Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skill + 1UP :: 2KCBWDAY2 ::

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

I generally choose my knits based wholly on how much I want the finished item. I tend to not give much thought to what skills or techniques are involved in a project, deciding instead whether I have the patience or time to dedicate to something, so I’m really not sure what skills I’ve picked up over the past year. Looking at my Ravelry project page, the last year seems to have seen quite a few pairs of socks, including my first finished pair of toe up socks

so I can rate that as one new skill learnt!

In fact, now that I think about it, there was also my super stretchy sock cuff revelation


which turned out to be more a revisiting of a standard long tail cast on, but with a cunningly different name. This has now been usurped by the twisted German (also known as the Old Norwegian) cast on, a long tail variant which has even more stretch and (I think) a neater edge. Love! Even this has been improved fairly recently by the realisation that instead of having to guesstimate how much tail to leave, only to have to rip out the cast on and grudgingly start again when the tail is inevitably infuriatingly long or a few stitches too short, I can cast on with two separate ends. What a lightbulb moment! It’s amazingly satisfying to use the centre pull end and the free outer end and cast on, smug in the knowledge that I will always have just the right amount of yarn for my cast on. It’s even worth the extra ends to weave in, and considering how much I hate finishing, that’s some achievement!

My project page also reminds me of my first hand-felted project, the French Press Slippers.

I’ve hand made little felt balls before, but I had no idea that hand-felting an entire project would be such hard work! Even though I loved the end result, it’s going to be a long time before I decide to felt anything other than little balls for a while!

And lastly, there is the still lingering double knit hat.

This was my first venture into double knitting, and although the process had me a little bamboozled at first once I got stuck in it was pretty straight forward. I’m quite ashamed to say that it’s still on the needles, and three months on it hasn’t really progressed much from this photo!

Well, that’s a lot more skills than I thought. Who knows what new tricks I’ll unwittingly learn this year!

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