Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2012: Day Six

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…

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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?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2012: Day Six

  1. zerocattle

    I was talking about repetition lately, how all of life is made better by doing the same things over and over and over again, each time learning something little different, getting a little more proficient, each time you’re a slightly different person experiencing this “same” thing for the first time, over and over and over again.

    • Annie Bee

      So well put! Leave it to you to express the idea I was dancing around, succinctly and so well. Thanks, lady.

  2. Interesting! I’ve just finished my 5th version in 4 weeks of one shirt pattern, so I guess that I like repetition too… but I’m definitely ready for something new now!

    Do you normally have just one knitting project on the go? Or do you like to have an easy and a difficult one in progress, to suit any mood?

    • Annie Bee

      I always have at minimum an easy/brainless knit on the needles — something I can work on at knit night or at Guild meetings while taking part in a conversation or paying attention to the speaker. (The mitered squares are perfect for this, too, because they’re very portable.) I usually have something more complex to work on too, for times when I can spare a little more concentration. I’m guessing this is similar to your little felt or embroidery projects, that you can take to the pub or work on while watching tv, versus full-on sewing projects that require you to be in the sewing room with all your equipment?

  3. 😛
    … and what you call brainless, I call… tricky.
    🙂
    I think it’s all relevant to what we like – in our “art” … I’m kinda passionate about calling it an art, that way we/I can do what we/I damn well like and please, and noone is in any place to criticise… 😉 … and do we not all make pretty things?
    Yes?
    Therefore, it’s art.
    Therefore it’s all relative, there are no rights or wrongs – so don’t overthink it and bloody well enjoy it 😀 😀

    hehehe.