In this last post we are to look to the next year, when KCBW rolls around again. What will we have accomplished, how will we have been changed by our craft. This is very long and picture heavy. Sorry.
In looking forward, I see no real areas of growth in my knitting. I would categorize my skill level as expert in execution, intermediate in understanding pattern design and fit, and intermediate in alteration of a pattern; be it changing gauge, technique, or detail. I have taken close to 200 hours of instruction through various venues: Stitches events, TKGA, and knit shop and fiber festival classes. I have likely taught over 100 hours of classes in yarn shops and at fiber festivals. I have altered designs, made my own designs (not into publishing), and know I could create whatever I might envision.
At this point I have no knitting skill I feel compelled to learn. I love Stitches events (8 in 12 years), but haven’t seen classes I was interested in taking the last few years. I have taken all the advanced classes, that are offered at South or Midwest, that interest me.
Now, that’s not to say I don’t have another area I wouldn’t like to conquer. It involves fiber, but no needles. I want to learn to weave. I know “how” to, just not on a real loom and with the proper tools. I want to take a class or borrowing a friends Rigid Heddle Loom. I would prefer the class so I don’t start with any bad habits. So I guess my goal, by the time KCBW rolls around, is to be a competent weaver.
But you can be sure I will still be knitting. I have always wanted to be a knitter. I learned to crochet young, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I am just sad it took me until I turned 40 to learn to knit! That was partly the fault of a knitting teacher. I tried to learn when in my 20’s. The teacher’s intent was to sell her cast-off needles and the most expensive yarn in her shop. She gave me size 9 straight needles that were at least 20″ long and Angora yarn. Failure! I was supposed to be knitting a scarf, seriously, 20″ needles for a scarf that would be no more than 7″ wide. Fine, hairy Angora on size 9 needles creates nothing but holes. I couldn’t even figure out if they were there on purpose, or accident! Being from Spain, she taught me Continental. I am right hand dominant and became so frustrated that I gave up.
Fast forward 20 years to my dear friend Lea who wore a hand knit sweater to our craft group one day. Once I learned she knit I begged her to teach me. She kept saying yes until I picked a date and over to my house she came, armed with size 8 needles and worsted weight, cotton blend yarn, and an English technique. Eureka! I was knitting in less than 30 minutes. I lament that by the time I learned to knit my girls were already 3 and 6. Too late for baby items. I did knit them a few sweaters and accessories, but all those baby things I never got to knit! Wait, I have been knitting them, just for other’s kids.
So, rest assured, I will still be knitting. By this time next year I may not have grown in knowledge, but I will have increased the number of patterns I have knit for the first time, and likely increased the number of times I have knit the same pattern. And just maybe I will have added another skill to my repertoire. See ya next year! But, do stick around and hang out in between. You never know what I will be knitting next.
At this point, if you haven’t turned away already, let me say, I hope you don’t think this post boastful. I was not trying to brag on my skill, just be realistic. I am not perfect, I still make dozens of stupid mistakes. I know there are those who say “you can never stop learning”, and I agree. But there does come a saturation point in certain areas. I am sure I will find new ways of doing certain techniques as others evolve them. But, if I never learn another technique from this day forward, I will still be a well rounded knitter. That’s why it’s now time for me to learn a new-to-me craft. And it needs to be one that will help me use up this stash!! LOL.