Learning New Techniques

I worked on mittens last weekend. Remember that “blue project” that you could see by my chair on Friday’s blog? It turned into this mitten (Flocked Mittens by Adrian Bizilia) and I love it.  Since it has floats inside, it is basically double thick. There are directions to knit a lining to cover up all of the floats, but I opted not to do the lining because it’s already so warm and thick. I did see the designer on Ravelry suggest that all mittens should be made larger than necessary and then lined with cashmere, and I thought that was a brilliant idea!  At least for those who live in really really cold climates. I knit this with Spud and Chloe Sweater (colors Barn and Waterslide) just because when those two new colors came in a couple of weeks ago, I was instantly smitten.

Being new to colorwork, this isn’t the best looking knitting up close. I’m still working on getting my tension even with two-handed knitting, and feeling like I’m not all thumbs as I go along. The good thing is that I was motivated to jump right into the second mitten immediately, because I want it to be similar looking, before I get much better at colorwork. I have done one single mitt in colorwork before, but that’s it. I keep seeing great colorwork patterns and thinking I want to get better at it, so that I can make some of these up. On this pattern, I love the picot edge and the unique braid around the bottom. Now that I’ve tried it with worsted weight, I think I’m ready for fingering weight and have already pulled 7 colors from The Loopy Ewe Solid Series for my next colorwork project. I’ll keep you posted!

So that leads me to a question. I know that many of us knit for relaxation. Do you also feel a need to push yourself to learn new techniques and try out different kinds of patterns? Or does that take the “relaxation” out of it, and you’re happy with your knitting, just the way it is. I was a pretty single-minded sock knitter for a long time. I think any new techniques I tried were all within the confines of socks. But gradually I branched into mitts, cowls, sweaters, small shawls, and blankets. Now I am curious about colorwork. I still have the no-brainer knitting projects for when I am tired at night and don’t feel like paying too much attention to what I’m doing. But I also like trying something new and moving forward in what I know. (That’s always good for your brain!) So my question – are you happy with what you already know, or are there other techniques or pattern types that you want to try out? Is there something that you know you’d never want to try? For me, I want to get better at colorwork and I want to try incorporating beads into my knitting. What I don’t want to do is to knit with fine laceweight. The projects are beautiful, but I think it’s too fiddly for me. No desire to work with that. And I also don’t want to knit large shawls, simply because I don’t wear them. I love my Girasole, but it sits along the back of one of our couches, for use as a throw. How about you?

Sheri suchawordyposttoday.I’lldomorepictureslesswordsonFriday!


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103 comments on “Learning New Techniques

  1. I like making things that have a purpose – generally small things that I can give as gifts. (i.e. baby bibs & soakers) Socks still make me nervous. But recently I decided to face my fear of garment knitting. I’m still in the beginning of knitting an Amiga sweater. Once I’ve finished it, I’m thinking of making some thrummed mittens. They look really fun and would be a great way to use up some roving in my stash.

  2. As a relatively new knitter (1 year and counting), I’m still loving the challenge of getting to mindless knitting. It’s coming, I can feel it happening, but I still have to look at my needles and be in good light. I’ve been working on picking up speed, learning Continental style, and am pushing myself in 2012 to make something from intarsia, entrelac, brioche, something with lace stitches, and a garment of some kind. Scarves, mitts, hats, and socks are all projects I have under my belt and it’s down to the point that I have to just gut it out and go for it. I had hoped to spin enough yarn of my own that I could make a vest, but geeze, that’s a lot of yarn!

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