Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week: Skill + 1UP


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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?

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Wow, this one is going to make me take a trip down memory lane. Let me see. Last year at this time, I could only do a simple garter stitch with knitting, and I could Single Chain a dishcloth in crochet. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to crochet in the round, and increasing and decreasing stitches in either skill was usually followed by me frogging the entire project, declaring myself to be an absolute idiot, and putting all my materials in the back of the deepest, darkest drawer I could find.

For anyone who has been following this blog steadily, it is quite obvious that I have gained a fair amount of skill and confidence in at least my crochet work. Just in the last two weeks, I've crocheted several things in the round and crocheted an entire stuffed animal without losing my patience with it. Last year, I wouldn't have even bothered with opening the pattern for the crocheted monkey because a) I couldn't have read the pattern to start with and b) it would have seemed extremely intimidating to me. My knitting is still a ways behind my crochet, simply because knitting needles are sharp and my children are a bit dumb when it comes to sharp objects. Needles tend to stay in their drawers or in a WIP bag really high up where the kids can't get to it, and thus forgotten. My crochet can sit on my desk right in front of me with the hook and yarn and my kids can't hurt themselves too much. But with my knitting, I have at least gained enough confidence to try a simple moss stitch scarf, or to try more intermediate projects that involve only knit and purl stitches. I can increase fairly well, but my decreases tend to leave too much of a gap between the stitches.

I do have goals though. By the end of this year, I would like to be able to crochet an entire shawl in fingering or laceweight yarn using more expert level patterns. As for my knitting, I'd like to be able to knit a sock. I'm working on learning the Magic Loop technique at the moment, but I have very cheap, very old circulars so I've had several that have actually broken while trying this technique. I'll have to ask for a good set for my birthday. LOL

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