Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ooooo, new techniques exist?!?

I finally caught up with the rest of the knitting world and tried a Magic Cast on. I generally use Turkish cast on if I'm knitting a toe-up sock (twice now and possibly never again but never say never again) so to attempt a new technique is a big push for me.

As I learn more about knitting through trial and error I am constantly learning that while the tried-and true methods work, sometimes there is a better option. The difference between a cable cast-on and a Twisted German cast-on for a sock, being one example. Or using a tubular cast on instead - there are around 4 different cast-ons called "tubular": pick one.

How to cable without a cable needle? Easy once you learn how. Casting off in rib - using a knitting needle or a sewing needle? You can do either. Intarsia is far easier than you think, as is fair-isle, leading me to wonder how many knitting projects I've put off to avoid trying something new.

There's an anonymous knitter I know who is one of the most brilliant intarsia knitters in Melbourne, if not Australia. Fearless at leaping in to try something new in colourways, jumps at the chance to use different fibres. End result? Art.

She had no idea that mattress stitch existed. All of her beautiful work was sewn up in very bulky backstitch. A five minute lesson and a new world opened up to her. It was brilliant to witness. Mind you, her work now looks perfect and a million times better than my own. Maybe I should have left her alone...

So my plan is to keep trying new ideas and old techniques because if I can't then I might as well fall back into my old ways and stagnate.


missfee said...

I think that is really why I knit to learn new things and be excite to do things better - thanks for the great post

Sonia said...

Oh wow that is magic! I've only ever cast on 2 different ways. I guess I'm always too eager to get going on a project than to think about the cast-on!