Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Playing the Knitting Game

I've been thinking about what projects I want to knit up soon and have come to the realisation that I am a bit of a process knitter. I do try to knit things I want to use but for me knitting is about learning new techniques and challenging my brain. I feel like I have a mental check list of skills I want to learn. Some of the more recent ones have been:

Lace work
Knitting socks
Adding beads to my knitting
Knitting an adult sized garment

When I've got the hang of a particular technique then in my head I imagine that I've leveled up, like in a computer game. I'm only competing against myself but there are lots of other knitters playing their own versions of the game. I'm not sure if there is ever an end, it seems there are always new ideas coming out. Take contiguous sleeves for example, I'd never heard of the technique before knitting my Paprika cardigan but it turns out I had acquired a new skill without realising it!

So what techniques are the next ones I want to try? Well a fairly new one to me is knitting "nupps". Obviously it's not a new technique but it's one I'd not heard of before and now seems to be cropping up all over the place!

I saw this mystery shawl kal being talked about recently which has both nupps and lace in it so I decided to buy the pattern. I don't think I'll be able to cast on until a few weeks time but I think it's one I'll enjoy. The sneaky pics I've seen of it so far look lovely.

Another technique I'd like to try to master (alright, more like be competent in!) is colourwork. I first tried it as a fairly newby knitter back in 2008 and lets just say I didn't leave my floats quite as long as they needed to be... Basically my M/L adult hat ended up toddler sized and looking like a brightly coloured nipple!

Fake fair isle hat 1

At the time I was really proud of it. If I created something like that now then it would be completely frogged!

Thrumming is a technique I first saw mentioned on the Yarn Harlot's blog. It looks like quite a bit of fun and would make some gorgeously warm mittens for Winter.

Another technique I want to use with making mittens is colourwork. Ravelry has HEAPS of beautiful mitten designs and I want to make some of them.

The knitting technique that is like the Boss monster at the end of the game for me is Steeking. Not only does it involve knitting an adult sized garment with a stranded design, you then CUT IT. You knit a jumper and then cut it down the middle to make it into a jacket/cardigan. And you don't knit arm holes, you cut them after you've finished. Mind blowing!

(Obviously it is a bit more technical than that, like sewing either side of where you want to cut your steek so the whole thing doesn't unravel but eeeek that looks SCARY!)

One day I will give it a go, but I'm not in a hurry to try it any time soon :-)

Not much to show on my WIP front. I've just finished the stockinette section of my shawl so I'm going to stick a life line in and then I might do a few rounds of the lace pattern. I've ordered some new snag free stitch markers which will hopefully arrive tomorrow. I'm planning on placing one separating each lace repeat so I know quickly if I've made a mistake. I don't mind risking the first few rows without them though :-)


  1. My word, that hat is amazing!!! Don't EVER frog it!
    Have fun learning - I love learning new techniques too but I'm way behind your level.

    1. Don't worry I won't, it's too special for sentimental reasons. One day I may re-knit it properly so it fits an adult!

      I think a lot of knitting is confidence. The stitches aren't that difficult, it's just believing that you can follow the pattern and put them together in the right order :-)


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