Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Skill + 1UP

 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 and crochet.

I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about this question, mainly because not much really springs to mind – at least when it comes to knitting.  In the last year I’ve taken up dying and spinning, both wonderful and fulfilling fibre related activities, but my knitting itself has remained fairly breakthrough free.  By no means is this because I think I know it all or feel I have no room for improvement, in fact I’ll be looking at things I’d like to learn later in the week.  So what can I write about today?  I thought about why I hadn’t really learned any new knitting skills in the last year and it brought me, very neatly, back to a point I touched on yesterday.  Because I am very pattern driven, I see a garment I must make and nothing else will do, if I don’t have a particular skill that’s needed for the pattern I will learn it then.  I begun by making hats so I learned knit and purl and K2tog, I fancied making a lacy poncho so I learned yarn overs, wanting a jumper made me learn increases...and so on.  For me this was a really great way to learn, I never took on too much at once and learning something and immediately putting it into practice is a brilliant way to help a new skill stick.  And so it was that last year, after 9ish years of knitting, I finally tackled short rows.  I’d never really needed them before.  I knew that some people used them to create a bit more room in the front of their jumpers but my small and humble, entirely non mountainous boobies meant that this wasn’t something I was ever likely to do!  My motivator in the end was to be the toe-up sock.  Despite being perfectly happy knitting my socks top down I’d seen a few toe up patterns that tickled my fancy, so I dived in.  I have to say that short rows are not my favourite thing to do, I find the wraps can be difficult to see and picking them up is fiddly, but I don’t hate doing it and I’m glad that I added toe up socks to my repertoire.  So now all I need to do is remember that for toe up socks you don’t need to knit the pattern all the way around until after the heel.  Maybe if I’d got that into my head soon then this sock would have a partner, rather than just a sad re-wound ball of wool!


pinkundine said...

Hi *waves* I like your approach of learning what you need to complete a pattern - that sounds a lot less overwhelming than seeing all the millions of things that knitting can do and trying to figure it all out at once! Might have to try and remind myself that I don't need to know it all right away ;)

katiemckinna said...

I like your style on learning techniques. I also want to learn sort row heels.

CraftyCripple said...

You know there are other ways of doing toe up socks, so if you really hate the short rows, you can do it with a gusset and flap. I'm pretty sure there are tutorials out there, cos I don't like short row heels and I only do toe up socks.

Hanrahan said...

I'm looking forward to trying out some more toe up techniques, I don't really mind short rows but I wouldn't want to miss out on trying something I might prefer.