Skill + 1UP

2011 Eskimi Knits

Alright, time for the topic of Day 2:

Day Two: 29th March. 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/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?

I originally learnt how to crochet in school, with the result of a terrible short and itchy scarf. But when my sister’s baby shower came around, I decided on a handmade project, a blue baby blanket. And then I got started on knitting, since I wanted to knit a mobile for the new baby (see the Shaun the Sheep mobile in the Day 1 post). So my first year of knitting consisted mostly of crocheting amigurumi, knitting and crocheting hats, knitting toys and scarves. My next challenge became lace knitting. I started of with Ysolda Teague’s Ishbel, and then knit a gorgeous Girasole. I fell in love with lace and haven’t looked back.

Jared Flood's Girasole pattern
Girasole

I’ve since started to knit more complicated lace, but last year I decided to tackle garments and socks. Socks because I’ve started to accumulated quite a bit of sock yarn, and well, sock yarn means that I should at least try to knit socks. And garments since I wanted to expand my skills, and also tackle larger projects.

So, socks. I first knit a pair vanilla socks, to get a feel for basic sock construction, and then I tried my hand on Cookie A’s Monkey pattern. I never knew hov fun it could be to knit lace socks, and how superior handknit socks are to store bought ones. Perfect fit, warm, sturdy, and the feeling of really having accomplished something and seeing one’s project on a regular basis. And then I participated in Stephanie Linden’s Advent KAL, which was my first KAL. The resulting Gaudete socks are cleverly constructed, especially the heel, and these are the best fitting socks I’ve knit so far.

Cookie A's Monkey pattern
Monkey socks
Gaudete KAL socks
Gaudete socks

As for garments: Well, I still have quite a ways to go there. I still need to learn how to customize fit. And I have to admit that steeking scares the heck out of me. But hey, at least I dared to get started. I knit a Vesper for me – this project had it’s ups and downs – I finally got it finished and then I realized that I hada place the sleeves to low. So I decided to  detach the pleats, frog most of the short row section, and then reattach the pleats (I was scared that this wouldn’t work out and that I would have to frog the sweater and reknit it).

Spring is coming
Vesper

I also really like knitting garments for kids – it means near to instant gratification, and you can experiment with color that I just wouldn’t dare with adult clothes. Plus there are so many cute buttons for kiddie clothes! (I found the most awesome kid buttons, so there’ll be a post on that after the Knitting and Crochet Blog week). Anyways, here is an Owls sweater that I knit for my nephew:

Baby owls sweater
Owlet - Baby Owls sweater

So that leaves the question of what I’d like to try over the next year. I definitely want to want to try my hand at colorwork (I’m thinking of Spillyjane’s Swedish socks here), improve my sweater fitting skills, try beaded lace knitting, and maybe even dare to tackle my first steek (yikes!).

That’s my Day 2 post. Tomorrow’s post tackles knitting and stash organization. Stash explosion really challenges organization, but more on that tomorrow. In any case, if you’re interested in more of my knitting shenanigans, you can find me on Ravelry, username anji. And if you’re interested in seeing other posts on the topic ‘Skill + 1UP’  from other bloggers who’ll be blogging today on this topic, just search on Google (or another search engine) for the tag 2KCBWDAY2.

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