Skill + 1UP - 2KCBWDAY2

This day's theme is to reflect on the past year's knitting/crocheting to see what progress you've made. I’ve been knitting for three years and as much as I chastise myself for sometimes letting fear make me hesitant to take on a new skill, when I look back at last year I see that I actually have enhanced my skills by trying and succeeding at a few new techniques.

Knitting with beads:

Below is the Odessa hat, which I knit for a close friend of mine who loves it dearly. Knitting with beads was really fun and seeing the embellishments as the project moved along was quite rewarding. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be:

Fair Isle knitting:

I took a class at my LYS so the teacher could start me off and oversee how I handled the multiple colors, but I only needed the one class. I held my yarn in both hands and since I knit Continental it was a challenge to work that right side in English, however, it was much easier than holding both yarns in my left hand. Also, I had a ball knitting with different colors as it kept the project interesting. Next go around I’ll need to work on tension, not pulling so tightly to prevent puckering. My teacher showed me how to knit with the project inside out which should help greatly. This is the infamous $30 hat I knit for my daughter out of Karabella Aurora, which is so yummy to work with. If I start saving my pennies now I might be able to afford enough for a sweater in a few years, lol.


Crocheting has always been on my radar. My dear, deceased great-grandmother was an expert; I still have her intricate doilies crocheted with thread to prove it. In my teens, I tried to pick up the hobby myself, but that was before the age of the internet and being a visual learner I couldn’t get the hang of it. My long latent crocheting skills is why my knitting teacher, seeing how I held my needles, suggested that I learn to knit Continental. With knitting squarely under my belt I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a hook.

So far I’ve learned the basic, single, double, half-double, and etc., stitches but obviously crocheting offers more complexity than that. My main challenge is learning how to read and understand a pattern and learning how to read and count my stitches. Learning these aspects in knitting offers a helpful foundation in this area, but crocheting is still a horse of a different color. My first attempts at a pattern I found that I thought I understood the directions, until I actually started working it. Or eventually I'd get a firmer grasp of the pattern but find that my work didn't match the project picture. Even worse is knowing there's a mistake based on comparison, but not having a clue as to the location of the mistake, and even less of a clue of how to fix it. Several frogged coasters later I was able to finish these to a desired result. I really enjoyed the experience though and have plans on many more crocheting projects.

I feel the past year was pretty productive as far as learning new skills. The coming year I want to tackle even more, first and foremost mastering guage so I can knit my first sweater (finally!) and make socks that actually fit. Two-at-a-time and toe up socks, plus a crocheted afghan are alson on the horizion.

I love crafting. The possibilities to learn something new are endless!