April 29, 2012

Day 6: Improving Your Skillset - 3KCBWDAY6

Improving Your Skillset - 3KCBWDAY6

3KCBW Banner

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 started knitting about 3.5 years ago. To be exact. When my grandmother showed me how at age 8, I was so frustrated that I quit. While I wish now that she would have considered using pencils instead of super slick aluminum knitting needles for my lessons, it does not matter. For whatever reason, I did not really start  knitting until I was 39. 

This has been a great source of frustration for me. Looking back, I see how many lost years there are. Especially when I see so many people who can say, "I have been knitting pretty much my whole life." Or, "I guess I have been knitting about 30 years." And they are 35. 

While I spend some moments truly lamenting the passage of unfortunate time lost (those moments really appear when I am looking through pattern books, calculating the time needed to reach certain skill levels in order to make certain projects, and realizing that I will be very old by the time I am as skilled as some women and men...and children (let's face it)), I spend a lot more time in intense study. 

Is this some weird mid-life crisis? Me suddenly figuring out in reality how much time is really left in my life, and does knitting represent everything I want to still do? So be it. There are worse things, and I want to be good--really good--at knitting.

So when asked where I want to take my skillset next, I say everywhere.

I want to understand the concepts, the techniques and the little details that make finished products look so perfect. I want my own work to eventually rise to the quality of so many others' I see day after day on Ravelry and in the hands of friends.  

To this end, most things I make are guided by what I want to learn next. My first project was a layette set: booties, a baby sweater and bonnet. Looking back at that, it now seems like a pretty crazy choice, and I think, crap! I had no idea what I was doing! How did that even turn out??!  Soon after, I took to trying socks, took a class and loved it. Then, while making different styles of socks, The Sock Summit came along and I loved that, too.

Now, my new goal is not only to try everything--entrelac, more intarsia, fair isle, tons of sweaters (as the styles are endless)--but I would like to take several classes per year as I like the learning style and more than that, I love the little pieces of helpful information that come out of that setting from everyone around you. My hope is that more study will help push me along a little bit

Even if I never become a "perfect" knitter, that's ok. I am sure having fun trying. : )

No comments: