Day 6: Improving your Skill Set.

Skills Drop Off

Image Details: ‘Skills Drop Off’ by squacco, via Flickr.

Day 5 of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week brings the subject of improving your skill set to the table. As a knitter, I find that once you know a couple of basic stitches and how to cast on and off, you open up a whole world of pattern and project opportunities. Granted, it’s a bit fiddly to start with and there is all the stitch dropping and creating, frustration, laughter and undoubtedly the odd expletive, but I have yet to meet anyone who has not been quite proud of their first project. I still remember starting the Knit Club, way back in the day now, and the competitive crafting that took off when knitting a pair of garter stitch baby booties. I can’t say whether they are all still knitting in secret without me poking them in the bum with a 12mm needle, or plying them with wine, cake and some good chatter, but should they ever feel the need to pick up sticks and string again, I know they will have the confidence to do so.

As for my own skill set, I would say that as a knitter, I’m pretty reasonable. I can figure out most things with the help of YouTube, I’ve done a pair of socks, I’m half way through a shawl and made a ‘piquant’ pair of mittens for my friend for Christmas. Granted, I only presented them in February after starting the previous August, but I am a fickle mistress to my wips and I pick them up and toss them aside on a whim. I don’t feel guilty about this, I blame it wholly on a short attention span! I am probably capable of more complicated projects than those that I choose at the moment, as it can be quite easy to do something quick and simple for a bit of instant-for-knitting gratification. I also take a dressmaking class, which maybe fulfils my need for new skill acquisition, thereby freeing me up to do easy knitting without guilt.

More advanced Fair Isle

Image Details: ‘More advanced Fair Isle’ by betsyjean79, via Flickr.

It would seem appropriate then, to set myself some knitty goals for the next year. This was done by a lot of people on New Year, but seeing as I am never one to follow the crowd, unless it’s to the pub, I didn’t bother. Doing this blog week has forced me into doing something I am not used to i.e. being told what to write about, which has been an interesting learning experience. Therefore, here is my knitting list for this year:

1) Fair Isle
2) Adult size jumper, for me
3) Dye some yarn
4) Handspin yarn for a project
5) Learn to do TAAT socks

I think 5 is a reasonable number to aim for. I am also going to learn to crochet, as I would like to do a granny square blanket, albeit not square, but African flower hexagons. I want to do this in South African yarn. I think this will be a nice memento of our time here.

Oh, and then there’s the nano brewery I set up in the spare room, but that’s a whole other story!

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