Some projects we absolutely adore. Others bore. Some irk. And some? Some make us drop our yarn and run away.
Faaaar, far away.
This month’s topic comes to us via Yarnista Nicole. She wanted to know:
What are you afraid to knit/crochet and do you have plans to tackle your fear this year (or have you already)? How?
Soooo… I don’t know if there are really projects I’m afraid of, per se, as I tend to just attack things with a kind of foolish fearlessness that can only be known by someone who doesn’t know any better. (What, is that only me?) But there are definitely at least two projects I started with gusto and then subsequently dropped almost immediately.
I will tell you they both have to do with Fair Isle and it’s not because of the way they were turning out – cause honestly they were both really fun to knit, my favorite colors, super cute patterns, etc., etc. But my fear – my absolute loathing, actually – is … weaving in a thousand ends. Guess what both projects had?
What can I say – at least it only took two projects to realize that wasn’t for me. (Fool me once… as they say.)
Will I ever tackle this fear? I have to be honest: Probably not. It’s just not who I am at this point and time in my life. And this is something Katherine touches on, below, too. Read on to find out what the ladies of fibre space had to say in our monthly confessional.
Jillian: “So, I’ve always felt like I should learn continental. And I fully intend to learn. However, whenever I go to teach myself I seem to be knitting a gift for someone and I don’t want my tension to be off and thus chicken out. I also always manage to be working when D teaches this technique. 😉
“Secondly, I am scared of steeking. Stupid terrified of cutting my yarn. However, after observing Olga’s workshop from afar over the past couple of weekends I think I’m going to attempt to take the plunge in 2015.
“Third, I want to figure out how to do intarsia in the middle of a knit object. I can do a minimal amount of intarsia (like in the moderne log cabin baby blanket) but nothing more complicated than that. So, perhaps I’ll find a cute baby sweater and try it out just so I know how to do it.”
Trudy: “Although I’m not a big fan, I feel the need to learn brioche or ‘knitting one below’ and how to fix mistakes in this technique, since there is such a high demand for it at the shop.
“I’m working very hard on improving my understanding of color theory, particularly in regard to Fair Isle colorwork. That’s why I have so many hats!
“I think I should overcome my dislike of knitting pairs of things like socks and mittens. My dislike stems from the fact that I find it hard to get them to match!
“I remain firm in my dislike of intarsia and have no intention of overcoming that dislike, despite my initial enthusiasm for that cute Brooklyn Tweed penguin cushion.”
Jillian: “That’s what I should make! The penguin cushion!”
Arthella: “Learning brioche is one of my stitcholutions for 2015. I’m enrolled in Nancy Marchant’s brioche class on Craftsy.”
Nicole: “I am terrified of Fair Isle socks. I love the way they look! They’re gorgeous! But in my opinion, there just seem to be so many different things that could go wrong. I can make socks and I often knit Fair Isle but somehow, the pair together just terrifies me.
“I think the big problem for me (at least in my head) is that I have wide feet and not the most petite of legs. I always worry that I’m going to spend hours working on a pair of gorgeous socks only to have them look terrible once they are on my feet. Honestly, the whole thing is mildly ridiculous. I am totally confident in my ability to knit appropriate sizes. It’s just the socks! They scare me! But I’m going to break that! I’ve had my eye on Rachel Coopey’s Talia socks forever and think it’s time to go for it! I know enough to make adjustments if necessary and have spent enough time on Fair Isle to not make my yarn floats too tight so they won’t burst the first time I try them on. No more ridiculous worries! Fair Isle socks will be knit and they will be gorgeous!”
Katherine: “I don’t know that I have fears per se. I think it comes from being mostly self-taught. I don’t know what I’m missing and I didn’t learn to be afraid of things that might be considered too advanced. My first project was a cabled, seamed afghan. It was flawed (mostly gauge – it’s a baby blanket pattern that covers a queen bed), but it made me a little fearless.
“That said, my knitting has definitely changed over the last few years. I had a list of things I wanted to improve on and really take the time to get good at, and I worked my way through a bunch of projects and classes (seriously, we’ve got awesome classes). Most recently I wanted to get comfortable with fisherman rib/brioche, so I made the Nor’easter cowl and did some test knitting that used those skills.
“One other caveat: I am unapologetically not interested in things that don’t interest me. It’s definitely good to be a well rounded knitter (learn to make socks, and Fair Isle, and lace, and cables, and brioche, and sweaters, etc.) and to push your skills when you find a project that sparks the need to make, but I don’t feel bad about not learning advanced techniques for things that I can’t see myself enjoying as a finished object. At the end of the day, you have to want to make it, you know?
“P.S., Jillian – make the Howlcat to learn continental. Your gauge will be a little different, but it’s really repetitive and forgiving (post blocking).”
Danielle: “I am afraid of crochet charts. They look foreign to me. I need to take the crochet lace shawl class with Lesley this year and master crochet charts!”
So, dear fibre fans, fear not! We all have things to learn and humps to overcome. But, yes, it really is OK if you just say “no” to some things that aren’t for you! (Whew.)