3KCBWDAY6 – Improving Your Skill Set
How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how’s your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you’d like to have tried them by.
I have written about this before, but one of the things I find most depressing about the attitude of some people, not just in terms of knitting or crochet, or crafting in general, but just in life is that they have no desire to learn any more. They have settled at their level and have no need for further skills or knowledge. In an actual knitting scenario, I have experienced this at a couple of yarn stalls. Women queueing, waiting to speak to the stall holder to ask them to look through a pattern they have been considering. ‘Does this have any stitches than knits and purls in it? I can knit to together, but nothing else’. Given the response that there might be a few YOs, or a SSK or two makes the pattern a reject. The knitters doesn’t know how (which is fine – there was a time when none of us did) but, sadly, the knitter also has no desire to know how, and doesn’t want to try.
This isn’t learning stitches or techniques for the sake of knowing how to do them, but for the purposes of being able to knit a pattern that the woman clearly liked the look of.
I decided quite soon after learning how to knit (or, rather, learning the very basics of the ever-expanding skill set and range of techniques that make knitting wonderful) never to decide that I had learned enough.
A couple of years ago, during the first Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, I wrote about something similar. At the time I wanted to try a new fibre-related skill all together – spinning. Not having access to a spinning wheel or the funds to acquire one, I wanted to have a go at spindle-spinning, but didn’t know where to start to even find a spindle. I was lucky enough to receive a reply from the lovely Saffie of Saff’s Daily Dribble, who offered me a home-made, beautiful toy-wheel spindle, decorated all around with tiny paintings of various breeds of sheep.
With this I spun my first fibre into my first yarn. I then practised a little while and spun many other lovely yarns and added a new skill to my own little repertoire. I am so glad that I learned, as it is a wonderful thing to be able to pick up a stick with a little wheel attached and turn fibre into your very own unique yarn which you can then knit or crochet into something stunning.
I think there are still skills that I would like to explore – especially double-knitting, which I have not yet tried. I do find a reason to sometimes explore skills that are not called for in a particular pattern, but to me it is still not learning new things just for the sake of it as I know then that I have those skills ready in case I ever want to incorporate them into my own ideas for a particular project. As an example- I learned intarsia not so I could knit a pattern, but because I wanted to design a little project where I thought that an intarsia motif would be the best option for the idea I had in mind. Similarly, I have a project in mind for a double-knit project, and hopefully this will be the next skill I learn when I come to explore this design that exists as yet only in my head, in the near future.
To read all about how others taking part in Knitting and crochet blog week are expanding their sets of skills (or not!), simply perform a Google search for the tag 3KCBWDAY6, or click here.