Skill plus One Up
The topic chosen for today is what new skills have you acquired over the past year.
As I looked through my Ravelry project page, I noticed a number of things. First, I had a lot of frogged items. This means I ripped out the knitting and quit. Most of these projects failed because the yarn didn't fit the needs of the pattern. The other habit I had mid-year was letting things go into hibernation (def., stuffing the whole shebang into a bag and tossing it to the back of the closet), mostly because I started by swatching to see whether the pattern and yarn would work together and then I never kept on with the pattern. I have to admit I have no confidence in getting gauge to match the pattern, past history frequently repeats itself. I also noted that there were periods where I cast on quite a few things, some were finished, others languished.
I believe the skill I acquired over the past year was more of a basic knowledge kind of thing. I learned to rely more heavily on a pattern's recommended yarns or weights of yarn. This led me to have many successful completions at the end of the year. This is not to say that I didn't stretch into areas that were daunting. Ask anyone who has made a sweater in the round with a lace pattern. Nearly ripped my hair out trying to get it right. Even thought the sweater came out OK... I never wear it because I think the yarn makes it look too boxy and unflattering (if I ever make it again, I will make it longer by at least three inches). I also made a number of hats with intense cables (Horizontal Cable hat) and I did the Button Coil scarf/cowl. These are fun to do but I get lost quickly if I don't follow the chart each row. I also ripped back numerous times because the cable was oriented in the wrong direction. Perseverance prevailed.
The other skill I think I acquired was getting a sweater completed from from start to finish. I had three sweaters started in 2010 that have been finished. This means, selecting the right yarn, finding gauge, and then, choke, knitting til I hated the sight of the thing. The desire to wear it pushed me through to the finish. One was a hoodie with a zipper. It came out ok, but it was too short and made of acrylic... so it has been relegated to a house sweater. I made the Lush Hoodie, a February Lady Sweater, Tang, Tink's Lab Coat. There were a number of other frogged victims and three hibernating sweaters (I started these projects to get gauge, but didn't complete them yet).
Over all, I have found that I knit more daily since the fall and I am getting better at matching pattern to yarn for an optimal result. I aim to learn to knit continental to see if my speed will increase and then more projects can be completed! Phew!