Ok, let me just begin by telling you that my jet-lag is horrible! I'm just so incredibly tired,, and it doesn't help that Hobbe has spent the last two weeks with my parents and is now on "their time". Which means he wakes up at 4.30 in the morning, and wants to hang out. This morning he wanted to snuggle, but as soon as I started drifting off to sleep again and stopped petting him, he got off the bed, sat on the floor and cried until I got up and picked him up again (this is a thing he does frequently, I guess he can't just jump onto the bed himself, he needs us to show him we love him by bothering to pick him up...). Guess how tired I've been at work today?
Anyway, today is the second day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week!
Today's topic is this: "Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?"
My knitting skills have really taken off during the last year! I only learned how to knit around Christmas 2007, so I haven't been at it for very long. Then in September 2008 my sweet kitty Gizmo died, and knitting was to me very connected to him, as he usually lay on my lap while I knitted. So I think I didn't touch my needles at all until maybe late spring 2009 again. The first couple of times I just cried and cried, but I got past the worst of it eventually, and now I thoroughly enjoy knitting again. It helped me through a lot of my depression during 2009 as well, which I'm very grateful for.
Anyway, I decided to mention three things that I think I've really improved at this past year. The first one is pretty obvious to most of my readers, I think. I took part in the "10 shawls in 2010" challenge during 2010, and my lace knitting has really gotten quite good. I've tried both the kind with resting rows and patterning on both sides, and with the Evenstar shawl I also got to try knitting one in the round with a knitted-on edging. I LOVE lace, even though I'm in a bit of a slump right now (I'm mostly knitting socks right now).
The second thing I've learned is the Kitchener stitch, which is pretty awesome when it comes to socks. I made this lilac dress during the summer/autumn, and instead of sewing all the pieces together I knitted it in the round, and instead of sewing the necl-band together with the back, I simply picked up stitches along the neck line and kitchenered the whole thing together. That was A LOT of stitches! So I think I've sort of mastered the Kitchener stitch after that one :)
Lastly, the last thing I think I've gotten good at is frogging. I know this might sound weird, but what I mean is that I've gotten better at looking at my knitting and deciding that it just isn't wearable. And as I get better and better, I find I don't mind so much any more if I have to rip it out and do it over again. I've gotten to the point where I'd rather be satisfied with a project than just get it done as soon as possible. To me, that's progress!
The thing I want to learn most this year, I think, is probably steeking. I'm deadly afraid of actually cutting my knitting up with a pair of scissors, but I see so many lovely sweaters and cardigan with colourwork that are steeked, and I think I just need to get over it and try it. Of course I'll try it on a swatch first!
I'll try to get some more sleep tonight, so I can get back to you tomorrow with the last part of our trip too!