Skill + 1UP
Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year?) Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?
Sometimes I have trouble remembering last week, let alone last year. To help myself out, I went back to my Ravelry projects to see what I was up to back then. I was suprised at how little I’d completed, then had to remind myself that at this point last year, I’d only been crocheting for 5 months.
To say I’ve learned a lot would therefore be something of an understatement. Not only is my tension more even, my projects more ambitious and my stash bigger (let’s not talk about how much bigger, exactly), but where I really think I’ve learned is in the theory side. This time last year, I was pootling away with patterns, fudging stitches and not really thinking too hard about what I was doing, really. But then in June, Darn it and Stitch opened, and my crochet world was turned upside-down. Before I really knew what I was saying, I volunteered to design patterns for the shop, and to teach some crochet classes. It’s been a whole new world of technical stuff, with pattern design, charts and more maths than I knew I could cope with. In terms of technical skills, I’ve learned shaping, cables, foundation stitches and colour changing, along with the mechanics of how a crochet pattern works.
And I’ve loved every minute of it. I taught a class on Saturday (Hi, guys, if you’re there!), and had such a good time. Yes, I’m still exhausted because only a muppet organises to teach a crochet class and visit the ideal home show in the week she starts a new job, but the buzz I get from teaching people to crochet can’t be beaten. The look on people’s faces when they finish their first ‘thing’ is priceless, and teaching has taught me a new set of skills in itself, as well as introducing me to some lovely people.
What really thrills me though, is that there’s still so much more to learn. Slip stitch crochet, Tunisian, Broomstick Lace, Hairpin lace, and that’s just scratching the surface. I want to learn how to grade designs for different sizes, how to make crochet charts that work, and how to make things that look as beautiful as the projects I see on Ravelry. I love that no matter how much I learn, there’s always more out there, and hopefully in another year, my list will be even longer.