Saturday, 28 April 2012

3KCBWDAY6 - Improving Your Skillset

How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how's your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you'd like to have tried them by.

At the start of each new year, I look back at the previous one, and set myself some knitting goals for the coming twelve months. I always have 'try to knit from stash' (just who am I kidding here?!) as well as learning at least one new skill. Last year, I felt that I got to grips with two skills that I'd struggled with the year before. The first was knitting lace. It doesn't come naturally to me, I find it quite difficult to 'read' the pattern and spot quickly if I've made a mistake and I need to literally chant the row outloud as I am knitting it!! So I gave myself a big pat on the back when I'd finished knitting Spriteling in readiness for Knit Nation.
Spriteling 001
I won't tell you how many times I had to frog back (lifelines were my best friend!!), but I was thrilled with the finished shawl.

Last year I also did a beaded knit, using the crochet hook method, and it was much easier than I thought it would be! I definitely want to do more beaded knits this year too. I beaded the last pattern repeat on a handspun Ishbel shawl. It was quite hard to part with this knit, but the recipient loved it!
Aegean Ishbel (5)

I would really like to get to grips with some colourwork this year. I have some rather lovely yarns courtesy of the Natural Dye Studio Great British Wool club. Each one is a mix of 50% Blue Faced Leicester and 50% another British breed. So far I have four skeins, with two more still to come. They go together so well, I shall have to find the perfect pattern to show them all off. Any suggestions?!

NDS Great British Wools

Another thing I'd definitely like to get better at is reading charts. I much prefer the written instructions, and have dismissed some patterns simply because the pattern only came charted. I have bought myself a magnetic pattern board and hope that this will help me. Maybe I'll kill two birds with one stone and use a chart for my colourwork knitting. (I think that's how they're written isn't it? GULP!!)

These are only my knitting goals. Some of you may know that as well as knitting, I also spin. I am constantly striving to improve my yardage, as I am determined to spin enough yarn to knit myself a pair of socks! I'd also like to spin a greater variety of fibres, and will make that one of my goals during this year's Tour de Fleece. I have a rather lovely pack of British breed fibres, that could, all being well, turn into this!! So that'll be three birds with my one stone then, won't it?! Charts, colourwork and different fibres! You can be sure I'll be blogging about it Big Time if I manage to do it!


kathy b said...

Wow the beadwork is fantastic!!!!

Cyprienne said...

See now, this makes me want to try beadwork -- really beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I love your shawl, it looks so delicate. Recently I have started to crochet with lace weight yarn and as tricky as it is I am really enjoying it.

Truly Myrtle said...

Your shawl is lovely and so is the beading!
I just can't resist the natural dye studio yarn - my LYS has started stocking it and I can't keep my hands off it, it's so soft. Aren't the colours just sublime? I had a long chat to the husband of the Natural dye studio lady at Knit Nation a couple of years ago - he was lovely, manning the stall with his knitting in his hands.

Lynn said...

Your shawl looks just beautiful! I also chant when I knit lace. it's funny I have no problem with color-work- but lace.....

Kim Sonksen said...

Ha! I am glad I am not the only one who has to read out charts/instructions loud for lace knits...:)
Your shawl is fantastic and the beaded one is gorgeous too

busybusybeejay said...

Congratulations on finishing the Spriteling shawl.I don't usually give up on things but this one I did.I found charts a bit tricky initially but now I wouldn't use written ,much prefer a chart.Seeing your beading I must incorporate it in my next shawl.We are off to our granddaughter's 7th birthday party this afternoon and we have to pass The Bead Trail at Blakemere on the way so quite handy.Thanks.