Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Knitting Tips - The Techniques

When I first learned to knit one of my early projects was a Fair-isle vest with short rowed vest points. No one told me it was too hard for me, so I knit it. It turned out to be a beautiful garment and I wore that vest for many years. It wasn't until I began to socialize with other knitters that I found out the vest I had made was considered to be an advanced project by most.

Have you ever wondered how much your knitting would improve if you stopped worrying about taking on projects that are too hard? In my case I was too inexperienced to know that, so I just did what the pattern told me to and I was successful. Now we have so many more resources to teach us techniques even if we don't have an advanced knitter immediately available to answer our questions. Help is just a few keystrokes away.

"Do hard things" has become one of my life laws because hard and interesting are closely aligned. I've also become very aware of a second alignment with doing hard things. Choosing to take on a challenge and mastering a skill makes me happy, I get a charge out of the accomplishment of setting a goal and meeting it. If it's not 100% successful, I still learn things along the way and I do better the next time. What about you, do you choose to do hard things?


  1. My first sweater was a baby sweater with cables and bobbles. The skill level said experienced, and I had never knit a sweater before, but a good friend was having a baby and I really wanted to knit her that sweater. So I took a shot at it, and you know what?.. I did it. It looked just fine, minus one cable that crossed the wrong direction, lol. Since then I've learned to disregard the difficulty levels and just try things.

  2. Often with my designing. I get an idea and I am not sure how I am going to accomplish it. I could be much more prolific if I just designed things that didn't challenge me. But what is the fun in that!

  3. I agree, a knitter shouldn't shy away from a pattern just because it might be difficult. This is why I really don't like rating my patterns 'beginner' or 'intermediate' as it might discourage someone from making it. I prefer to list the required skills to make the project. We won't grow as crafters if we don't challenge ourselves!

  4. The first afghan I ever knit was the Tree of Life afghan -- like you, I didn't know it was considered a difficult project. I just tend to knit what I like and figure it's all made out of knit and purl stitches and I know how to do those so the rest I'll figure out as I go along. Keeps it interesting!

  5. Absolutely! When I first learned how to knit a couple of years ago, my goal was to knit socks. Then I learned to knit cables and lace. Before I'd been knitting a year, I was knitting sweaters. I just picked projects that I wanted to make, and figured that I would learn the necessary techniques as I went along. I don't mind stopping to google or search youtube or ravelry when I come to something I don't know how to do. But I know a lot of people who have enough challenges in life and don't need challenges in their knitting, and they get the same enjoyment from it as I do, so I think it's wonderful that knitting can be so versatile!

  6. Though I'm pretty much risk averse in other areas, not so with knitting. There's no such thing as a miserable failure with knitting because at the very least, even if you have to frog an entire garment for some reason, you still end up with usable yarn, hours passed knitting, and lessons learned - and that's the worst case! The upside is, as you said, a veritable high on the sense of accomplishment.
    The Yarn Harlot calls this "fearless knitting" and I see know reason to be shy about trying new things. As YH also says, "There are no knitting police!"
    I find it interesting that knitting appeals to my perfectionistic tendencies, but at the same time helps me overcome them.