It’s all about technique

Good morning and happy Saturday! This sure has been an odd summer. On my list of chores this weekend is mowing. Again. I have gotten used to not mowing for pretty much all of July and most of August for years because summers have been so hot and dry, and I do not water it when mother nature neglects to. This summer I have been mowing regularly every week, and sometimes twice a week, since I started in May. I have gone through twice the amount of gas as I used to at this point in the summer.

But enough about lawns. Yesterday a friend posed the following question on a Facebook group we are both members of.

What knitting technique holds no personal interest for you?

Responses included brioche, lace, magic loop, all the various forms of color work, mitered squares, arm knitting, machine knitting, miniature knitting, and Entrelac, which was my response, as well as several others. One person who also responded with Entrelac added “If you want to make something that’s ugly, just crochet instead.” I know that sounds harsh, but I basically agree with him. Yes, I am going on the record now and saying that I find the fabric that is produced by both techniques, for the most part, is visually unappealing to me.

There are exceptions. I have seen examples of both techniques, more so with Entrelac than crochet, that I think are absolutely stunning. Felted Entrelac is the first thing that comes to mind, but the knitted fabric, especially when it involves multiple colors, really doesn’t do it for me. Ditto for crochet, with my first and probably only exception being crocheted lace. However, I will go beyond “visually unappealing” when it comes to just about every other crocheted fabric and use the term ugly. This may be why I have never seriously learned to crochet, despite multiple attempts.

Now that I have probably pissed off everyone who does love to crochet or knit Entrelac, let me add this: I think the projects you make with those techniques are awesome, and I don’t feel at all hypocritical saying that. I may not personally find the fabrics produced by Entrelac or crochet attractive, but this only means I will likely never bother to learn those techniques and make anything myself. Other people do find them attractive, so they put the effort into learning those techniques and creating things with them, and they enjoy what they are doing and are proud of what they create. So tell me, how is that not awesome?

Clockwork – my favorite Stephen West pattern.

The early part of my knitting journey was peppered with projects I chose specifically because they involved techniques that I wasn’t familiar with, and those projects were generally small and relatively easy. I learned short rows through the men’s thong pattern on knitty and the very popular felted clog pattern by Fiber Trends. Knitting lace taught me a number of different increase and decrease methods, and I learned some interesting construction methods and different ways to manipulate color (particularly striping) through many of Stephen West’s earlier patterns. I don’t remember exactly what project I used to learn cables. It might have been a hat. I’m not sure. But whatever it was, I quickly developed a love for cables in my knitting. So much so that I often look for ways to work them into something if I can.

Here we are about a dozen years later and I’m still on that journey. There are still new things for me to learn and techniques I haven’t done (intarsia, for one). I’m sure I will also encounter other techniques that I will have no interest in too, but I won’t know what they are until my journey takes me there.

That’s it for this morning. Now, let’s get some discussion going here. Are there techniques have no appeal for you? What projects, if any, did you choose in order to learn a specific technique? I’d love to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “It’s all about technique”

  1. I hate with a passion knitting from charts which is why the Fair Isle hat I started over a year ago still has about 12 rows of chart knitting left but still sits in time out. I did however, make 2 Catkin shawls which are charted because I loved the design. That’s not to say I enjoyed it though. There may have been some swearing involved…ok, a LOT of swearing but they turned out to be beautiful shawls. I taught myself entrelac (sorry Aaron😉) when my first grandson was born so I could make him a cozy blankie. I wonder whatever happened to it. Maybe he didn’t like entrelac either!😂

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  2. Things that hold no appeal for me include arm and finger knitting, entrelac, projects that require bulky yarn, and any kind of “oversized” project. I do however love to knit lace, as the finished product is so lovely. Also I love cables for the same reason. I currently have a shawl in progress with a cabled border. I have tried intarsia a couple of times but I am not sure of my feelings for it. I will keep trying new techniques though, to make sure I’m learning new things.

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    1. Brioche, lace, and crochet do not appeal to me at all. I love cables, short rows, slip stitch patterns, garter stitch, and have done some entrelac in the past, I can’t say I love it. I have done a lot of machine knitting in the past, not recently though…and I love it for many reasons. Nowadays I lean towards small projects, as the bigger ones tend to get to about 90% and then …nothing! Something deeply telling about the knitters psyche here.

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