Today I'm going to look back on my last year of projects and see how much my skill level has changed. Honestly? I don't think I've improved a whole lot over the past year. I like to knit a variety of projects but I feel like a intermediate knitter still. Sure some day I'd like to knit more sweaters, intricate lace shawls, or some really pretty colourwork, but in the meantime I'm fine with knitting cables and lots of socks ;)
Speaking of socks, I love knitting them! One thing I've noticed is my sock knitting has changed as I learn new techniques and what I like best. You wouldn't think there are so many different ways to knit socks, but there are. I started out knitting socks from the cuff down on DPNs but now I usually knit them now toe-up up with magic loop.
The purple socks on the left are knit toe-up on magic loop with Judy's Magic Cast-on and a short-row heel. I used to knit a short-row toe as well, using the crochet cast-on, but I changed that in 2010. The orange socks on the right are my first pair of finished socks in 2011 and I think slightly improved over the ones on the left. I used to really like doing a short row toe and heel but I decided to give Judy's Magic Cast-on a second try. The gusset and slip-stitch heel does take longer but I got find this new way of doing socks fits my feet better. Plus a slip-stitch heel is thicker and more durable.
So I guess my sock knitting has improved slightly. I pride myself in being able to knit a pair of socks that fit my feet and other people's feet as well! I would like to start doing some sock knitting that features colourwork that is more complicated than stripes. I certainly have lots of sock yarn in the stash so maybe that's something I will try soon. By the way, I have knit myself 22 pairs of socks, though one of those pairs have been frogged and half-way reknit (my current wip, Bad Day Socks on Ravelry).
One new thing I tried toward the end of last year was knitting a hat with colourwork. The hat was part of a two part gift for a friend that designed the logo for my Etsy shop and Facebook fan page. Actually the gift wasn't so much of a gift as a trade for her services ;) Her son loves Mario Brothers so I tried to knit a hat featuring the mushroom from the popular video game series. It was somewhat of a fail. Actually a big fail as far as I was concerned. I didn't know how to properly carry the yarn and it was a big tight mess. I decided to put it away and work on it again after Christmas, but didn't pick it up until the new year.
The final hat was much nicer and enjoyed by both my friend and her son. I looked at a lot of tutorials on Youtube on how to carry floats until I found one that made sense to me. I also decided to knit with only 2 accent colours instead of 3, and I put the mushrooms closer together so there would be less blue space in between each. My gauge was much better this time too. I would like to make some more fun projects like this, and I think it's a good way to use up all that leftover yarn.
As far as the rest of 2011 goes, most of what's on my needles right now are fairly basic projects. I'm not really into challenging myself a lot when it comes to knitting. If I like something, I will make it. Sometimes I have to do some research to learn a new technique which is a lot easier to do today with so many tutorials on Youtube.
One thing I am excited about these days is spinning. I have a drop spindle and have spun 4 items so far. I have a very small fibre stash and plan to work on that skill this year. Even one of my friends has asked me to spin up a batt for her, once I feel more confident about it.
|My first handspun|
|Most recent handspun, nicer than it looks|