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Saturday, April 28, 2012

3KCBWDAY6 - improving your skillset

How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how's your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you'd like to have tried them by.

i learned to knit 6 years ago, and i consider myself at least intermediate to advanced as far as my skills go.  over the years i've taken different classes to learn a new knitting technique, from magic loop toe up socks to double knitting.  one of the reasons i love going to knitters day out is so i can learn a new knitting technique.  just when i think i've learned everything, i find a new skill to learn!  the KDO catalog will be coming out in a couple of months, and i can't wait to see what's in store for this year!

this year i learned several skills while making my diantha shawl - nupps, beads, making a crescent shawl.  i learned another one recently with diantha - soaking and reblocking!  she got quite a beating on vacation, and she deserved it (plus i could block it better than i did the first time!)

while i've done some intarsia in the past (my sock monkey hats; a pair of mittens), my current shawl project - earth & sky - is largely intarsia, so learning to switch yarns without making holes in the fabric has been an interesting challenge.

one skill i haven't really attempted is fair isle color work.  i admire fair isle hats, mittens (i must have a dozen spillyjane mittens on my favorites list on ravelry!) and sweaters but i've never taken the time to learn.  perhaps this is the year that i'll break down and knit a pair of fiddlehead mittens!

i'm also a huge fan of cat bordhi.  i use her cast on to make moebius scarves but i've yet to make a pair of her socks despite owning three of her sock books.  what prevents me from making a pair?  figuring out the math and measuring my foot to calculate the number of cast on stitches!  sheer laziness, i know.  maybe someday - i'll sit down with pencil and paper and figure this out, so i can make a pair of custom socks.

i remember my old knitting teacher telling me that after knitting for over 40 years, she felt that she didn't need to learn more new techniques.  i think that's sad.  i'm hoping that when i've been knitting for 40 years, i'm still learning something new!


  1. How sad for your teacher to think she didn't need to learn anything new. I love the feeling of mastering something new! Intarsia is something WAY down on my list of things to learn--striping is up first! :) I wish we had knitting conventions to attend in my area, but alas nothing.

  2. "i remember my old knitting teacher telling me that after knitting for over 40 years, she felt that she didn't need to learn more new techniques. i think that's sad."

    Oh, I agree - though I suppose my own post today says something similar as its subtext...

    " i'm hoping that when i've been knitting for 40 years, i'm still learning something new!"

    Absolutely. We can always learn from others and new techniques are arising all the time.
    I spent some of yesterday teaching several lifelong knitters of advancing years how to make socks with Magic Loop. They are all very keen to learn and up for the challenge.

  3. I love Spilly Jane, too! I haven't done one of her patterns yet, but I'm going to!

  4. I hope I keep on learning too! I'd love to try one of Kate Davies fair isle berets!

  5. I hope never to stop learning, I think its what keeps you young and your brain active

  6. I made some Fiddlehead Mittens and I ADORE them. You won't regret it if you make them (but read people's notes first). With regards to Cat Bordhi's sock books, I bought the Insouciant Knitter one, which requires you to cut holes in your socks. Not much maths, unbelieveably comfortable and well fitting socks. Highly recommended.

  7. If you can do intarsia, you'll have no trouble with Fair Isle, I think intarsia is much more intimidating.

    And, yes, it is sad to get to a place where you think you have nothing new to learn. I hope I never get there!

  8. I agree - there's always something new to learn!


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