Monday, 2 March 2015

Picking Up New Knitting Skills

I read a knitting blogger yesterday about how she advanced past a beginner very quickly, but moving from projects to projects that expands her skill each time. It strikes me as very sensible, because very often I am very impatient. As I said, I am making a scarf, and already, I've already interrupted my knitting to do something more challenging. It is just too bad that you can't pop out a finished project every half hour!

Anyway, I decided I should really improve my knitting skills, instead of doing the same garter stitch on and on... This is a pretty productive week for knitting, actually. I am pretty close to finishing up my scarf (Hooray! And then I shall proceed to battle-test it next week! More on this coming up!), I found an easy pattern for a beanie (My sister keeps asking me for this, plus I have plans to make one to match my scarf!) and I made two coasters!

Skills I've learned: 

Long Tail Cast on - I am so happy about this. This solved my loopy cast on! And I found an easier method of making a slipknot too! I watched this video from KnitPicks. It's really good and easy to understand.

Knitting in Continental - I'm not sure which one I watch, so I can't help out here. I am still deciding if I like this method. They say this is easier on the wrists and quicker, but frankly, my left hand is cramping from holding on to the yarn too tightly. Plus I can't adjust and push up the stitches closer to the needle tips, so I have to release the yarn, push the stitches up, then pick up the yarn again. It just seems troublesome. I am sure I am faster using the English way, which relies on my right hand more. The good thing is, I am capable of switching between these two methods now.

I just pulled out my metal circular needles to try again because I am deciding the kind of needles I want to invest in. I have tried wood and plastic and metal, and I like metal the best, because it is smooth, and the tips are much sharper. I like the plastic ones that I got too, because they are bendable and flexible, so I don't need to worry about being a little 'rough' when I get frustrated. I find wood frustrating and slow, but on the upside, you won't accidentally 'poke' your finger with the blunt tips. I am currently liking straight needles: it is just simpler than circular ones because when you slide your stitches up towards the needle tips, there might be some obstruction where the cord and the needle tips meet. Still, I'll be silly if I don't admit to the convenience of circular needles, especially interchangeable circular needles. If you get it in a set, you'll have a neat way of keeping track of all your needles, plus there won't be occasions where you look up a particular project online, and have all the materials ready to go except for the correct needle size! (That's me right now. I had to use a 5mm needle instead of a 5.5mm needle to make the beanie).

Anyway, just in case anyone wants to know... I got all my materials from either Spotlight or Daiso. I just ordered some materials from Loveknitting and WoolWarehouse, mostly needles! I find the yarn and needles in Daiso passable for testing out a new pattern or picking up a skill, since it is at such a cheap price of $2. Spotlight, on the other hand, has a range of yarns from various brands, and if you're their member, you can get discounts too! I usually make a trip to Plaza Singapura when I can make a day trip. First LlaoLlao, then to Spotlight, and Daiso, which is very conveniently located just next door!

That's all I have for today! I'll be posting again tomorrow about more banal stuff. Just spent a few hours ripping out stitches from my scarf... I don't think tonight is a good knitting night!

Thanks for reading!


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