Thursday, 19 September 2013

Skills upgrade

I've cast on and done quite a bit of work on both of my new projects.  I'll share my progress tomorrow, but for today I've been musing on number of firsts these projects have been providing.

As a knitter of over a decade, I'm always pleasantly surprised and excited when I realise I'm about to do something I've never done before.  I'm aware that I still have lots to learn even now and that it's easy to get stuck in a rut of doing the things I know and not really stretching myself.  Sometimes that a thing is new is purely a coincidence, for example I'd never made icord until recently because I'd never happened to knit a pattern that required it.  The same goes for illusion knitting, which I'm now doing for the very first time.  In reality there is nothing new there at all, it's just striping and knitting and purling according to a chart, but it's an effect I've never used before.

Conversely there is colourwork which is a different ball game altogether.  Its is something that I've been wanting to do for a long time.  I've have patterns in my favourites forever, but I've purposefully been stalling because it means learning new skills.  I'm rather proud that I am stalling no longer now that I have started my baby mittens.  Starting as I meant to go on I cast on using the new-to me- suggested cast on (tillybuddy's very stretchy cast on).  I had to watch the video a few times before I got it, but I can do it now without the video and it's quite fun.  I'm definitely interested in adding a few more cast-ons and casts off to my repertoire now.

The colourwork itself is going ok and I keep reminding myself that I'm not going to perfect a new technique as soon as I start.  The first mitten is done and it's acceptable but there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.  I'm going to reserve judgement until both mittens are knitted and blocked.  So far I haven't really found my rhythm, I'm still experimenting with different ways to hold my yarn, make my stitches and deal with floats.  The results are encouraging though and I'm very much inspired to keep at it.  I'm going to be sure and pick another colourwork project very soon to keep the momentum going.  I'm not sure I'm ready for a full on fair-isle sweater yet, but who knows, maybe one day!

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