In this project I have learned how to knit, I have explored a variety of methods, techniques and processes through self-directed learning. The most important aspect of this for me has been my process of learning through trial and error and the will to succeed in something which at first is very daunting. By challenging myself every day with demanding tasks has been very satisfying when looking back at my progress. I have learned the fundamentals in knitting such as, casting on, knit, purl and binding off. I have investigated different kind of stitches and then experimented with what became familiar. I have learned about the different kind of yarns and where they come from, different tools that can be used even though I stuck to the basics. How important it is to match correct size needles to yarn. I have learnt that to be a successful knitter you must have good concentration (I don’t) and lots of patients.
I never considered how complex a hobby such as knitting could be and the endless possibilities that could be created; I never considered how many different techniques and arrangements of knitting could be explored. Once beginning my research on the subject I soon felt very apprehensive and very much of a novice, I learned that the skill of knitting is not so much something that could easily be taught but is something that grows with age and is a maturing skill. I have struggled with reading knitting terminology and would love to be able to comprehend and grasp a good understanding of complex instructions from a book as I have heavily relied on internet tutorials throughout this project. Although they are easier to follow visually I have confused the English (right hand) method with the Continental (left hand) method as Youtube has posts from all over the world.
Throughout this project my learning journey has heavily relied on getting things wrong and simply learning from mistakes, as a way of self-improvement I have constantly used the method of trial and error. When learning these new skills I have not had direct support and help as I would have if I had chosen a specialism subject based in college. I had original intentions of attending a knitting collective or ‘stitch and bitch’ group but was unable to schedule it in around my work hours but feel I would have benefited from these as I have not conversed or compared with a fellow knitter, even for reassurance which I feel could have helped me push my project further in terms of skill.
I have learned that I have the will power to try something over and over again until I get it right, and when entwined in a project I work well independently, however project management and time keeping are not my strongest points when working alone as sometimes I find myself lost in research and find myself needing that extra support to help direct me in my next step. I don’t always start at the beginning and work consecutively, I tend to find myself wanting to jump straight to the end goal which is something I have struggled with in this project as I instantly began making things which I had no experience in. My first experimental creation was a small stuffed owl, I liked the idea of it but was not what the project was about as I needed to explore the step by step learning journey and skills involved when making something like that.
As I’ve come to the end of this exploration project I feel rather disappointed at the realisation that I have barely scratched the surface here. I have only accomplished knitting the simplest of swatches and would love to have enough time to produce a functional object of some sort, whether it be a form of clothing, blanket, or cuddly toy. I have learnt that knitting has many uses in our society and is an age old craft that will never die.