Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Skill + 1UP 2KCBWDAY2

Day Two of Blog week...

"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?"

I've not actually been knitting 6 months yet (that anniversary is in a few days though!) so I can't look back over a whole year, but I think it'll be interesting to look back over the last 6 months and see how far I've come. Then I can look back in another 6 months and see if I got any further *grins*

I'm incredibly pleased with how far I've come since I started to knit... These are my highlights (not in any great depth, as I've covered the projects in more detail in previous posts)
  • Decided to learn to knit. Bought a "Learn to knit this scarf pattern". Started with garter stitch scarf, skipping the angled ends as the increasing and decreasing confused me! Don't love it, but it was the first thing I ever made, and a brand new skill *smiles*

  • Tried to make a ribbed scarf and failed to purl... Helpful hint received from my mum who pointed out that I was knitting into the back of the stitch, making it impossible to purl, ooops! Success soon followed :)
  • Cunningly decided that a scarf made in eyelash yarn would be a good next project. It was happily received when it was done, but it took forever!
  • Hit the John Lewis sales to introduce myself to the world of yarn (my LYS only has DK and Chunky in varying degrees of acrylic - John Lewis was a riot of colour and fibre!). Knowledge of what I did and didn't like abounded as a result. 
  • Tried lace - a simple feather and fan/old shale pattern, but I was well impressed with managing to get something so pretty happening only a month after learning to knit! Ok, so I still haven't finished it, but that's more to do with the cotton yarn being not a lot of fun to knit with compared to the rest of my stash ;)
  • Mitts on 4 DPNs... Learning to knit in the round was a pretty big deal. I'm still not great at it, and only just manage not to poke myself in the eye! But still, another skill I wasn't expecting to acquire so soon.
  •  Moved on to my first garment - a capelet that turned into a shrug when I realised my gauge was completely wrong - very proud to have figured out how to modify the pattern slightly to get the result I was aiming for (plus, learned to knit i-cord when I realised I'd need something to fasten it together!)
  • Cables - they looked so daunting but I decided the best plan was taking things one stitch at a time. Which worked, and I proudly ticked that skill box.

  • Less than 2 months into my knitting career, I was making a jumper. Not sure if this is a common progression, but I decided I was ready, it was a simple pattern from a book that described all the required techniques, I'd practiced the cable on some cheap yarn and got it right, so I figured there was no reason not to go for it *grins* Learned from this that I should really shorten the arms of anything I knit - I have short arms and sleeves are always too long on things I buy, if I make something myself I should actually make them my size!

  • "Designing" my own pattern. I put designing in inverted commas, because I'm not sure it really counts as a design, but I made my tank top up as I went along, after looking at various other patterns that weren't quite what I wanted. I'm really happy with the finished item, and the fact that I made it up myself makes it even better *proud smile* Further made up items include my hat and neckwarmer but as they're just little accessories, I'm not quite as impressed with myself ;)
I know that these aren't necessarily skills that are particularly special, but I am proud of how quickly I have picked them up. All of the skills I've learned in the last (nearly) 6 months are new to me, picked up mostly from books and the internet (along with a little help from my mum) and I think it's a fairly impressive list, if I do say so myself. 

I think the main thing is that I have developed a lot of confidence. With the snuggly poncho/wrap, for example, I made some modifications to the pattern because I thought I'd prefer it. And I do *big grin* As boyfriend put it, I have a bit of a penchant for experimentation, which leads me in different directions (some of which work, some of which don't - but hey, that's part of the fun!)

Over the next 6 months there are plenty of new skills to try, and my previous attempts at lace indicate that I certainly need to develop some more skill in that area! 



  1. For only 6 months in, I think you're doing fabulous! I didn't tackle DPNs until at least a year into it because I was so scared. You're doing great.

  2. Thanks :D I'm quite pleased with myself but it's really cool to hear that other people think it's an achievement too!

  3. Wow, that's awesome for 6 months!

  4. So where's a pic of the tank top ? :-)I never saw the point of the old garter stitch scarf to begin with; I jumped straight into making a sweater too :-)

  5. WOW you have really accomplished a lot in six months... it makes my newbie knitter accomplishments seem so small Congrats XD

  6. Wow! Good for you! That is quite a list :)

  7. You have done so much these 6 months. The sweater is great

  8. Thanks for your comments everyone! (and for giving me some new blogs to check out, yay!)

    Moonie, Leah & Ms C, thanks, it means a lot to get feedback from other knitters that I'm going ok ;)

    Vivian, I thought I'd avoid pic overkill, so the tank top is somewhere in the archives, but as you mention it, maybe I should edit my post to give it more prominence!

    PandaBearofDoom (awesome name by the way!) thanks, but my problem is finishing - I have an urge to learn new skills, at the detriment of learning to do the ones I already have better! So I may have a whole list of new skills, but I wouldn't say I've mastered any of them properly ;)


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