Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The year in knitting

Though I technically "learned" how to knit in 2001 (a friend from middle school taught me one day when we got together on a late summer day before my second year of college), I didn't do much, apart from a few ugly scarves, until one day in late 2009, when I picked up my needles and have barely been able to put them down since then.

Needles(s) to say (bah-doom ... ching!), most of the knitting techniques in my arsenal have been picked up in the past year. While I picked up the very basic skills at the end of last year (knitting in the round, ribbing, seed stitch, etc.), I'd say this year I've tried most of the techniques that an intermediate knitter should know:

Basic cabling
-Cabling without a cable needle
-Basic lace
-Several shawl constructions
-Laceweight yarn (just started my first laceweight shawl)
-Two-color stranded knitting
-Stranded knitting with two hands (extremely slow)
-Short rows
-Long-tail cast on
-Provisional cast on
-Tubular cast on
-Three-needle bind off
-Kitchener stitch
-Simple steeking (with unprofessional results)
-Picking up stitches
-Felting (not very successful since washing machines here have no hot hookup)
-Top-down raglan construction
-Bottom-up raglan construction
-Basic garment shaping
-Understanding yarn weights and gauge

I still have yet to try:
-Double knitting
-Three-color stranded knitting
-Complicated lace
-Complicated cables

But most importantly I don't have the experience to be able to predict when something will work or won't, so much of my experimental knitting (i.e., when I try to stray from a pattern) is completely on a trial-and-error basis. And I definitely don't have the control over most of the above techniques to incorporate them into my own design, unfortunately.

And, with some nudging from a friend, I've expanded my crochet skills beyond single, double, and triple, but I'd still call myself a beginner crocheter. I'm afraid to try any of those complex and lacy Doris Chan patterns, although I have a few in my Ravelry queue. I feel there's not a very clear "intermediate" level of crochet; the patterns seem to jump straight from easy to experienced.

Well, there's always next year. And the year after that, and that ...