~DragonKnits~

But she’ll share…..sometimes.

Building Up Skills

I’ve been reflecting lately on my knitting skills. Seems like things are happening so fast as I push myself and have learned so much in just a couple of months. Necessity is the mother of invention. Though learning new skills is not necessarily “inventing” anything, it does lay the foundation. I am too disorganized to learn something new just for the heck of it, there must be a need present.

And so. The Log Cabin Blanket project was the first time that something other than knitting was needed for production. The first thing I needed to learn was casting on new stitches onto a finished object. I simply could not get away without knowing how to do this, so I learned. I got that one down really quickly because it’s done continuously throughout the whole blanket. The second thing I sort of improvised, thinking that I was inventing something new (HA), was weaving the starting and ending strands into the piece as I went along. After a few strips, I could see the many, many ends that I would need to weave in at the end, so I started knitting the strands into my stitches; and it worked out perfectly. All I did at the end was snip the remaining ends away. As the strips got bigger and bigger, I knew that I was going to die of boredom and my blanket was in danger becoming a very small one… yet with each strip, I was getting more and more addicted, and would always cast on another strip. I resolved to learn Continental Knitting so that I could knit faster and more efficiently than with the American method, and I was so glad that I did. Then, when I decided to end it all because of other blankets I wanted to start, I needed a border. I had heard a lot about the Mason-Dixon book and decided to check it out. I made a trip to Borders and plopped my son down in the kiddie section after getting a copy to leaf through. I decided on the plain border that you can see here on the Log Cabin KAL . I learned how to increase stitches at the ends so that I could fit the pieces together like the sides of a picture frame.

I was elated that I could actually learn something new. When I started making the loomed preemie hats 2 years ago, I never-in-a-million-years imagined myself going beyond those four KK looms. NOW I can say that I am a Knitter, capital “K”. While knitting the Easter Tie , I learned how to knit backwards so that I could do the short rows without actually needing to turn the work. I learned it quickly, but ooops, I was doing garter stitch and the backward knitting would produce not garter, but stockinette…. but at least it was LEARNED. I am sure that there is a backward purl stitch, so I’ll be searching that out, too. I now knit my swatches that way… otherwise, I would not even do swatches. You can be sure that I will look for opportunities for knitting backwards.

The flood gates have been opened. I now REALLY want to learn cables. I feel like I can take on anything, but the essential here is that I need to apply it to something that I am doing. I simply cannot learn something new for the sport of it. Big reason is that once I learn, then what? I will forget what I just learned and all will be for naught.

I just finished a felted ipod cozy. I’ve not posted pictures because I forgot to take a picture of it before felting, so I am knitting up another one just for that purpose, then I’ll post both pics, sort of before and after pics. It is working up rather quickly and I suspect that I’ll have a pic by the weekend. BTW, I am using the backward knitting stitch to do the flap and I had that done in no time. These two are rather plain as I just wanted to see how they would come out before trying designs and such. I remembered how to join the cast on stitches to knit in the round. How cool is that? I put down my socks months ago, yet I just “knew” what to do.

My interest has turned it’s roving eye on spinning and dying yarn, though, I don’t see myself actually taking it up at this point in time. I’ve also recycled sweaters and I’m interested in recycling plastic bags by making tote bags out of them. There is so much on the web. I had no idea what a rich and wonderful the world of knitting, and I’m sure ALL aspects of the fiber arts, could be. The www. has been such a help to me in searching for and learning new techniques. I am constantly searching for demos and videos on knitting and crochet. There’s a whole world of knowledge out there just waiting to be accessed… and I am definitely up for the job.

Yes, the craft has come a long way baby!

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Thursday, April 19, 2007 ~ - Posted by | Knitting, Personal

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