Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Skillz

The theme at the shop this year is Expand Your Fiber Comfort Zone, but I'd like to think I did a little of that in 2009. Here are some projects that employed skills or techniques that were new to me in some way:

On Ysolda Teague's Hap Blanket (knit in Cascade Eco Wool, a truly wonderful yarn), I used a Russian Bind-Off. The pattern orginally calls for a purl-wise bind-off. On David's advice, I knit a row, then bound off with the Russian Bind-Off, which created a loose, flexible, yet sturdy edge.This blanket is now proudly on display at my brother and sister-in-law's house.

The Yarn Harlot's Pretty Thing  -- mine is knit in Pagewood Farms Alyeska, a luscious cashmere blend -- taught me how to do a sewn bind-off. It's easy-peasy and creates a neat, flexible edge.

Finally, Jared Flood's Habitat, here knit in Malabrigo Worsted, challenged my ability to do cables. This was the first time I'd done a cable beyond a simple right or left cross. I learned to color-code my charts (The Preschooler was dismayed that I used his crayons, but that's another story) to keep all the crossings straight. While cables still slow down my knitting considerably, the color codes keep me from continually having to peer at the symbols and painstakingly figure out what to do next each and every time.

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