Welcome to Day 4 of Blog Week. What is today’s topic, you might ask? Ahem. What new skill would I like to learn? Wow. That sure sounds like a simple question. I guess it is! And the answer is simple, too. What do I still want to learn about knitting? The answer? A lot. Got a comfortable chair? This could take a while; I have an ever-growing list.
- Gauge. So important, and such a basic step in knitting. Counting stitches to know what your gauge is. And yet, this is one thing that I’m still really bad at doing. I think it’s because I have eye tracking problems that counting is hard for me. I’ve tried various magnifiers and whatnot, but I’m still not that great at counting. Sounds like a simple thing to do, right? But yet, get it wrong, and it is the root of all that is evil with my knitting.
- Measuring, in general. I really do want to learn how to take good measurements so that once I get the gauge thing figured out, I can really know how to knit actual garments that fit.
- Colorwork. Whether it’s Selbuvotter mittens or a Fassett-inspired color explosion, I’d like to be able to work with more than one yarn at a time and not make a mess of things. Most people say that holding one yarn in each hand is the answer, but not for me. So, I just need to keep at it until I can figure out what feels comfortable someday.
- Steeks. The very thought of knitting and knitting and knitting something for months on end and then taking a pair of scissors to it makes me dizzy. I think I need to learn how to do a crocheted steek since I don’t sew and I don’t own a sewing machine.
- And since I mentioned it, Seaming. My seams are messy and awful. I’ve had one person sit with me once while I sewed two swatches together, and once, Lea-Ann McGregor even sat with me patiently on the phone, explaining the whole thing to me and talking me through it.
- Fixing Brioche Stitch.Brioche stitch is one of my all-time favorite stitches in knitting. And yet, when I drop a stitch, which I always do, it is me after all, doing the knitting, I find it impossible to pick up the stitches correctly and keep going. I guess I need to practice more. Brioche stitch has so many possibilities for exciting shapes and color combinations, and I want to master the technique so I can take my knitting in all kinds of crazy directions.
Phew! Every time I learn something new in knitting it always leads to something else I want to know. I’d love to be like my Italian aunt, who is smaller than I am in every way. She was wearing a handknit sweater that I really loved, that I had raved about, and I asked her if she could make me one, too. She said, “Sure!” and asked me what was my favorite color. (Purple, of course!) Six weeks later, I had my sweater. And it fits so comfortably… I love it. She did it by “feel,” that is to say she never asked me my size and never took a measurement. Just went to work and knit the sweater on instinct. And it’s my favorite to this day. I wish I could do that.
I think I need lessons, Real, actual knitting lessons from someone who knows all of these smarty-farty knitting things. I’d love to shadow a Master Knitter, and really learn how it’s done. Is there ever such a thing as knowing it all in knitting? That’s what I really want. Why is that so much to ask?
See you tomorrow…