Knitting Progress — Going to ExtremesNovember 16, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Knitting | 2 Comments
I’m a relatively new knitter. While I learnt lots of different needlework techniques more or less easily as a child, knitting always eluded me. I didn’t seem to be able to keep a loose enough tension to make things work, so my few tries always ended in frustration, and I was happy to leave knitting alone.
A few years ago I made another try. While my mum was visiting me helping me to pack for a move, I asked her to show me again, and suddenly knitting was no problem at all! I have no idea what happened, but I’m quite happy to have another chance to master that fascinating craft. While most of the other needlecrafts I do are largely decorative in nature, most knitting patterns are for actual garments and accessories, they’re designed to be worn instead of decorating a wall, which is what I like about knitting.
So, in comparison to some of the other crafts I do, I’m still quite low on the learning curve for knitting, and I find it fascinating to observe the progress I’m making. The first step in learning for me, after getting a grip on the basic techniques, is to work a few projects using patterns. What I try to do though, is to introduce at least one new element with each project, to keep my interest and extend my knowledge.
The two scarfs I have on the needles currently definitely fit that pattern. Waves of Grain is my first foray into the world of knitting lace using lace-weight yarn, and it definitely takes some getting used to. It’s also the first time I’m using beads in a knitted project. At first I was really slow, but things do get better with time and practice, and by now I’m cruising along just fine:
I’m definitely learning how to read my knitting, so I can detect errors early on an usually fix them before bad things have happened.
The second scarf I’m knitting goes to the other extreme yarn-wise: Versatility is knit on 6 mm needles with the yarn doubled up. I just love the strong texture I’m getting between the lace, the bobbles, and the braid at the center. And it definitely knits up faster than Waves of Grain, so I’m using is as a relaxation project when I get tired from knitting fine lace. The pattern is fun and doesn’t get boring, and as an added bonus I was able to knit the pattern from memory and looking at the previous rows before I even finished the first pattern repeat, which is another advantage of slowly learning to read my own knitting.
And the best thing? I realised that with those two scarfs I’mprobably going to jump on the next step of the learning curve: knowing enough to do my own modifications and designs. There are already ideas floating around my head. Maybe a pair of mittens to go with versatility? Since this is knit with the doubled up yarn, taking just one strand of the same should be fine for mittens, and the center braid could be used as is for the back of the hand. But I’ll probably come up with a few more ideas before I’m finished with either project, so let’s see what happens!