Tuesday, 29 March 2011



Skills I've not learned in the past year - how to avoid accidentally deleting my blog post. Oops!

Start again…

I had a good think about this, what new skills have I learned in the last year of knitting. I was amused to note that actually I'm knitting exactly the same sock pattern now as I was at this time last year, Monkey by Cookie A.

That aside I feel I have developed a lot as a knitter over the last twelve months and have taken on some projects I would have shied away from this time last year including two large lace projects, my green shawl and my mother in law's pink scarf. I knew how to knit lace this time last year though, I just didn't do it much so hardly a +1up.

A skill that is new since last year is cabling without a cable needle, I'm pretty certain this time last year I'd have looked at you like you were crazy had you even suggested this to me. I wasn't very good at cables, I hadn't knit many of them and often found little ladders at the sides of them. I liked the look but actually knitting them was another matter entirely and I will admit I hated faffing with the cable needle but really didn't believe there could be another way for me. I then joined a KAL on ravelry for a mystery sock pattern by Cookie A. In the pattern notes she recommended cabling without a cable needle, ha I thought, not for me.

I got my cable needle out and started the project. After one round (yes the cables or rather twisted stitches) started on the FIRST ROUND of this pattern, a round which involved dropping my cable needle, muttering, cursing, pulling out and starting again, I decided to give this cabling without a needle a go. I'm so glad I did.

These were the socks from that first cable needle free experience and I still love them:

I don't think I'd have kept going past the first few rounds had I continued with my cable needle as there were twists on pretty much every round of the pattern. I've since knit more socks with tiny, twisty cables and once again didn't use a cable needle and once again was so glad I made the effort to learn this simple technique as it really is so much quicker.

knitting 257

I'm not saying I'm putting away my cable needles forever, for wider cables over quite a few stitches I will still use one but it has opened up a whole new stack of sock patterns for me to play with and I do love the look of tiny little twisty stitches.

As for how I want to develop as a knitter, my next +1up well there is a technique that still frightens me even though I know I shouldn't be frightened of knitting, the worst that can happen is I'll have to rip it out. Still I get into a panic when I think of it.


I'm determined though, I even bought wool in Edinburgh with stranded colourwork in mind, good, old fashioned, sticky wool which I was assured is excellent for colourwork (and I saw a lovely example in the shop) so I am going to give it a go this year and add that to my list of knitting techniques.


  1. I've got to learn this cabling without a needle technique. I can cable but I am SO slow. Your socks are just gorgeous, but I wouldn't want to do cables the traditional way -- it would take forever.

    I'm working on colorwork. I'm trying to hold one color in each hand. It works, but I'm awfully slow!

  2. I've never tried cabling, with or without a needle, or colourwork. I'm still just getting in to the stride of knitting again after a twenty something year break. I love both of those socks.

  3. I want to steal those green socks lol. I keep telling myself I don't need to learn to cable without a needle, but I think I really just fear dropping stitches...

  4. I've never tried cabling without a cable needle, it sounds to me like there could be a lot of dropped stitches! Do you have any top tips or a link to a How-To video?

  5. I just love love love your socks! Beautiful!

  6. I've not tried knitting without a cable needle, so maybe I need to give it a go! Those green cabled socks are brilliant! Colourwork is something else I'd like to improve too.

  7. your socks are great, I haven't done any cables this year and I miss them, lol, you have inspired my next project.

  8. Those pink socks are quite, quite beautiful :-)

  9. I'm really bad at cabling without a needle, unless it's just twisting a couple stitches, so you're awesome. Love the green socks, I think I spy them in your banner!

  10. I'm scared of colourwork too! Your socks are just beautiful.

  11. Your cables are so lovely! Colourwork is on my list to try this year as well and I admit to being more than a little unnerved by the thought of all that yarn being used at once.