Over the past year, I've been honing my skills at knitting sweaters, so I'm excited at the prospect of working with new techniques. I've only knit raglan, seamless designs and while there's so much more to learn and perfect with this method, I want to try my hand at a few other styles such as set-in sleeves, contiguous, and saddle shoulders, to name just a few. What any new technique will require though is mindfulness and if I were to apply a theme for my knitting in the new year, it will be that: being mindful as I work a project.
A case in point: when I cast on the Derry Raglan and Cowl last week, I made a few mistakes. They were minor, and I easily fudged the corrections by increasing a stitch here, decreasing a stitch there. It nagged at me that hidden in my stitches were these mistakes and despite my hours of knitting, I knew that I had to start the sweater over.
|Patons Classic Wool|
It was the right thing to do. I thought about my initial attempt as a practice run where I had a chance to become familiar with the pattern and to see how the sweater was constructed.
An especially positive aspect of knitting a practice run was becoming more comfortable with a new way of increasing at the raglan markers, one which I had never done before. The pattern calls for a LLI (left leaning lifted increase) and a RLI (right leaning lifted increase) both of which had me stumped at first. Once learned and practiced, I love increasing this way and can see why a designer would prefer it: the increases are subtle and almost invisible.
I don't know if I'll make it a habit to knit practice runs first but with the result that I'm getting now with my new pullover, I just might.