2KCBWDAY2 — Skill + 1UP


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?

Normally, at the end of each year, I write a year-in-review blog entry, with just this topic in mind. I didn’t do one this year. Looking back, I can’t think of the reason why, other than the fact I’ve been obsessed with Netflix and Facebook and haven’t done much blogging at all in the past several months.

A survey of the projects completed in Calendar Year 2010 reveals no major leaps forward in techniques or skills learned. In fact, the only thing worth mentioning is my tentative step into the world of knitted lace.

I’ve done crocheted lace forever. When I ventured back into yarncraft a little over four years ago, after a hiatus of 20+ years, almost the first project I made was a lace baby blanket for a dear friend. The written directions nearly drove me out of my mind but then a kind-hearted soul on Ravelry shared the chart with me, and the project became a piece of cake.

Finished lacy baby blanket 3

Knitted lace, however, was somewhat intimidating. But one day I found a pattern for an adorable summer hat. I loved it, but it had a lace brim. And a provisional cast-on. The charts looked so arcane, with funny circles and slashes and weird upside-down tree-like symbols. Of course, the chart key was included in the pattern, and I refused to let any sort of yarn thing defeat me….and so, I sallied forth. I followed the directions for the provisional cast-on — a new technique — like they were scripture, knitted and decreased to the top, and turned that puppy over to start the lace border. The result?

Green linen 1

I was rather proud of it. Then, a few days after posting the finished pic to Ravelry, I received a PM from the designer wanting to use my photo as an example on the pattern page. Totally made my day!

Thus emboldened, I went searching for another lace pattern suitable for a lace newbie. Hey Teach! caught my eye. I had an appropriate yarn in stash, and so cast on. It took a while, but in about ten weeks, I had a cute little cardi for work OR weekend.

Hey Govt Employee

Lace has taught me the importance of keeping the stitch count correct. Lace does not forgive counting mistakes. Lace is forgiving of flubs like K2tog instead of K3tog, as long as that extra stitch gets removed somewhere along the way. And missing a yarnover isn’t a project-killer either, again as long as that missing stitch is added back somewhere along the way.

Look at these socks:

Belle Epoque 1

See what I mean? I bet you can’t even tell where I screwed up in the lace columns. What do you mean, the picture doesn’t show enough close-up detail? Pshaw. Don’t be a whiner. 😉

I have my eye on a couple more complicated lace projects now, like the Sideways Cardigan:

or the Apres Surf Hoodie:

or maybe the dainty lacy Tribute Socks:

Whatever the next lace project may be, I look forward to the challenge. You can be sure you’ll hear all about it in the pages of this blog.

See what others have posted on this topic here.

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