Upping My Knitting Game

If I had to choose a word to describe my knitting skills it would be mediocre.

I first learned to knit probably close to 20 years ago. It didn’t take long for me to get the hang of knitting and purling. I started out with basic garter stitch scarves. Since I live in a hot climate, scarves are of no use to me, but they made for quick projects as I learned the basics of knitting. Pretty soon I wanted to knit all the things and continued working on projects on a daily basis.

Eventually, I moved on to bigger projects, learning a few more skills like increasing and decreasing, as well as a variety of stitch patterns with just simply knitting and purling. But at some point there was an arrest of development. I stayed within my comfort zone, sticking with what I knew – the very bare basics – and not bothering to venture into unknown territory by learning more in depth knitting skills.

Remaining in my comfort zone is kind of my thing. I wouldn’t categorize it as my best character trait, but it’s part of who I am.

I’m not really sure why, but I stopped knitting for a while. Life happened, I guess – a serious illness I needed to deal with, a crappy job, getting laid off from the crappy job, finding a new job, COVID, getting laid off again (thanks to COVID), getting rehired, trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grow up (BTW, I’m 52 and still trying to figure that one out). Anyway, you get the picture, I stopped knitting.

Actually, now that I think about it, I did not completely stop. In 2018, I’d started a blanket using Purl Soho’s Super Easy Lap Blanket pattern and a ton of Lion Brand Wool-Ease that I had in my stash. That is pretty much the only knitting project I worked on – in an off-and-on fashion – until I finally finished it this year. And with the completion of that project, my love of knitting has been sparked once again. I’ve worked on several more projects this year and have decided it’s time to up my knitting game.

There are so many things that I don’t know or understand about knitting like the importance of gauge, knitting garments (something I REALLY want to learn), how to substitute yarns, how to fix mistakes like dropped stitches, how to read charts, understanding how to read a pattern properly.

These are just a few things I need to know if I want to become a better knitter. There’s so much more to learn and that’s my goal for the rest of this year and beyond – Become the best knitter possible.

Reviving Old-Fashioned Blogging

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

I miss the days of old-fashioned blogging. When Sunday mornings were spent sipping a cup of tea while sitting cross-legged on the couch catching up on whatever blog I was reading in those days. I loved the personal stories of whatever craft/knitting project a particular blogger was working on or the latest recipe someone tried for the first time.

The photography was stunning, less staged, more intimate and true to life. Not like some of the fake photo shoots that many Instagram influencers prescribe to these days.

In those days, everyone had become avid photographers, testing out their new DSLR cameras and various lens attachments, challenging themselves to create images that represented the stories they were sharing with the world.

I started blogging in the early 2000s. My subjects of choice were crafts and knitting. It was a fun, awkward, and experimental way to express myself. A way to connect with likeminded people. It was also a way to chronicle my life at that time and to grow as a human being.

But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. At some point, monetizing your blog became a thing. Online courses and blogging organizations and conventions cropped up. Everyone wanted to capitalize on their blogging hobby. And as a result, personal blogging became a thing of the past.

I lost interest in my blog. Sadly, I also lost interest in reading other blogs. With the rise of social media, people’s attention spans have decreased. They want information and they want it in small chunks. Personal blog posts can be as short as a quick paragraph to as long as a short story or a crazy manifesto. Many people just don’t want to take the time to connect anymore. So, I stopped posting to my blog and let it languish for years.

Lately, I’ve been feeling nostalgic for those days. Maybe it’s the current political climate. Maybe it’s the great divide going on in this country (the US) or being stuck in the house for months on end because of COVID. No matter what the cause, I’m feeling more and more compelled to start blogging again. Writing personal stories and keeping a record of what’s going on in my life, even the mundane stuff (honestly, much of it is mundane), is a cathartic way of expressing myself.

I think bringing back old-fashioned blogging is a good thing. There are still bloggers out there with personal blogs who share their stories with the world, making connections, maybe even making a difference in the lives of their readers by offering a few moments of escape from their hectic daily life to relax and unwind while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee or whatever tickles their fancy. Those are the blogs that I want to seek out.

My aim for A Cozy Yarn is to be an old-fashioned personal blog offering stories about the projects that I’m working on, the books that I’m reading, finding joy in the mundane, and just stories about life itself that I hope readers will enjoy.

Thank you for stopping by!