Wow day 6 of the 3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – only one more to go. To be honest I’m flagging a little and the last 2 topics don’t really grab me, but in for a penny, in for a pound so here goes.
Today’s brief is to write about our knitting and crochet skills and whether or not we strive to improve them or are happy with our lot. Don’t forget to check out other people’s posts on this topic by googling 3KCBWDAY6. Hopefully they’ll have done better than me.
PICKING UP SKILLS
I love knitting and talking about knitting. I am always keen to learn new techniques. In fact, each pattern I choose must have a challenge to it , whether it be a more complicated lace pattern, like my 22 Leaves Shawl or a different form of construction, like my Aestlight shawl. Actually, with the Aestlight, which starts with only 3 stitches, increasing at the end of each row until the centre piece is finished, then the edging is knitted by casting on extra stitches and then turning the piece to knit those extra stitches, knitting the final stitch together with the first stitch on the main section of the shawl and then turning around again. The pattern is very well written so this is much easier than it sounds.
To make this more challenging for myself, I decided to knit it using the continental style of knitting. My usual knitting is done with the yarn in the right hand being wrapped over the needle to form the stitch, but with continental (sometimes called German) knitting, the yarn is held in the left hand and is picked up by the right hand needle, rather than being wrapped around the right hand needle with the right hand. I wanted to learn this technique because it can be much quicker when you get the hang of it. It can also be great for colourwork – if you are working with two colours you can hold one in each hand.
DROPPING OFF SKILLS
As well as wanting to pick up new skills, I am also keen to pass them on. I love teaching people how to knit. I am teaching my pub quiz team at the moment. They were fascinated by me knitting during the quiz, and the quizmaster, Andy (or Hamish as Kat insists on calling him) was a little perturbed by someone knitting at his quiz – it’s not very rock and roll is it! To kind of annoy him, I taught Kat to knit one weekend and at the next pub quiz there were TWO of us knitting. The rest of the “core” team is guys and I jokingly told Andy that we’d all be knitting the following week. On the day, however I suffered a whim when I was about to leave and grabbed needles and spare stash yarn! I wasn’t sure if the guys would go for it, but they were all really keen and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sadly, I’ve not yet had chance to teach lesson 2, but they all took their yarn and sticks home with a view to knitting a mobile phone cover. So far they have learnt to cast on and knit. One of them even mastered purl too – polo necks and v necks, remember?
One of the best places to exchange skills is at a knit night. Even if no-one directly teaches you, they are great places to learn about which techniques are used for what kind of projects… you can always look up how to do them on you tube later! So, if you don’t currently go to one, I recommend you find one quick!