Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skill + 1UP

Today's Topic: 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?

Last year, I made a bunch of sock weight triangle shawls. I guess I think of them as being a gentle introduction to lace. Sure, I've always been able to incorporate a YO here and there, but I'd never been what I think of as a lace knitter. I used to make a joke "I have plenty of challenges in my life, my knitting doesn't need to be one of them". While I still think that's true, I'm becoming more and more fascinated with lace. I've become better at reading the stitches and figuring out what's going on on my needles.

One of the things I learned out about lace knitting was how addictive it is. I found myself getting up even earlier than usual so I could knit a row before work. Or maybe to fix a mistake I'd make the night before when I was tired. Instead of getting frustrated, I was enchanted by the process. I had never thought of myself as a process knitter before and here I was all full of the process. Crazy.

It's been fun to find this new side of my knitting personality. I wonder if most people think of themselves as being either process or product knitters. Or do most think they fall somewhere in between depending on the project?

Rereading that last paragraph, I guess I've been both. When I was a new knitter, I was all about the product. I just wanted to finish whatever project was on my needles and move on to the next. Then I went through a phase where I was was more of a blend. I'd have one no brainer TV project and another more complicated piece going at the same time. I'd rush through the TV project and take my time on the other. In recent years, the pendulum has swung back towards being a product knitter. Because time is scarce, I've done more small projects. I'm quite sure that's because I could finish them quickly. I find it very gratifying to cast off and chalk another one off my list.

(For those of you who read this blog, you know I've been threatening to start of full scale lace weight yarn project for months. I've finally picked one and I'm going to jump in with both feet and a KAL. It's just a tad too early to share all the details, but I'll have more info in a few days.)


Unknown said...

I wish you luck on your lace project! I have been too afraid to start the lace knitting just yet. Just in the past month I've gone from being one of those "beginner" knitters who literally only knit and didn't purl or anything fancy, to now I can create cables, beanies, frogs, ducks, etc.!

I agree, knitting is incredibly addicting and it's kind of like therapy for me :)

Anonymous said...

I think I'm still in the "beginning knitter" category (less than 2 years) and I'm definitely in the "product knitter" camp. There's SO MUCH TO KNIT and I want to knit it all! (But of course I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy the process. I'm especially enjoying watching my first cable project grow :-) )

Jen Hagan said...

I know exactly what you mean! I found myself very sad when I bound off from Ysolda's Orchid Thief Shawl, the first real lace shawl(ette) I had ever made. Now I am trying to get the courage up to design one. I look forward to seeing your new lace project for the KAL!

Kathy said...

I've just learned to knit as my 2011 resolution. Socks were my goal, and I've knitted 6 pairs since February, along with a few hats and some mittens. Since this is all a learning experience for me, I have enjoyed these 'products' tremendously. After the first 2 pairs of socks on dpn's and the first hat on 'circs', I've tried to learn a new stitch or technique on each project. I've also tried some wonderful yarns. I've been quilting, and doing other stitching, hooking, crochet, and other needlework for years, but always was afrais of knitting. I am proud of my new socks and hats and my skills! Knitting really is FUN!