Dec 31, 2012

Looking Forward

I've been enjoying everyone's end-of-year posts, looking back at what's been learned in 2012. I started to collect my thoughts in a similar way, and while it was fun to do, I realized that I'd much prefer to look forward and so here I am with what I hope to learn in 2013.

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.


  1. Sometimes a practice run is just what you need, I'm sure that you will be glad that you took that extra bit of time the second you finally get to put it on for the first time. That gray is such a lovely shade too. Happy new years!

  2. I like that term...practice run! There do seem to be those projects where a little corrected mistake can just niggle at one until the only thing TO do is start over. You will be the happier for it. I just wanted to take a moment to say what a joy it has been to read your blog this year, and to receive such sweet comments from you on mine. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you!
    Happy New Years...

  3. Sometimes it's more than just finishing a project.
    We are are finding the journey an enjoyable learning venture.

    Thus said, most of my sweaters from 2012 will be re-knit to fit.

    thanks for the many, many posts

    knowing we're not alone on our quest of knitting knowledge enhances the experience

    holiday hugs


  4. Isn't it great to always be looking for new skills to learn, and furthering yourself rather than resting back where you are? I know there are plenty of things I want to learn in 2013. I have surprised myself with doing more knitting this year and how much I've enjoyed it....2013 contains socks....I just know it!

    All the very best for you and yours in 2013!

  5. It's really amazing how your mindset can alter your feelings about a project, isn't it? And I think slowing down and taking time to do things as well as possible always has a great payoff. There's a lot of truth to the old adage: "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well!"

  6. Gosh you are keen! I'm sure the sweater will be awesome though! I love those increases, they are the ones I use!

  7. This reminds me of my first attempt at sock knitting. I was learning from youtube videos how to do a heel flap and turn, as well as toe decreases, and my first ever sock had to be redone FOUR times before I got it.

    However, now my "first" pair of socks is not only attractive but fits perfectly and has definitely built up my sock knitting skills. So I think the practice runs were definitely worth it.

    Just keep your eye on the prize! You'll have a beautiful finished product.

  8. Your finished sweater will be perfect and you will wear it with happiness and pride. I'm looking forward to following your other lovely projects as you knit them this year!

  9. It will be perfect! Naught wrong with learning from our mistakes, in my view. Thank you for such a lovely blog and thank you for your comments on mine. Wishing you and your family a very happy 2013 :)

  10. I love the idea of a practice run! Hope you have a great new year!

  11. I have enjoyed following your knitting in 2012, and looking forward to see more on 2013. (Hope to see you in my new blog: Lanas de Ana) Happy New Year!!!
    ♥ Ana BC

  12. I'm amazed to think you feel inexperienced at sweater knitting because you are such a prolific knitter. I guess your applying your eye for detail to your sweater knitting, too. I am almost embarrassed by how often I unknit, then reknit my projects. I just start plowing through, then realize it's not working. Good thing I love the act of knitting about as much as the finished product, huh?

  13. Evelyn, you are such a role model for sweater knitting! I hope to knit at least two garments this year because of you.
    I would be bothered by the fudged mistakes too. These increases sound very interesting.