Monday, August 18, 2008

Learning new skills

Every knitting project I undertake has me learning new skills and techniques. When I started the Tradition sweater, I had to learn to knit with a strand of yarn in each hand, so I learned how to knit Continental (yarn carried in the left hand).


I quickly discovered that was MUCH faster for me than English style (yarn carried in the right hand), and set out learning how to purl Continental as well. Somehow, not so easy! It took several projects and much viewing of technique videos on But I have it now.

The Latvian Twist is a great starting edge for socks and mitts...

Canada socks are progressing

Somewhere along the line I learned that I was doing the SSK decrease wrong. I also learned I wasn't alone there :-) and I can now do it correctly.

Then I wanted to make a Mari cabled cardigan. The operative word here is "cable". I learned how to do cables knitting a pair of Conwy socks, then moved on to the cardigan, which is proceeding nicely. Somewhere in there I got tired of the cable needle, and learned how to do cabling involving swapping no more than 2 stitches without the cable needle.

Mari Button Up (Cabled Yoke) Cardigan back

Conwy Socks, finished

The Mari cardigan has a nifty cabled twist. I was wondering how it could go the other way. Turns out the socks I am currently knitting (Ann Budd's Diagonal Cross Rib Cable socks) have you twist one way for one sock and one way for the other. Lots of knitting through the back loop here (ick).

And let's not forget casting on. I know one cast-on - the long tail cast-on. I knew it for years before I knew what it was called (hint: learn the names of what you are doing; it will be easier to talk to other knitters when you don't have your yarn and needles handy to demonstrate). I know a couple others, but I don't use them. The Diagonal Cross Rib socks wanted the Old Norwegian (AKA Twisted German) Cast On. The directions in the book were not helpful. Off to Knitting They had a video clip, but glossed over the last, crucial bit. A bit of rummaging around took me to Knit Witch and Lucy Neatby, which clarified. Of course, as I cast on left-handed, I had to reverse it all in my head. Whew!

What's next? I want to learn how to knit lace!


phil varner said...

My knit savvy wife says "If she can knit colorwork, she can knit lace." My favorite lace thing she's knit is this:

She's nearly finished with a pair of Zimmerman knee-high cycling socks. Nearly finished, because the colorwork band at the top of the second sock was done while on vacation, out of sight of the first sock, and the colors were accidentally reversed. Once done, it will become part of the uniform of SuperRetroGrouchMan (ask Cecil about this).

lynnef said...

oh, Swallowtail! Nice job! That one is in my queue!