She’s got mad Skillz yo!

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?

The last year… Last year I made 10 shawls, 11 hats, 2 cowls, 1 pair of mitts and a toy. The year before that (which is what I assume we’re comparing to ) I made 2 cowls, 2 shawls, three scarves, 1 hat, 1 pair of mitts and 3 handbags.

In comparison, the first thing I notice is that I doubled my output of items, which while being a substantial improvement, is even moreso when you consider that the 25 items last year are all bigger and more complex (for the most part) than the items in my first year. Most of the 11 hats I knit last year were from my own pattern and the same can be said of three of the shawls.

Somewhere in between the beginning of my knitting career and the beginning of last year I decided that I hated purling. I intentionally sought out projects that were either garter stitch or knit in the round (hello 11 hats!) I didn’t like the way purling felt in my hands and it made my progress slow considerably, so I just avoided it. Which, as I’m sure you can guess helped to make me better at it! (sarcasm!). Right around the time I was designing my own shawl pattern (oddly enough, to use a covetted skein of the now reviled Wollmeise), I decided that the only way to get the gorgeous colors to show and the pattern I wanted was to purl. So I cast on for my triangular shawl and determined to finish it in such as way that it looked good, I purled. I swore and bitched and moaned through the stst sections… I cursed myself for deciding to purl on a triangle shawl (where the rows get insanely long) instead of on something small…. and then, before I knew it, I was done and it looked amazing!

Around the middle of last year, I decided that since I loved knitting lace, and not many lace patterns I like are in garter stitch, that I would have to purl again… this time on EVERY. OTHER. ROW…So I cast on Haruni as the first installment of a knit along with a group of people that I now count as some of my favorite knitters and people… I decided also, since I was going to put all that work into purling, that this was going to be the project that I also actually fixed mistakes in… that I learned what it looks like to tink back, or even rip out whole sections… and I decided that stitchmarkers are not for me, so the entire thing was done by reading my knitting… there ended up being a few mistakes that my local knitting friends helped to fix, and many I fixed myself, but around the end of the summer I had succcessfully knit a stockinette based lace shawl with no mistakes! It had taken me almost 3 months (altho not straight knitting… I took about a month break at one point) but I had done it!

There’s no looking back… all those shawl patterns and stitch patterns that need purling and need to be lined up and mistake free are now my oyster… I can pick any one that I want because I know that with a little confidence and patience, I can do it!
This year my goal is to learn things that have so far been unnecessary, such as ‘three needle bind off’ and ‘kitchener stitch’ (altho I did a 12 stitch kitchener already… doesn’t look good!). I am going to knit a sweater and continue on with my designing (and actually write up the pattern for my swim cap hat!). I also have the goal to do a proper crochet item (probably a blanket with scraps) instead of just the border on something… I guess come back next year at this time and we’ll see how far I got!

2 thoughts on “She’s got mad Skillz yo!

  1. I would like to purchase a swim cap hat, same colour, but to fit my head. I think I need a spring toque…it's not always quite warm enough to go bareheaded.Name a price, please.

  2. I wish I could wear hats!! I once said I was never knitting lace shawls. Now I've made a bunch of them – 3 with beads!! I guess never say never!

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