Thursday, June 10, 2010

Knitting evolution

When I was a kid (late teens, early 20's), I loved crocheting lace and doilies.  The more complicated, the better.  I would pick up the hobby again every couple of years, looking for every more complex designs to crochet.

Early on, I was absolutely mesmerized by knitted lace.  Good grief, the complexity and beauty was astounding!  Knitting was a challenge for me back then - I could cast on (sort of), knit, purl and bind off.  This was before the days of the internet - the dark ages of the early 80's - but I wanted to learn to knit beautiful lace, so pored over library books trying to understanding cryptic code language like "yo" and "M1" and "k2tog."

I gave up in frustration.

I tried again in the early 90's - still before internet for everyone - with a gorgeous, gorgeous sweater from Vogue Knitting.  This time, I actually succeeded in knitting many of the necessary pieces, but then realized I was going to have to deal with blocking.

And gave up in frustration.

I continued to knit scarves as gifts every few years, but it wasn't until I was trying to figure out a stitch for one of those scarves that I realized a new use for the internet - knitting!!!

Like gazillions of others, I took to the interwebs and my skillz grew.  And youtube!  What a bounty of tutorials for visual people like me.  Youtube tutorials taught me all sorts of wondrous techniques.  Thanks to Google, I finally mastered blocking (which is now second nature).  And overcame my fear - which was really lack of technical skills - of lace.

Knitting is the perfect hobby/craft/art form/past time/design challenge/etc. for me.  I'll never be finished learning.  There is always a new design challenge to work through.  There are always new tools to master.  New yarns and fibers to play with.  New trends to experiment with.  New trends to create.

With each new challenge, I get to struggle through a learning curve, resulting in a new second nature tool for my belt of knitting tools.  I've found that I'll struggle and struggle with a particular technique or stitch pattern, and finally put it aside in frustration.  But months later, I'll pick it up again and whiz right through it.  Why?  Because I expanded my expertise in the meantime.  I was trying something way over my head (which is normal for me!) and needed a little more baseline skill in order to master it.

Tomorrow:  what you can expect to see at Phydeaux Designs this Summer and beyond!

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