Day 2: Skill + 1UP - 2kcbwday2

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? Last year for KnitCroBlog Week we were asked a question about what sort of skills we wanted to improve ... Let's see how we did (full post here)

The two main skills I wanted to learn/improve were spinning and continental knitting.

Check and Check.

While I don't have a picture, I do pretty much knit continental by default. Only when things get really tough or I have a whole WS purl row to complete do I use throwing rather than picking. I do surprise myself at times that I move into picking hand shape by default when I pick up my knitting.

Generally, my skill level has improved, mostly from practice, but I also discovered blocking and swatching (well I knew they existed before that, but I only started practicing them regularly this past summer).  This has been an easy way to make my projects look and fit better without knitting more stitches.

This time last year I had done mittens, bottom-up hats, and entrelac.

Since finishing up school in May I have made lace shawls, baby sweaters, top-down hats, Mobeus cowls, fair-isle hats.

I don't know where, but my father always quotes the fact that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become truly proficient at an activity (that works out to about 1 year, but taking into consideration the realities of life can be about 3 years of hard work).  I have put in quite a few number of hours knitting since last year, but I am still many, many years away from my 10,000 hours.  I also have expanded my color palette.

This year, some of the things I want to accomplish are re-learning how to crochet and planning a project from fiber to yarn to finished object.  As far as techniques, I want to work on my colorwork and double knitting and since getting Cookie A.'s Knit.Sock.Love. I have been tempted to try socks, or maybe see if I can turn one of her sock designs into a pair of mittens.  Oooh and dyeing yarn and fiber ... and tatting and making art yarn and ... you get the picture.