Knit Crochet Blog Week: Day 2 (2KCBWDAY2)

Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

I’ve discussed over on the Sanday Spinners blog the new skills gained through test knitting and my leanings towards a design focus. I thought for a while that I would find nothing fresh to say here, so I took a trip through my 2010 project listings at Ravelry. It was a bit of an eye opener.

In the last 12 months I have knitted my first commissions, learning thereby to knit to strict deadlines and to quality controls that I might not otherwise operate. You can’t fudge wrong stitch counts when you are taking money from customers… it has to  be done right.

In the knitting techniques department, I made my first Shetland construction square shawl in the last year… just a simple one, the Bridgewater, but I am now poised to build on that achievement and to  cast on for something more recognisably Shetland. In fact, I have  the yarn at the ready and am simply waiting for my copy of Heirloom Knitting to arrive.

I was slightly disappointed to find that I could not claim to  have beaded my first shawl in the last 12 months; in actual fact my beaded Bitterroot was made in January 2010… but I can assert that I have consolidated my beading skills by knitting the most fabulous shoulder shawl, Maia as well as a Teardrop Stole and matching headscarf (these two were commissioned and I was very proud of them when they were done.)

Most recently, I have learned a short row hat shaping, with Japanese Short Rows – in the Antalya hat from Twist Collective. I’d like to say that it also improved my grafting skills but the hat still awaits that feat (and I messed up the grafting in the Bridgwater too.) I confess to being a wimp about grafting, not to mention totally cack-handed with it.

One very important skill that has developed in the last few months is the ability to recognise a dead duck and to know how to frog it without guilt.  This is an important sub-skill of the larger skillset used in reducing the UFO count. I plan on developing both further in the coming year. I also intend to develop those meagre grafting skills and to be able to crow about what an expert I am the next time this subject comes up. Hey, a girl can dream you know.

Afterthought: perhaps I should not neglect to acknowledge the fact that my blocking skills are much increased over the last 12 months. There is room for much further improvement but my finished projects really do look more professional these days than they did previously.

Recently, at the: Crooked House

Hot, hot, hot

I really am a poor blogger these days, aren’t I? Sorry. The notion that I would keep a Nature Diary here soon fell by the wayside. A pity, that. Perhaps I will try again next year, The thing is, we packed ourselves up and wandered off in the van again and when we came back we were, for various reasons, at a low ebb. Energy has been lacking and especially the mental variety. I amContinue readingHot, hot, hot



Having chosen to live in France, I try hard to live French. I really do not want to be that Brit – the one that moans how they can’t get such-and such in France or that some-other from the UK is better… Certainly, in my humble Brit opinion, there is so much here that is better than back in Blighty. Bread and butter for one two things, for instance. However, I do have a beef:Continue readingB-B-B-B-B-Bovril

Recent movements of the: Two Snails

It’s coming…

It’s coming…

We are getting ever closer to our new van. It is supposedly 13 days away. I say “supposedly” because we have been here before and I shall not quickly forget the horrors of last year when Mr Snail had to stay near Paris for several nights after travelling up on the train at 6am and… Continue reading It’s coming…

Well, that was unexpected…

Well, that was unexpected…

I was confiding that Heidi’s days with us are numbered, we had picked out our new van and that Mr Snail was taking her to Cognac to get a PX price… Things did not go to plan. Heidi was looking gorgeous, considering her age, and we both agreed that the fact that they had asked… Continue reading Well, that was unexpected…

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