Saturday, April 28, 2012

3KCBWDAY6: Improving your skillset

My knitting skillset seems to proceed in fits and starts.  It took me 20 years to realise there were things you could knit which weren't sweaters or cardigans, for instance; there were shawls, but those always came with the word "christening" or "baby" before them; and the cardigans and sweaters could also be made in baby sizes...  Having said that, I knitted for my local Phildar shop between the ages of 16 and 18, and I knitted lace and cables there...  And also a vast array of mohair batwing sweaters in 1980s colours (grey, cerise and white anyone?)

I'm not sure when I first started knitting socks and hats, but it was relatively recently, in the last 10 years, anyway.  Felting knitting in the washing machine happened at around the same time.  The development of online yarn stores meant that as-yet-unexperienced delights such as laceweight yarn, unobtainable in colours other than cream in my local shops, opened up the possibilities of what could be made.  Reading a library copy of Debbie New's Unexpected Knitting made me realise that knitting could be mathematics and art simultaneously.  Meeting Rosie in the spring of 2004 got me into the world of knitting groups, and meant craft was no longer a solitary activity.

And finally, along came Ravelry, and everything exploded.  I joined in July 2007 (I'm greensideknits over there - the name of this blog was 2 characters too long!)  and the amount of help, information and advice available is stunning.  There seems to be a YouTube video for every technique; and if there isn't, someone may well just make one for the purpose.  There's information on extra-stretchy bind-offs, magic cast-ons, ways to avoid that irritating jog in stripes if working in the round, advice to new designers, new shop-owners, indie dyers...  And I've met people on Ravelry who I now know in real life and would consider friends.

So I feel as if my personal skillset is still expanding, probably by tiny increments, and probably while I'm not looking.  I do have a couple of things on the list though.

I'd like to learn to knit brioche stitches - I have this wonderful book, and haven't yet used it despite admiring the huge amount of technical information it covers.  I admired someone beautiful brioche stitch scarf at Knit Camp, and only later found out it was being worn by the author of the book.  (Probably best I didn't know that at the time, as I might have come over all fangirlish...)  So that's on the list.

And I'd like to be more confident in designing things.  I have one design for sale on Ravelry and it has a trickle of sales; I'm told by people who've knitted it that it's well-explained; but I'd like to do more.  No idea what - it's just sitting there as an ill-formed idea in my head at the moment...

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I'm sure knitting wouldn't have become quite so obsessive for me if it hadn't been for the social aspect, blogs and Ravelry!