Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog Week Entry #2: Skill+ Up

Welcome to Day 2 of blog week, where we have yet another topic to discuss:

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year? 
Owl Cardigan:  Adventure in Steeking

Last year I steeked my first sweater, and somehow managed to never write a post about it.  I'm not sure why - it was quite the learning experience!  This seems like as good of a time as any to talk about the ins and outs of steeking a cardigan....for starters, I chose to experiment with steeking because I wanted to knit the cardigan faster in the round - I also figured I should branch out and try something new, and a coworker of mine had steeked her Owl cardigan and gave me some tips.  All in all, considering that this was my first-ever steeked project, it went pretty well.  There are lots of things i'd have done differently, of course- such as making the steek section a little bigger (it's been so long since I worked on this sweater, I can't find my pattern copy where I wrote down all my mods, so I apologize for any vagueness in this post).  I think i would have also added one or two more owl cable repeats - I ended up deleting one by accident when adding in the steek, causing the sweater to be a bit on the snug side.  That is definitely my oopsie and has nothing to do with the pattern as written.
Cutting the steek - eek!

While I'm on the subject of regrets, I do wish I'd cast on about four more stitches for each armhole - I remember at the time thinking as I knit, "wow, that really doesn't seem like enough stitches, I should add a few more!"  Then, of course, I didn't, and the sleeves are just a hair too tight.  This seems to be a common problem other Ravelers have experienced when knitting the pattern - but on the plus side, it's one that is easily remedied.  Plus, after blocking and wearing, the sleeves have gotten a little looser and it's become a staple in my wardrobe!

Unexpected Color Combo:  Design from Malabrigo Book 3
As far as my knitting resolutions for this year are concerned - to make friends with colorwork and learn how to do entrelac - I have yet to tackle either of them.  I can't say I have broadened my skill-set hugely in the last year, other than noted above.  While I have a decent base, there is always room for improvement.  I've been trying to focus more on branching out in terms of color choices - I tend to gravitate towards the same colors (neutrals, green, blue) and make 'safe' color choices when working with two or more colors.  In light of that, I've been trying to make a conscious effort to try unexpected combinations, which has been dovetailing nicely with my other challenge to myself: destashing!

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