Sunday, December 19, 2010

Introducing the New Techniques 2011 KAL

* The New Techniques 2011 KAL Ravelry group is now available and going strong. Everyone is welcome! Feel free to join at any time during the year. *

Tonight while playing around with an idea for a knit coin purse, I started thinking about how reluctant I am to learn new knitting techniques. Yet once I take the time to figure it out or find the courage to ask for help, the technique usually turns out to be quite easy and incredibly helpful.

For example, I used to avoid patterns that involved short rows because I didn't understand how to wrap and turn. But once I was shown how to do it at my local yarn shop, it turned out to be fairly simple and opened up a whole new world of patterns I can now knit.

So I started thinking. I've been looking for a knit-along (KAL) to join in 2011 and haven't found one, so why not start one myself? I'm a little nervous no one will want to join, but I'm going to put it out there and see what happens.

My idea is each month we will learn a new technique of our own choosing to build our skills and confidence, and we'll share what we learn on our blogs and/or our Ravelry group. It will be up to each person to figure out how they are going to learn the technique (from a written tutorial, YouTube video, workshop, knitting friend, DVD, etc.) and you can use the new technique to knit whatever you want-- an accessory, clothing, toy, decoration, swatch or whatever.

I came up with a list of possibilities, but you can choose to learn any technique you want. Here are some ideas:

Picking up stitches
Magic Loop
Short Rows
Crocheted Edging
Stranded Knitting
Slip-Stitch Color Knitting
Fair Isle
Mattress Stitch
Kitchener Stitch
Knitting in the round
Continental Knitting
Provisional Cast-on
Picot Bind-off
Three Needle Bind-off
Knitting with Wire
Tunision Crochet
Duplicate Stitch

Would you like to join? I hope so!

Here are the loose guidelines for the KAL:

-The first week of each month, post to your blog and/or the Ravelry group the technique you have decided to learn.

-During the month, occasionally give an update with info such as where you learned the technique, how long it took you, challenges you faced, tips for others who want to learn it, etc. Post photos of your project if you want and any other details you care to share.

That's about it! The KAL will start in January and be open all year to anyone who wants to join at any time. And if you get busy and need to skip a month, that's perfectly okay.

12/19 Update #1: I created a group on Ravelry called New Techniques 2011 KAL . Feel free to go there and join the group!

12/20 Update #2: I woke up this morning and discovered that 32 people have joined the Ravelry group so far. That's wonderful!

12/21 Update #3 : We're up to almost 100 people on Ravelry. I'm so excited. Thank you to all who have joined!

12/23 Update #4: Please feel free to grab the button off my sidebar and link back to this post.


Theresa said...

Well, it sounds like a great idea but I would be kicked out right away:) Enjoy your week my friend! HUGS!

Tracey ~ Clover said...

I think this is a fantastic idea and I would love to join. Last year I challenged myself to learn three new skills: knit, start a blog and sew [still working on it]. I am tired of knitting the same four items. Learning new skills each month is just what I need to progress.

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

Sounds like a wonderful idea, Stacy! have fun with it!

Maiden Jane said...

What a fun idea! I'm not sure I will participate, but I will certainly read and enjoy the posts! (I'm still in a lace knit-a-long that is languishing.....)

Michelle said...

Sounds wonderful!! I will try, but can't guarantee I'll get to participate every month. College and homeschooling make a crazy busy life!

GerryART said...

Hey, Stacy, I'm ready for something like this.
Brilliant idea, gal.
I'm going to hop over to Rav right now, see you there.

Happy Holiday Stitches

Thimbleanna said...

Wow! That's a great group from Ravelry -- what a good idea to post it there. I'm looking forward to reading your new post every month!

Olly said...

Sounds like a brilliant idea Stacey. I'll join - although as I'm new to knitting - every stitch I do sees me learning a new technique:).

Dogwood said...

You are truly amazing!

Joshy and belle said...

this is a really good idea if i wasnt so short of time with sammy I would join! fliss xxx

Unknown said...

Wow that's a great response! Congrats.

Susan Gallacher-Turner said...

Great idea and sounds like fun, except I don't knit all that well. I can crochet, though, does that count?