28 April 2012

KCBW2012: Improving your skillset


It's day six of Blog Week, and we're slowly going back to the more serious topics. Today, we'll talk about my skillset in crochet and knitting.

"Improving Your Skillset
How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how's your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you'd like to have tried them by."

My skillset is really still in its infancy state. Simply put, I have only recently began taking my crochet more seriously and have started working on more ambitious projects. My most recent FO is an example of this, of course:

The blue monster was one of the more ambitious projects I have taken on so far: it was lacy, the pattern was more than simply doing some DC's here and there, and counting became much more important because of the repeats. I learned so much from this project alone! Moreover, I've decided to put this knowledge to the test by taking on another lacy project: The Spring Ripple Scarf.

(Recognise the yarn? The weather outside is awful and there's hardly any light, but that's a lace pattern, trust me)

Despite its simple look, I decided to purchase the pattern and follow it to the dot instead of trying to figure it out myself. Trust me, I tried, because it looked so simple! But there's little tricks here and there in this pattern that I would not have been able to figure out myself. Plus, there's a graph. That helped me a lot!

Lace projects, more creative crochet projects.. I would even love to attempt a garment of some sort, but I have not been successful in finding a crocheted sweater or something that I really like. So until then, I'll stick with accessories.

But not just that. I have also been finetuning my skills in making ami's and toys. My most recent FO in that aspect was Mini-Grimbull:

The recipient was very pleased with this, as was I, since it had taught me new tricks: I decided to not worry about attaching the head to the body but just make head and body one piece. It provided so much more stability! In previous doll-projects, like Mini-me and Mini-Mike, I fiddled with attaching the head in such a way that it would still look somewhat okay, but this is so much easier and looks more polished. Apart from that, I also made the props out of felt this time. It allowed for more tiny detail, since crochet can get a bit wonky when you're working with tiny details on tiny items, but the felt worked like a treat! I glued and sewed everything together, to make them as sturdy as possible.

There's still a plethora of problems with this toy that I would like to smooth out in my next mini-someone, but there's no question that there will be a new mini-someone because they're so enjoyable to make!

But the one skill that I would like to actually work on most this year is my knitting. Knitting in general, not even a certain type of knitting. I have not picked up the double needles for at least half a year (unless you count using a 7mm plastic needle to scratch that one itchy spot on my back that I just can not reach). If we take a look at last year's Blog Week post on day 6, I was very optimistic about my knitting skills and was already talking about trying colourwork, intarsia and lace knitting. I need to tone it down just a teensy bit this year. I will attempt to knit an item that I will feel comfortable about, like gloves, or mitts, or a cowl, and then see how I do. A cowl, like the Jaymie, or The Dr. Horrible Sing-a-long Wristers (because Dr. Horrible. Nuff said). You know, something simple.

But let's take it slow, shall we? And maybe I should start with learning how to purl properly, since I never was able to do it as effortlessly as this!


  1. Derya's videos are so good aren't they. I definitely want to try the way she knits and purls, just to have one more way if my hands get sore.

  2. Your toy is fabulous! Good luck with getting back to basics - I've got a few tricks i'd like to learn too.... nothing for it. Got to get knitting!

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one that scratches her back with a knitting needle.....bliss

  4. I purl very similarly to the video you linked, but with the yarn wrapped over my index finger instead of my thumb. Same general idea, though!

    ...now you've got me looking up patterns for crocheted lace shawls. Thanks, I think? :)

  5. That toy is great! I appreciate the affirmation that crocheting the head and body makes a more solid toy- I've thought that for some time, but having someone say it outright is quite helpful :)