Skill + 1UP

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When it comes to my knitting skills, I guess you could say they’re a constantly evolving and a constantly devolving thing. I learn a new skill on most projects, whether it’s a huge thing like two-handed colourwork or a tiny thing like a new method of cast-on. I am usually thrilled by the said new skill and talk about it without end (you regular readers here are my witnesses). And then, usually, I forget all about it. In the knowledge that the link to the YouTube tutorial is safely stored on my Ravelry project page, I don’t feel the need to keep practising the skill. I use it on the thing I needed it for, and store in the “to re-learn” section of my brain until I need it again.

There are some skills, however, that you can’t learn from YouTube. And those are the skills that I am practising, and improving, on every single project. Which means that I can illustrate them easily using my latest FO, finished yesterday evening.

The skill of making do with whatever yarn I have available. The recipient wanted the colour lilac. The only lilac yarn I could find was DK, while the pattern called for aran weight. Simple, just hold it double!

The skill of finding other crafts with which to create what I need, instead of searching for just the right thing in the shops. I couldn’t find matching buttons that would be big enough. Simple, cover old buttons with yarn used in the project!

The skill to not fear experimenting with ideas that just pop into my head. I didn’t want to do single-coloured pom-poms again. Simple, vary it up!

That’s one option. What about another one? Simple!

The skill of modifying a pattern so I get exactly what I want. The earflaps were too long for my taste. Simple, shorten them!

I didn’t like the way the edge rolled. Simple, add a seed stitch border!

These skills are more important than knowing how to do a psso or a w&t. Because, I assure you, if you had set me up against these issues a year ago, I wouldn’t have squeaked “Simple!” and gone to work. I probably would have started pulling my hair out instead. And that’s why, even if I couldn’t make a list containing things such as  crocheting a border, embroidering a motif, sewing a flat seam, doing the twisted German cast-on, I still would’ve said my skill has gone up by far more than 1.

Happy Tuesday! :)

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

13 thoughts on “Skill + 1UP

  1. I love, love, love seeing all your Wabbit Season hats on Ravelry :) It makes me happy, lol, and that hat is definitely in my queue. And I love the color you chose to cover your buttons with.

    It’s amazing how many people refuse to hold a yarn double! I work at my lys and when I offer the suggestion to customers, many of them look at me like I’m crazy and flat out refuse.

    • Thank you! :) I’m kind of “done” with that pattern, I hope none of my friends requests it soon. I love it but I’ve made too many of them in a short period of time!

      I’ve discovered holding yarn double recently and I was surprised at how easy it is to do. And at how unnoticeable it is in the final product – I really thought it would be very obvious when looking at a knitted item, but it’s not!

  2. I totally agree that these skills are the most important skills a knitter can have. Being able to take an idea and make it work is how knitting got started in the first place. Knitting is creative and learning how to take a pattern as a rough guide will serve you very well.

  3. I love the subject of today! This is so true. Every project brings something new and with experience, we are able to do more things like deviating from the pattern! This hat is incredibly cute! Nice mods!

  4. Your ability to switch things up without a moments pause is brilliant! To me, one of the factors that signify experience lies in the difference between thinking you can do it and knowing you can/ just doing it.

  5. i love holding yarn double, especially two different colors. it is just plain good fun!

    the button idea is great and nothing that i’ve thought doing. i may just 1up my skills now after reading your post. thanks for the inspiration.

  6. I think these skills are the MOST important–knowing when to think outside the box (excuse the tired analogy)! This is one thing that I struggle with all the time. My head gets stuck thinking I have to do something the same old way, when just a little shift can change your whole perspective. I especially love your way of using what you have, but in new ways. Genius!

    • You hit the nail right on the head there (hehe tired analogies :) – knowing *when* to do it and when not. I used to feel very bound to the pattern and would follow it even at moments when it didn’t seem instinctively right. I had this “if the pattern says so it must be best that way” attitude. That’s why acquiring this skill has been more about having the courage to trust my instinct than about anything else. I do sometimes still struggle with deciding whether to deviate from the pattern or not – after all designers do put a lot of work into it and I don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking I’m smarter than them without giving it proper thought.

      Cheers, Ivana

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