that not many intermediate knitters have done much short row shaping, which all of my toy patterns use. An intermediate knitter should pick up such a new skill very easily.
Advanced Intermediate – Cables, Fair Isle and designing their own patterns hold no fear for the Advanced Intermediate Knitter. A pattern would need to be extraordinary to catch their attention. I haven’t written one yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
Genius – The genius knitter thinks “I could make that” when presented with anything, flowers, wedding dresses, complex swirling celtic colourwork. Seriously, ANYTHING. One day I hope to be a genius knitter, but even if that day comes, I will probably still shy away from making patterns for these wondrous beings.