Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week - Day Two 2KCBWDAY2

Day two, and I'm still blogging. Amazing!

Today's challenge:

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?

That's an interesting one, now that I'm officially a Knitting Crone.
I was taught to knit at about 9 or 10 by my grandmother who was in her late 70's by that time and Older Than God in my eyes. So I wanted to knit like her but certainly not to BE like her. At that time I didn't know anyone else who knit, except for my mother who was a dabbler. (And I certainly didn't want to be her either!)
But now I'm an older knitter in a world seemingly dominated by young, fearless knitters. It's an amazing world to be a part of, surrounded by people young enough to be my grandchildren who are leading the way with incredible designs and patterns. Sometimes I see a fabulous, innovative new pattern on Ravelry or Knitty and read all the way to the bottom and read "so-and-so has been knitting for seven months now and her first book will be published next year."
Thank God for Maggie Righetti and Elizabeth Zimmerman who went before them and paved the way. They taught me the skills that have kept me knitting so I can jump fearlessly into the pool with these newer knitters.
Over the years I think I've dipped a toe into most aspects of knitting and I've had some amazing successes and some devastating failures. And 50 years after learning how to knit, I still think of myself as an intermediate knitter. There are some areas I've only recently entered (with lots of trepidation) like lace. Until about four years ago, I'd never knit lace--my excuse was that I'm really not a lacy, girly-girl, person but the reality was that I was ... SCARED of lace. Now lace is an area to be respected but not feared. I'm still not a shawl wearer, per se, but I've knit a few and I'm sure there are a few more in my future.
And for many years I knit socks. You really can't fail with socks--they always fit someone, you can never have too many, once you get the basic shape down they're all do-able. About three years ago I read an article by Ann Budd in Interweave Knits and became obsessed with toe-up socks. Since then I've made them a passion. I can cast on (Turkish or Judy's Magic Cast On) in my sleep, have perfected my short row heel, and finally have a loose bind off that I like. In short, socks have come to be my "go to" project--I keep finding them in various stages of completion all over the house and car and occasionally even finish some.
But what have I done over the past year? Well, let's see ... there's my ongoing fling with modular knitting. One sweater complete (if by complete you mean in pieces waiting for seaming together), one vest in progress (and will I ever finish it? I think not but I remain hopeful), and the infamous Jane Slicer-Smith jacket that's about halfway done and, by some horrible circumstance, is now approximately the size of a Cirque de Soleil tent. (The elephant called--she wants her cape back!)
And, of course, I dabbled with beading last year, even before Sivia Harding came to teach at our guild. She got me started playing with beads and beaded jewelry (although I guess my first beaded jewelry muse was really Betsy Hershberg). 
But what will this year bring? Well, I already know I'll be doing entrelac because we're having a very well-known entrelac designer come to the guild in the fall (sorry--can't say the name until we have the contract in hand). But I'm very excited--I've done entrelac but I'm not ready to say I'm good at it yet.
I did promise myself that this would be the year to learn Fair Isle. I want to, no, really, I do. And I truly do mean to learn it, some day. But ... do I really have to?
And then there's Waltham:
I can already hear the naysayers telling me, if you can't put together one sweater, what makes you think you'll put this one together? And I don't have an answer for you. I just know I'm going back to my roots and trying cables again. (The last cabled sweater I knit was for my ex-husband and he got custody in the divorce.)
The good news: Mr. Pug won't get this one!

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