Here is my contribution to Day Six of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, organized by the adorable Eskimimi. Today’s theme is Improving Your Skillset…
In general I think of myself as a pretty competent knitter. I’ve tried at least a little bit of most things by now — garments, lace, cables, colourwork. I spin, at least occasionally. I’ve played around with dyeing both yarn and fiber. I’ve crocheted, at least enough to edge some blankets. Most of the time, what stops me from taking on specific challenges in projects is time and energy, not a lack of confidence in my skills.
Not, mind you, that I think of myself in any way, shape, or form as a master of the craft.
I’d like to play with brioche. I’d like to tackle double-knitting again — I made a striped double-knit scarf once, a few years ago, but I’d like to relearn that technique and try something a little more intricate. I’d like to play further with intarsia. I’d like (*gulp*) to try steeking something.
My friend Mandy has a mind-bending technique for making stripes on both sides of the knitted fabric — where the stripes run horizontally on one side and vertically on the other. I’d like to try that out.
I’d like to play around with more designing. I have a few ideas floating around in my head, but I haven’t sat down and coaxed them into reality.
None of these things is impossible. But I do get stuck in ruts at times, as a knitter, and the challenge is to break out of those. Or is it?
Here’s the thing: I am perfectly happy knitting garter-stitch mitered squares, one after another, and they are great for filling in the gaps between other projects. I found myself casting on last night for a shawl that is only slightly more complex than a mitered square — and I am loving it so far.
I’m holding off on launching into anything more complex at the moment, because I’ve promised a friend that I will knit her a shrug or a shawl for her wedding this August, and I’m waiting for her to settle on what she wants. I want to be able to jump on that more challenging project as soon as she makes a decision, so meanwhile, I’m totally happy in my little holding pattern and not really itching to push boundaries right now.
Does that make me lazy?
I’m not so sure. The whole act of knitting is about repetition — making those same little loops of yarn over and over and over. If repeating the stitches is soothing, why not enjoy that on an even wider scale, and repeat the elements of projects I enjoy?