Do you know that even though I teach knitting and write patterns I never feel like an expert?
As with most knitters, I am primarily self-taught, and that means that there is always a strong streak of imposter syndrome lurking in the background!
What I have discovered over the years though is that I am good at explaining things. I can take on information and techniques from lots of sources and organise it so that it makes sense to others. In fact, I love to do this! It means that I’m always trying to learn new things and figure out how I can incorporate them into my knitting.
And this also means that I get to share all of this information with you.
As a knitter, you might think that the learning from knitalongs is one-sided.
Over the years of doing regular KALs, I’ve learned just as much as I’ve shared. Sometimes it’s a technique, and other times it’s gaining insight into how people learn and read patterns.
My brain is very logical and sequential. This means that when I read a pattern, I will always assume that unless stated otherwise each step happens one after another.
When I’m doing a KAL, I get a much greater insight into how knitters are reading patterns. Something that is completely unambiguous in my mind can occasionally cause confusion.
Have you ever read a pattern and been totally confused as to what comes next?
This is because everyone learns differently and this extends right into pattern reading/learning. As a designer, I aim to be as accessible to as many different learning styles as possible.
This sometimes means that I veer in the direction of too much information. But one of my favourite phrases from my LLL (La Leche League) days is that not everything will suit you i.e.
Take what you need and leave the rest.
New to Me Techniques
Over the years KALs have also introduced me to new techniques. I LOVE that knitters share techniques that they find helpful with other knitters. Everyone is learning something new or get a kick out of teaching something to someone else. This is why I love knit-alongs so much.
This also allows me to learn something new :-)
Pull up a chair, it’s story time:
Many years ago we were all working on the Ravi KAL.
Have you knit it?
If not here the yoke is worked from side to side using short rows in garter stitch. At the time I had limited short row knowledge and I did a complex wrap and turn to hide the wraps.
A knitter on the KAL started talking about German Short rows and how perfect they were for garter stitch. I tested them out, and they have since become one of my favourite short row methods! In fact, when I redid the pattern in Nua yarn (Ravi Nua), I incorporated the German method because I loved it so much.
Let’s jump forward to our current Laminarus KAL. In our FB group, Kimmie Dee has been talking about the Icelandic Bind Off. I’ve heard it mentioned over the last few months and kept meaning to investigate further.
She showed how she used it for the edging on the body, to create a folded, almost I-cord edge on the garter stitch. I thought it was such a nice little bind off that I’ve gone and added a new video for it here:
So dear reader, my question to you is what have you learned on a KAL that you didn’t think you would? It’s sometimes a little surprising that the things we think we are going to learn are often overshadowed by finding a new favourite tip or technique.
Oh and don’t forget to come and join the chat in our group. You never know what you’ll learn 😉