2008: The Year of Knitting Fearlessly

At the end of one of last year's posts, I added one of my favorite sayings: "Be a fearless knitter." That one little sentence prompted many of you to write in about the ways in which Knitting Daily had given you the courage to try new things, to try scary things, or even just to rip the same old thing in order to try to make it better the second time around.

Those letters got me to thinking. What if we looked back over the knitting we did last year, and then we each asked ourselves: Was the knitting I did the kind of knitting I REALLY wanted to do? Was I happy with the finished projects? Did the knitting end up looking as good as I'd hoped it would?

Did I, in fact, Knit Fearlessly?

Here's how I answered that question for myself: I tried cables, and found out I liked them. I started getting serious about knitting sweaters for myself, sweaters that were attractive and fit my real body instead of the body I imagined I had. I got brave enough to share my failures as well as my successes with you folks, and I learned more from doing that than I ever would have imagined. So, I guess I did OK…but I can also think of so many things I'd like to work on in my knitting. I'd like to do more designing. I'd like to do a challenging lace project. I'd like to experiment more with customizing sweaters for different body types.

So: That's me.

How about you? Did you Knit Fearlessly? What would you knit in 2008 if you were really the knitter you've always dreamed of being?

Here's some things to think about:

    • Is there something you haven't tried because it seems Too Scary?
    • Is there a technique you want to learn, or learn to do more skillfully?
    • Is there something that stumps you?
    • Is there something that you are dying to try, in your secret knitter's heart, but haven't dared because you think you're not a good enough knitter?
    • Are you always knitting The Same Old Things, and you'd like to try something new?
    • Do you always knit for others, and never for yourself? Or perhaps you only knit yourself accessories, but never a lovely cardigan or pullover to wear?

The magic of Knitting Daily is that we are all in this together, and if you have knitting dreams, maybe Knitting Daily can be a part of making htose come true. Let me know what your knitting hopes and schemes and wishes for 2008 are, and together we can make 2008 the best knitting year ever.

Free Pattern! The Cecily Beanie

A Cute, Quick, (and Free!) New Year's Project!

I've started my spring cleaning a bit early this year, and over the holidays I re-discovered a box of my grandmother's vintage buttons—all sizes, all shapes, all colors. There's aren't many that match, so I've always wondered what I might do with them. When I saw the pattern for the Cecily Beanie in Knitting Little Luxuries, I was delighted to find such a clever melding of the old and the new…a perfect way to bring the best of the past forward into the new year! Cecily Beanie is our very first featured free pattern of 2008, with all our wishes for a great knitting year ahead.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I'm almost done with the cable on the front of the Gathered Pullover. I did not finish my husband's pullover in time for Christmas (oh well), but I did finish the hood and am halfway done with the sleeves.

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


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264 thoughts on “2008: The Year of Knitting Fearlessly

  1. This year i’m going to make something that isn’t flat, isn’t a hat, and isn’t just garter or stockinette. I’ve got a knitting group now, so the moral (and material) support should help, and my hubby gave me a gift card to my LYS so I think a class might be in order too!

  2. I have a dream of knitting beautiful things that are colorful with even floats and clean seaming. My other goal is to knit one item for charity for every one item I knit for myself/my family/friends. I will actively try to join a knitting group so I can learn more and be inspired by the energy of other people who “speak my language.”

  3. 2007 was a great year! I finished more projects than I ever had before and tried several new things: Felting ( I became addicted and made a vest, 4 bags, 4 sets of slippers and an Ipod case), socks, socks and more socks, a shawl made from a dreamy alpaca, and my favorite thing in 2007 – learning to spin. Now I am addicted to that as well as knitting! 2008 will be a year of fearlessly adapting projects to use my handspun yarn – its going to be a great year!

  4. I did not try socks in 2007 because I thought it would be to hard to work with double point needles, know “turn” a heel and pick up stitches. However, during this year I made a toy dragon from “Knitty” where I learned how to turn the needles to create lumps and bumps in the fabric. I decided to make a pair of gloves for myself, and learned how to use dpn’s and worked on a blanket where I learned to pick up stitches. None of these new techniques I learned were difficult. Without realizing it until just a week ago, I learned all of the skills I need to make socks. So this year, I will make myself a pair of socks with excitement rather than with the fear of failure.

  5. Not exactly knitting fearlessly, yet – but thanks to Knitting Daily I was able to make a sweater fit! I received a beautiful sweater for Christmas – not hand knitted, it was from a department store. The sweater fit kind of ok, but to me was a bit snug, especially at the hips.So using what I learned from Knitting Daily, I blocked it and was able to loosen it up just enough that it skims my hips and no longer clings to them! Who knew!

    Linda W

  6. This is the year I will make that first pair of socks. DPN’s have intimidated me but I am finding I like circs. I bought a kit from Knit Picks and I am going to try them this year.

  7. I threw caution to the wind and made my first Cat Bordhi moibus/mobius/whatever scarf, and it came out so well I knitted it FIVE MORE TIMES for special Christmas presents! the first two times for the intriguing cast-on technique required all animals and one husband to stay outdoors for total quite and concentration by me indoors. And it worked!! Other projects included a Kiri scarf (very stressful since I was knitting with a yarn which felt like cobwebs) and many other scarves and hats. This year I would love to learn how to knit with beads. Finding the right beads for the correct yarn is quite a challenge. Any assistance from your avid, adventuresome knitters out there will be gratefully appreciated. Happy skeins to all!

  8. I started knitting in July after a 25+ year absence. Before that, I only knit about a year and only did ST st. During the week of Christmas, I knitted the Hemlock Ring blanket at Brooklyn Tweed. I was pretty impressed with myself. What the heck. So no, I figure, I can knit anything and have had that attitude since coming back to knitting this year. I did not have that attitude before. So, my next hoped for different project is a fairisle sweater. 🙂

  9. Honestly, I learned a lot last year. This year, though, I want to go one step further, and mess with my mindset, too. I need to stop thinking of frogged knitting as wasted time, and instead think of it as learning from my mistakes. I need to stop thinking that the patterns I have or will design all must be offered free all the time because none of them are worthy of being submitted for publication and/or sold on my website. I also need to avoid talking technique with people because I’m afraid I don’t “know enough”. I also need to stop shying away from patterns because they confuse the crap out of me upon first look, because everyone knows that things have a way of seeming much more clear with yarn and needles in hand.

    Here’s to 2008.

  10. I also learned how to spin in the latter part of 2007, and I’ve already cast on and am knitting a sock out of my very own handspun. I feel so empowered now!
    Also this year, I am going to take the plunge and knit a pullover for my sis and modify the pattern to her tastes. I’m also wanting to knit myself a cardigan from the neck down with no seams. Seems scary but I will prevail!! It’s time to learn new knitting skills!

  11. You are all inspiring! This year I am going to learn to knit Continental (holding yarn in left hand)as I am sure it will give my fingers wings and save enough time to knit more socks. I love socks!

  12. I have yet to try knitting in the round despite wanting to make hats and sweaters!
    My goals for knitting this year are:
    to learn to knit in the round.
    Actually try cables.(I know how just haven’t done it yet.)
    Knit with tiny needles. 🙂
    Make a knit stuffed toy.

    I have goals for all of the things I can do and feel it’s good to set them so you have something to accomplish!
    Last year I wrote my own crochet patterns! This year knitting in the round! And Perhaps next year writing my own knitting patterns!

  13. Hi Sandy: Funny that you are thinking this way. I also have decided that 2008 will be my year of knitting fearlessly. I am going to knit a sweater with steeks. Not only with steeks, but with a snowflake pattern that magically works without appearing to break over the join for the sleeves. I will need help figuring out the pattern (a real beauty from Schoolhouse Press with all the percentages of chest-to-waist,that EZ’s progeny are famous for) but I know that I can do it. Here’s to an adventurous ’08!

  14. I fearlessly learned to use DPNs, not for socks, but hats and sweater ornaments. For an all-thumbs knitter, that was a lot. To be truly fearless, I’d have to let go of my knitting looms and fully embrace all that needle knitting has to offer. Dare I jump?!

  15. I have learned many new techniques for knitting in the last year.

    > mobius
    > beaded
    > knitting with wire
    > illusion knitting (even wrote some of my own patterns)
    > entrelac
    > felted bags (even designed two of my own)

    I have found that I am very comfortable in my knitting.

    One of the things that I want to do is to learn more techniques in crochet. Such as

    > illusion crochet
    > entrelac crochet
    > as well as more designs in crochet.

    My other hope is that knitters and crocheters will get along in 2008 and beyond. I love both crafts for various reasons and hope to see more up-to-date fashions and other fun stuff with with both needle arts.


  16. It’s true, although I succeeded with my first entrelac project this year (a beautiful Noro scarf) I continued to avoid knitting a sweater. I get really caught up in possibility that I’ll put in ALL THAT EFFORT and that it won’t fit me nicely . . . that’s usually during the first few inches. This year, I will fearlessly KNIT MY FIRST SWEATER!! thanks so much, Sandi, for the encouragement.

  17. Fearless knitting, eh? In 30 years of knitting, I’ve only made myself three things and one of ’em is missing. The first was a sweater that cause me to itch badly (it was back in the 80s with less than quality mohair), the second thing was the Sunsport Shawl (I still have it, but who knew that cashmere was so sensitive?) and a pair of socks which I only made to get rid of the yarn.

    So I BEGGED for the fair isle sweater kit ? equipped with a pattern book for the sweater and socks and 50 skeins of yarn! I got the kit & started right in on the pattern. Did about 50 rows of about 450 rows and put it down. And there the story ends in Dec. 2006.

    Because of the amount of time, concentration and my intense fear of steeking (seriously) it may never get done. My method of operation for dealing with steek fear is to pinch the yarn of off the big project and make other stuff (socks, layette sets, gloves, etc.).

    I need moral support for my issues with making vs. not making the sweater:

    1) by the time I’m finished with it, I’ll be too fat to wear it so what’s the point? 2) what if I just use some of the yarn to make a little sweater and give that to someone else? 3) honestly, what’s wrong with stripes?

    Am I destined never to make anything for myself? Was I just sucked in by the pattern and all the pretty colors?

    But for real – steeking? Is there therapy for steek fear?

  18. 2007 was good for trying new techniques and skills. Tried entrelac, lace shawls, lace mitts, gloves, and knit a sweater with over 2000 beads in it!! This year I plan to try designing my own patterns snd knitting 2 socks together on circs. Always a new challenge – that’s what makes it fun! Happy New Year to everyone.

  19. Fearless knitting, eh? In 30 years of knitting, I’ve only made myself three things and one of ’em is missing. The first was a sweater that cause me to itch badly (it was back in the 80s with less than quality mohair), the second thing was the Sunsport Shawl (I still have it, but who knew that cashmere was so sensitive?) and a pair of socks which I only made to get rid of the yarn.

    So I BEGGED for the fair isle sweater kit ? equipped with a pattern book for the sweater and socks and 50 skeins of yarn! I got the kit & started right in on the pattern. Did about 50 rows of about 450 rows and put it down. And there the story ends in Dec. 2006.

    Because of the amount of time, concentration and my intense fear of steeking (seriously) it may never get done. My method of operation for dealing with steek fear is to pinch the yarn of off the big project and make other stuff (socks, layette sets, gloves, etc.).

    I need moral support for my issues with making vs. not making the sweater:

    1) by the time I’m finished with it, I’ll be too fat to wear it so what’s the point? 2) what if I just use some of the yarn to make a little sweater and give that to someone else? 3) honestly, what’s wrong with stripes?

    Am I destined never to make anything for myself? Was I just sucked in by the pattern and all the pretty colors?

    But for real – steeking? Is there therapy for steek fear?

  20. i tried to be fearless knitter in 2007. i taught myself to knit last january and since then i have knit, socks, cables, lace, my first fair isle project and a sweater i designed for myself!

    in 2008 i want to knit some fantastic old school argyle socks! intarsia, here i come!

  21. Great question. Last year I found myself dismissing many patterns because there was one feature or detail that I didn’t like and then I would see that someone had knitted the sweater with modifications and I would think wow! I want to able to modify a collar or a sleeve or really be more observant when looking at designs. What options does one have with a boat neck for instance? I really dislike boat neck sweaters. Just don’t like the way they feel. That’s my big thing this year.

  22. I was taught to knit 58 years ago by a very wise Aunt Rachel. After knitting a small pot holder, my first project was mittens with a cable up the back knit on 4 double pointed needles. After that she told me I could knit anything I wanted to and I believed her. What a wise woman to let me think I could knit anything. Too often we start people such simple projects which make them think they can?t do more. I like to let new knitters pick almost anything they want to try right at first.

  23. I’ve been knitting for 2 years, and think I made good progress in 2007: lace knitting, trying several new, more complicated patterns, and learning finishing techniques. I’ve also joined a knitting group at my church and we’ve completed a couple of projects together too.

    Two things I want to achieve this year: to make myself a sweater (I just bought the yarn and pattern over the holidays, so here I go…) and cables.

    BTW, I love Marilyn B.’s philosophy! For so long, all I thought I could do was scarves…

  24. In 2008 I would love to knit a Norwegian Olympic Sweater where you steek. Have never had the guts to knit and then cut apart. I knit a Dale baby sweater once and figured out how to knit it without steeking but would like to be a little fearless this year.

  25. My biggest fear is seaming — I want to take a seaming class in 2008 so that I can fearlessly knit something complicated and in pieces, like, for example, Oblique!

  26. 2007 was the year I actually felt entitled to call myself a knitter. I finished my first pullover sweater and just at the very end of the year I finished my first cardigan. But the moment I knew I was actually a KNITTER was when I found myself looking at a pattern in a magazine and noting what I would keep and what I would alter in the pattern. What a eureka moment. I was thinking outside the confines of the written pattern! I started 2008 trying to teach myself Fair Isle knitting and it is working out, albeit only on a scrap piece of nothing that I am using only to practice. My dream projects would be a reindeer sweater with Fair Isle highlights and argyle socks. I would also like to get into some lace knitting, but that’s way off in the distance. First, I have to knit a cardigan for my Dad. He asked for it about 2 years ago, and I think 2008 will be the year he gets it.

  27. I love how encouraging and supportive KD is! And it’s great to hear so many of us vowing to push the fear aside and really challenge ourselves in our knitting.
    Like Amy M I came back to knitting last year, after more than 25 years (and I have a daughter called Amy, so “Hi!”).

    I felt like most of 2007 was spent knitting fearlessly – everything was new. But I had my most productive craft year ever. And now I’m pretty much willing to give anything a go. I’m absolutely obsessed with lace – 3 shawls done already and another 3 on the needles – but this year I really really REALLY want to learn how to knit socks.

    And Sandi – THANKYOU! Because my most satisfying project in 2007 was definitely your Summer Lace Shawlette. I loved every single moment working on it. Even the couple of small mistakes I made – I really enjoyed fixing them, because I knew I was learning. And the end result? Absolutely gorgeous, and just adorable to wear. I get compliments every time I wear it. 🙂

  28. My biggest issue is spinning up yarns, then knitting with commercial yarn, old and new. A classic example is the Caspian Sea Socks. I get the pattern, I know just what yarn I want to spin for them and I spend the winter spindle spinning it all up. Then I work on something else! I must have a fear of using my own handspun. I’ve also got the 2001 Spin-Off Anniversary sweater in my queue.

    I get lazy about design, preferring to use other patterns than make up my own.

    On a positive note, I’m all but done with the Icelandic lace shawl (Thordis) and I’m loving it. It’s commercial yarn, but I dyed mini-skeins from the guild dye garden flowers. It was wonderful travel knitting for the holidays, lightweight and more knitting to do than socks.

  29. Ladies, I wish you each live down the block from me, after knitting some 45 yrs…I thought I’d captured it all and then some..well for fearless knitting I capture knitting a pair of socks on circle needles as well toe up..the more you learn the more fun there is at what you can accomplish. Being somewhat bored with the plain and simple I am renewing my love of cables, with Alice Staremore Aran for my son’s ’50’ birthday.
    Take classes,ask questions,try, try soon you will be so full of pleasure at what you have accomplished.

  30. I have learned that I love the challenge of knitting lace, though my husband suggested I stop knitting for awhile during my last “challenge”, the Flower Basket Shawl. And, I want to challenge myself with more complex sock patterns…I have a list of patterns to try.
    Reading knitting blogs makes me a more fearless knitter. It makes me realize that even the best knitters make bone-headed mistakes! I’m not hopeless!

  31. I haven’t liked all the projects I’ve done in the past. I look at other people’s projects and think that mine were blah! I frogged too many projects in 2007, so in 2008, I’d like to actually finish more projects. I’d like to make more projects that I’m happy with. There’s not really anything I won’t attempt, so that isn’t a problem. My problem is the finishing. And it’s not that I start too many projects either. I just never finish the ones I start. That being said, I plan on learning fair-isle, as well as practicing cables.

  32. Re the Cecily Beanie: The young girls are wearing this kind of beanie with a standout brim on it.
    Since the 1970s, I have tried to take a picture of everything I make. Now it is easy with digital cameras. It is fun to go through the pictures to see all the things I forgot I’d made through the years.

  33. Just last week, I posted on my blog that I wasn’t going to be afraid to try new techniques! I admit, I’m fearful of knitting things that aren’t one piece. The idea of knitting a front, back, and sleeves of a sweater really scares me.

  34. Knitting Fearlessly.
    You have summed it up expertly! I have been translating my Great Aunt’s knitting journals. Most of her patterns are really her notes, so I have had to make some serious leaps of faith. Written for an expert knitter, the patterns are engineering marvels. Booties, Hats and Sweaters that require almost no sewing becuase the shapes are engineered into the knit work. If I had one comment to make about myself Knitting Fearlessly, it would be that there are SO MANY modern patterns out there that I would love to try. But for now, working on my Great Aunt’s journals is a labor of love that I am enjoying fearlessly!

  35. Wow! Knitting fearlessly, going where no knitter has gone before – well, maybe not that fearless. For starters, it’s not knitting but I’m submitting a comment. I want to experiment with lace. I have a collection of patterns, but haven’t gone there yet. I also want to make something for myself. Other than some felted bags, scarves, things like that, I give everything away. I love cables and perhaps can learn more of them and be more adventurous in their use. What fun to think of the possibilities.

  36. I did a lot of fearless knitting in 2007. Sometimes fearless to the point of lunacy. Got myself in way over my head on more than one occasion but I learned something every time. I plan to do more of the same in 2008. Hopefully, this year will bring more knitting successes than failures!

  37. In addition to what I already posted, I hope to finally make a cardigan for myself. I’m also going to learn to weave and I’m learning to loom knit.

    In 2007, I did my first colorwork project and I learned tunisian crochet.

  38. I’ve learned to knit through books. I’ve been knitting for 24 years and have tackled everything with the help of books written by experienced experts. I have the car washing rags to prove it! I think I do pretty well considering. 2007 broght me the adventure of desiging sweaters by myself. I know for everything I know, there are thousands of things I don’t. I have every book and article (I think!) on how to knit socks and still can’t seem to even get a good cast on. I NEED VIDEO! I tend to make for others. This year I actually started (they are still UFO’s) 2 sweaters for myself. 2008 will get ’em done! I’ve been fearless in admitting it’s a true affliction not to be able to walk by a knitting magazine and not buy it nor just window shop in the yarn isle. My tote’s runneth over and I still buy more! I’m sure there is a support group for this affliction but I really don’t want to join! I’m hoping in 2008 to stretch myself more and finish, at the very least, those 2 UFO sweaters for myself and find someone to show me how to or a truly good (free) video on how to knit a sock!

  39. Sandi,
    Knitting daily has inspired me to knit a sweater for me this year. Yes, one that really does fit. I love the hoodie and will probably be knitting one for me. Thank you for all your encouragment to forge ahead on this wonderful new year, one of new beginnings. Happy New Year to all!!! May health and happiness be yours.


  40. The thing that I want to knit in 2008 is a saddle pad. It would not be an ordinary pad but would be an arty saddle pad. No one else would have one!
    Paula Wojasinski

  41. After my mom died i found a a closet filled with sock UFOs–they were in all sizes, gauges, and too many of them in acrylic yarn. But their common thread (so to speak) was the use of double pointed needles. The mechanics of these flimsy constructs were so scary to me that…i carefully removed the yarn from needles and boxed needles and yarn separately. Ten years have passed. Now I knit daily, and socks on double points are an emerging passion. 2007, my year of knitting fearlessly, gave a dozen family and friends wonderful socks–no two of which were exactly the same!

  42. Hi Sandi, Happy New Year! And thanks for your wonderful knitting daily! You have inspired me, made me laugh, and gave me courage to try some new things. Having started knitting when I retired about 3 years ago, I am really kind of new to this addiction. I think I am somewhat of a fearless knitter. New things I tried in 2007: knitting my first sweater, designing a cabled sweater, colorwork on tomato sweater. Next year I would love to make the beautiful Hedgerow coat from the fall issue of Interweave Knits

  43. I love the idea of knitting fearlessly — I would like to live fearlessly. My knitting goals for this year? I would like to learn seaming — I currently can knit complex patterns but am stymied by seaming. Consequently, I knit socks, mittens, hats, flat pieces, and seamless sweaters. I would like to expand that.

  44. I’ve got a few terrors lurking out there. My main failing is that I am really a slow knitter, for a couple of reasons. Because of pain I can’t knit for long. I am self taught, and learning after 50 precludes a certain speed that comes with knowing this a younger age. I am also left handed, but knit right handed, and that slows me.
    So I’m starting this year by finishing that pair of socks that’s been a lurking UFO.
    Then I have already cast on a lacy scarf to do left handed.
    My two big hurdles are an Alice Starmore-like pullover with 24 colors, and then a huge honking cable sweater to live in.
    A sister wants some fingerless gloves, and I may do those for the rest of the family as well.
    Also up on deck in a double stitched-floral pattern pullover.
    Oh, and yeah, that floral felted chair cover.
    oops, best get knitting!

  45. I faced my fear of felting this year, but in the geeky way of having to make swatches, measure the results, try to predict the final outcome, and then still get surprises. I love the Knitting Daily galleries where sweaters are modeled on different bodies; I still have a fear of making something that will end up not being right for the flat-chested pear-shaped gal that I am. I stick to basic shapes with wild colors and patterns to disguise it all, and then feel to shy to wear the gaudy sweater! Nonetheless, what I would REALLY like to see are more multi-color, multi-yarn, modular funky-colored things that let me go nuts with my sparklies, mohairs, silky wools, and other fibers that I like to combine. I tried modular knitting this year and it turned out better than I expected (along the lines of the stuff in “Dazzling Knits.”) That has me addicted to making tesselated knitting shapes, but other than Kaffe Fasset’s intarsia, there is little inspiration or example out there! I find myself coloring designs on graph paper with my daughter’s markers, and then trying to work up the patterns into knitting. Surely I’m reinventing the wheel… are there other modular multi-yarn knitters out there?

  46. Knitting Fearlessly – it’s a great goal! I’d say I knit ambitiously and experimentally (very scared of colourwork though). My mom was one of those people who could knit socks with her eyes closed, so for years I sewed instead…tried knitting in the ’80s but it didn’t stick, and then a couple of years ago I started felting (fearlessly, ‘cos a handbag didn’t have to fit) and have now made some sweaters THAT FIT (yay) for me and bunches of funky hats for other people.
    I love circular needles and even dpn’s (was scared of those last year) and have become a fan of raglans since I have figured out how to make them fit.
    I don’t think I’ll ever be a dedicated sock or lace knitter, but you never know…next big design project in my head is a ‘pretty’ skirt, kinda flare mixed with a-line – if it works out I will put it on ravelry,
    happy new year,
    Pat in Ottawa

  47. I picked up knitting 6 years ago while living in Japan. Using visuals and a basic knowledge of Japanese, I figured out how to knit and purl from those wonderfully visual graphics in the Japanese books.

    I guess, because I learned under such ambitious circumstances, I’ve always been a bit of a fearless knitter. From the very beginning I began tackling cables and double pointed needles and even making my own patterns.

    I strayed from knitting for a while into the land of crochet. I am obsessed with crochetting lace.

    This year I taught myself fair isle knitting and lace knitting. I also knitted my first socks from the toe up. this year I plan on advancing my skills by learning more technique and designing more of my own patterns.

  48. I’ve learned a lot in the last year and there are many techniques/goals I’d like to learn or continue with: reading and knitting from cable charts so I can knit the Elsebeth Lavold sweater I love; not using crap yarn (I went onto knitting victory in the Olympics, love the sweater style, but hate the finished product for its pills and slightly too big size-I will reknit it for a better fit with better yarn); knit from stash, for charity, and for gifts throughout the year as well as for me; tackle different sock methods; try my hand at designing an afghan; and lastly, well, lace really isn’t hard, it just may not as portable and may require a wee bit more concentration. And I do have a skein of laceweight waiting…
    Thanks for being cuch a strong source of education and inspiration. I’m grateful for all I’ve received from my knitting community, local and online.

  49. My grandson was born 10/06..beginning of 2007 I ran out found some wonderful yarn ands the store recommended a particular pattern, I have started and restarted many times, I want to “finish” a sweater before Christopher goes to “college”. I really hope to gain confidence in myself, be less critical and just finish something other than “dishcloths and afgans” in 2008.

  50. I struggle with getting the correct gauge. Although I reduce my needle size to get the correct number of stitches per inch, I still have trouble with number of rows. I’d love to hear some advice. Thanks, Barbara R

  51. I spent more time knitting had more FO than any other year. I knit many things for myself prompting my husband to ask “another sweater for YOU?” i guess he thought i should spread the proliferation around!
    I did challenge myself trying knitting socks on two circulars and picking some more challenging patterns (like Eunny Jang’s Tangled Yoke). This year i want to experiment more with customizing patterns for my body (more voluptuous than the models and dimensions), maybe incorporating short rows in the front chest area?? Sandi, I would love to see you offer more advice on this topic.
    I also discovered many beautiful yarns and have gotten better at selecting the colors and textures to spotlight the item.
    Happy New Year everyone and, here’s to another year of fun knitting.

  52. I learned to knit from my mother at age 12. One of my first projects was a pair of socks for my grandpa. There were three socks in the pair, all of them a different size. I had not made a pair of socks since then. Just last month a friend gave me a book, ‘Knit Christmas Stockings. I was so excited about the book, I picked up the first yarn I saw, which was tan and blue (not quite Christmas stocking fare) and started knitting. They ended up perfect for a snuggly cold-evening footie slipper. And, they were both the same size!! I am ready this year to make a real pair of socks.

  53. This may seem like a kind of weird goal for 2008, but mine is to discover the best way to weave in all those yarns tails at the end of a project, especially fair isle ones. I would LOVE to have you do a series on the proper techniques for weaving in tails for different styles of knitting in order to end up with a finished project that I am just as proud to have folks see the wrong side of as I am the right side. Video demonstrations of various techniques and when to use them would be outstanding!
    Kay E.

  54. I’m a really new knitter, but I’d like to think I have been knitting pretty fearlessly. I like cables, have tackled socks, and even knit my husband flip-top mittens at 9 stitches per inch! But, there are two things I REALLY want to try this coming year: spinning and fair isle. I’ve got a spinning wheel, and almost 3 sheep’s worth of wool, books from the library and books I’ve bought, but I just haven’t done it yet. Similar story with fair isle. I have a pattern and yarn, I just need to get started! So, I guess my goal is to be more of a go-getter knitter in 2008- to GO and GET working on spinning and fair isle! Hear, hear!

  55. I’m with Marilyn B. I’ve never understood why anyone would be afraid of any aspect of knitting. It’s not brain surgery! It’s just knitting! What’s the worst that could happen? My mom taught me to knit when I was 17 and my first project was a cardigan. I’m sure if I looked at it today I would see it wasn’t perfect but at the time I thought it was beautiful. You can’t get better without practice and you’ll learn a lot from your mistakes. Just do it!

  56. If I were to knit fearlessly, it would be free-form, no-pattern, usable projects (art doesn’t count). When we moved out of the city, I learned free-form cooking, which I had actually feared for years. I want to be able to have a knitting project in my mind’s eye, pick up needles and yarn, and knit away… I love the look of Prudence Mapstone’s work, and my dream is to be able to do that kind of project in one piece.

    BTW, it’s great to have you back in my email-box, Sandi. I missed ya!

  57. I expanded my repertoire of knitting techniques in 2007 – I no longer take patterns that have such things as “purl tbl” and lace patterns out of consideration. I practiced my newly-learned techniques on baby gifts (they’re smaller and have a faster gratification!). But I didn’t make one knitted thing for myself! So this year I am vowing to make at least one sweater for myself, inbetween the gifts for others, and learn even more advanced techniques.

  58. I’ve been knitting for 48 of my 55 years, and never thought about whether or not I was ‘fearless’. However, this year I am diving into new territory, having decided to make an Alpine-style pullover with EZ’s seamless percentage approach. And I’m knitting a funky shaped jacket in Noro’s ‘Silk Garden’. I dislike intarsia intensely, but would like to learn entrelac. However, I think I’d need a ‘hands-on’ class to get it right!

  59. Michelle D.,

    You can find some good basic videos (I’ve found them very helpful just to see what a good tension should look like) on KnittingHelp.com

    Sandi–good to hear your voice again! The Year of Knitting Fearlessly 2007 brought a gansy sweater for my husband (which I will fearlessly sew up with the help of a friend), felted slippers, a scarf developed by my daughter and me, and persevering through the heart sachet pattern when everyone in my LYS had given up on it!

    Very grateful to Knitting Daily and the inspiration it provides. I hope my upcoming Year of Knitting Fearlessly contains a good run at depleting my stash (with the help of a 2008 Year of the Stash KAL at KnittingHelp.com), some mittens to cover my gloves when it’s below zero, and perhaps the beginning of knitting my dream sweater: the cover sweater from the Green Mountain Spinnery knitting book. Oh, and steeks intrigue me–I think I’m beginning to think fearlessly, too!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  60. 2007 is the year i learned to knit and to like knitting. I have crocheted for much of my life, but never successfully knitted anything. i joined the mystery shawl 3 and was challendged by lace knitting and I LOVED IT!! I finished the shawl (i think it’s beautiful) and am now working on CPHoodie – which i think is going to be my favorite sweater. In 2008 i plan on wearing my CPHoodie (around march or april, i think) and i wonder what will capture my imagination next and challenge me to create something out of string. (it’s magic!)

  61. Last year, I knit my first ever sweater (a purple cabled one of my own design – let’s just say that it was an interesting experience). Because of this, I am proud to say that I was, in fact, a Fearless Knitter. I’ve been knitting for seven years (ever since I taught myself to knit when I was ten), and this sweater is the largest project I have ever accomplished – it outstrips my 2006 poncho by at least three hundred stitches. In 2008, I want to knit something neat that I really don’t need (like the “Police Line – Do Not Cross” knitted scarf I saw in Craftzine a few months back or one of those ridiculously cool Norah Gaughan designs). Well, I can’t wait to see what Knitting Daily has in store for 2008! Cheerio!

  62. Hi Sandi,

    Thanks for the thought provoking question. It’s helped me really think about what I’ve accomplished and where I want to go next.

    2007 was a physical challenge for me. I have to have basel thumb joint surgery on my right hand. I’m left handed and have had that joint replaced already. But I kept on knitting! I made sweaters and hats for our 3 grandchildren, several scarves, a cardigan for myself and felted bags for friends. Now I’m working on 2 hats to match my new ski jacket. In my Fearless Knitting dreams I’m knitting with beautiful cashmere and learning to do color work. Or trying to recreate the gossamer shawl I saw in Ireland. I might try lace but it’s scary. And I want to do more cables. Maybe I’ll do another sweater for my husband if he’s good.

  63. steeking. i have knit for myself before (admittedly it was 20 years ago, but i did get some good use out of that sweater) but mostly for others now.

    the big scary? definitely steeking. just the thought of cutting into my precious knitting scares the pee out of me! (although, i made a dolman sweater for my SIL (out of redheart, eek!) 20 years ago, and the sleeves were too long, so i just cut the sleeves off, and knit new ribbing for the cuffs. wheeee! didn’t even know it was steeking!)

  64. I have to admit that I have been terrified of altering patterns. So, before I started knitting the Bonbon Pullover I decided i would do it in the round (because I think side seams are bulky and un-seamly). However, I’m am fast approaching the armholes and realizing that I might have to sew just in the armpits of the sweater. Is there anyway to avoid having bulky seams in the underarm area (ie, some way of decreasing and joining all of the pieces at the same time? Thanks!

  65. Comment to Paula W regarding her wanting to knit a saddle pad. What a great idea. How would you go about doing one? Do you have pattern you could share? My sister-in-law has a horse that she is totally committed to and I would love to knit her a pad as a gift. Any help/items/suggestions you could give me I would really appreciate.

    Izzie T.

  66. 2007 was the year I learned to purl, moss stitch and fell in love with cables so I think I did pretty well on the fearless front. This year I will finish the viking inspired cable sweater I’m doing then I’d like to do an Arran and maybe try knitting with colours that aren’t all in the yarn if time permits.

  67. My knitting friend, Teresa, gave me a wonderful personalized knitting journal for Christmas. I wish I could show you a picture it is great!

    Anyhow, because of this gift, I have had fun recording the items I knitted this past year – several felted bags & bowls, slippers, a scarf and one chunky yarn sweater. Twelve items in all – not bad for my first year of knitting anything beyond a fun fur scarf! YEAH! I also made a list of the projects I would like to try for 2008. I love trying new things and expanding my skills beyond just knit and purl. So this year I want to try a detailed knitted sweater with crocheted trim and I also would like to knit an entrelac felted bag. I guess I am a fearless knitter – I’ll try anything once just to learn how!

  68. this year in 2008 I want to learn how to upgrade my knitting techniques. For example I want to learn how to use short rows for decreasing shoulder seams, learn how to make more visually pleasing buttonholes, and better looking increases and decreases in projects. Using more advanced methods that provide neater/better results. You put so many hours of labour and love into your work – so to be happy with the result by tweaking your craftwomanship is my goal for 2008.
    Rebecca W/Jan.3,2008

  69. this year in 2008 I want to learn how to upgrade my knitting techniques. For example I want to learn how to use short rows for decreasing shoulder seams, learn how to make more visually pleasing buttonholes, and better looking increases and decreases in projects. Using more advanced methods that provide neater/better results. You put so many hours of labour and love into your work – so to be happy with the result by tweaking your craftwomanship is my goal for 2008.
    Rebecca W/Jan.3,2008

  70. I’d love to try something new, but have only gotten back into knitting recently. I’ve found I’m having a little trouble with some techniques because some processes aren’t described or have an illustration in the pattern.

  71. This year, my plan is to find projects using techniques I’ve never used before. I’m planning on making the Ivy League Vest from the Winter 2007 Interweave Knits.

    Mostly, I want to make more projects for myself and start making toys. I’m a big kid so not only can toys be for decorating, but they’re also fun to play with.

  72. I only started knitting “seriously” in September 2007, although I had been knitting squares for an afghan and socks every now and then before and I did my first knitting 15 years ago when I was ten. But now I discovered all the free patterns and resources on the internet and I’m really much more into knitting than I ever was. My biggest project in 2007 were a pair of flip-top mittens that I just finished yesterday – now I pretty much feel ready to tackle sweaters. I also used circulars for the first time in 2007. So far I have only done smaller things like socks, hats and the like, because they don’t need that much yarn and are therefore more affordable. So my goal is dare to afford all the yarn for a sweater and go for it!

  73. I’ve been a fearless knitter for years. I’ll try to knit anything. The problem with this is too many UFOs, UFOs I’m interested in, until the next brilliant pattern comes along. So when this last Christmas present is finished … I know, its January … I’m going to return to that UFO pile, finish five things and frog the rest … fearlessly. Then, I’ve promised myself, there will be one project at a time, worked to completion without fear of missing out on what everyone else is doing. This year I’m going to work on intarsia, an intricate shawl and put my money down on some expensive yarns and fibers … fearlessly.

  74. 2007 was a good knitting year for me. I began to understand fit better and am trying not to rush into sweaters without taking the time to measure carefully, study the schematic, and gulp, swatch! I have many knitting goals for 2008, but for me knitting fearlessly will mean not comparing my knitting to others who may have more time to knit, and trying to break free from patterns by designing (or customizing) something on my own. Thank you Sandi and Knitting Daily for always inspiring me!

  75. Thank you for the new mantra for 2008 “Knit Fearlessly”. I am a square knitter – venturing out of that literal box only to knit the occassional 5Hr Baby Sweater for a gift. I immediately downloaded the beanie pattern and am going to cast it on with some beautiful wool I rec’d for Christmas — instead of the scarf it was intended for. It’s a first step. Thank you for the challenge.
    Jen A – Walker, MI

  76. Wow, the concept of Knitting Fearlessly really hits me hard, because I’ve finally taken the plunge and signed up for a “first sweater” class at my local yarn shop. It will begin in two weeks and I am looking for easy (but with a bit of a challenge) first sweater patterns, just to get my feet wet. Since I started knitting 2 1/2 years ago I’ve done socks (LOVE socks!) and hats and lots of scarves, but sweaters always gave me the jitters – there’s a lot about a sweater pattern that I don’t understand. So now I’ll do my first one with an instructor and that will be the beginning of beautiful things!

  77. I hope to be able to learn how to do seaming…I’ve attempted a sweater-vest but was unhappy with the shoulder seems, and right now am avoiding projects that require a lot of seaming until I learn it properly. I’ve read all kinds of material on it, but it’s not very clear to me, I guess I just need to see it done in person.

  78. 2007 was a great knitting year for me too. One of my goals for 2007 was to learn to knit socks. While I didn’t actually get around to knitting socks with sock yarn, I did take a sock class and learned with worsted weight on size 5s. They actually came out pretty good and I’m anxious to tackle sock yarn and tiny dps! I had a lot of practice doing ornament sweaters on size 2s so that should help. I also made my first top-down sweater in the round and realized that I much preferred this seamless method and it wasn’t as scary as it originally seemed to be. I also began to learn more about fitting a sweater to my body shape (thanks Sandi), but still have more to learn.

    With that said, my “knitting fearlessly” goals for 2008 are to actually knit socks with sock yarn, learn more about fitting and altering garments to fit my curves better, and to experiment with color. I also plan on taking more classes at the LYS to learn/practice more techniques. Have a great year!

  79. I’ve almost finished a sweater with a faux cable and wave patterned yoke that was a “dive in head first” project for me. It felt so great to master something new – that’s what the last years’ knitting brought me: learning someting new from each project that I found I could make use of in the next project!

  80. In 2007 I devoted myself to getting good at knitting; and now I find that my fingers will actually remember to P3K2 at the end of every row even if my mind wanders off… What’s kept me from getting REALLY good at knitting is when I’m following a pattern and I get to an instruction that I simply don’t understand in written words (even if I read it 17 times and try it 5 different ways). This year I’d like to find myself an actual person who could show me what to do when I hit these little snags. BTW your little ditty for grafting off socks is just the sort of “explanation” I get! Maybe you could work up a manual of ditties?

  81. I’ve tried to knit fearlessly this year. I’ve tried a new way to knit socks -toe up, not sure I like the heel turn as much. I’ve started my first raglan top down sweater, but had to set aside to finish (ha-ha) Christmas gifts. I tried some new stitches in Christmas gifts. But the one thing I haven’t mastered that I REALLY want to learn….How to read charts! Do some charts use different symbols, how will I get the cable slants correct, is it hard to read forward and backward, pretty scary if you ask me!

  82. I try, but I still haven’t knit a sweater for myself. I love to learn new techniques and will try anything from directions, but this year it is my goal to make myself a sweater (how many times will I have to rip??) and finish projects! I could dream and buy yarn all day long if I had enough resources. Yeap an addict to textiles!

  83. I think I did knit fearlessly in 2007, since I learned to knit it 2007! I also learned DPNs and circs, and dabbled in lace. This year, it’s on to cables and socks! And if I’m truly going to knit fearlessly, I will have to cast on for the Debbie Bliss pattern that was on the Vogue anniversary cover (Romy, I think it’s called?). I think I’ve mentioned that before. Oh and learn stranded colorwork and steeking and knit the Autumn Rose by Eunny Jang. That would be truly fearless. Great. Now I’ve said it and I’m going to have to do it. lol.

  84. I knitted a sweater last year for the first time, I figured why not it was for my
    daughter away at school, iwas working on it when i visited her and tried it on her, and i could tell she wasn’t thrilled with the style, she said its ok,I brought it home with me to finish it . I worked the hardest i every did ,pulling it out re doing it. untill it was done correctly,knowing my daughter would most likely not wear it. a few months later my mother came to visit
    and loved the sweater and wore it on sight and took it home with her. so being willing to knit fearlesly can not only benfit the knitter but sometimes an unexpected reward appears.
    Happy knittng

  85. My resolution is to learn to reverse shape when a pattern calls for this. I am absolutely stuck and have knit in the round for years because of it. I wish an occasional pattern was completely written out. It would open my world of knitting up incredibly.

  86. It’s so good to have KD and Sandi back!
    As for knitting fearlessly, last year I wasn’t afraid to rip things back or just reuse yarn from a project that was going nowhere. One of those projects also involved knitting fearlessly–a fitted shirt for myself, which actually FIT! Unfortunately, the yarn was something I’d reused from another project, and looked AWFUL as a shirt, but at least I tried something new, and made some progress! 🙂

  87. Hmm… Fearless Knitting. One of the first knitting authors I was exposed to was EZ, so the idea of being boss of your own knitting has always been with me.

    My first sweater was self-designed using Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns… I combined several areas and the sweater actually came out looking like the schematic I drew! I didn’t know enough about ease, though, and when it was apparent that I had knit a sweater-jacket with only next-to-the-skin ease, I fearlessly designed and incorporated panels under the arm to enlarge the sweater. It is only made with a wool-blend, mostly acrylic yarn from Michaels’ but I still like it and wear it each spring/fall. I learned an awful lot on that sweater.
    Right now I am turning the heel on the second sock….I have learned about negative ease on this project, as these will be either slipper socks or the third pair you pull on in a blizzard.

    For the year ahead… lace. I want to conquer laceweight. I’ve done lace, but the fineness of this thread is daunting. And making a mistake in lace– I want to be able to find and correct mistakes in lace without ripping back days of work.
    I fell in love with the Hanami Stole pattern and bought cashmere from Colourmart for it. We are swatching, and when the kids go back to school the houes will be quiet enough to begin the pattern.

  88. Knitting patterns scare me. I only began to tackle them in 2007, and am still anxious about using them. I’ve knit for the past 35 years, yet have almost always designed my own sweaters, vests, etc., out of pattern fear. This has resulted in some rather odd garments – some great, some not-so. (I use stitch dictionaries and cable pattern books, short rows, intarsia, etc.)

    In 2008, I will tackle some actual patterns. Fearless knitting, indeed!


  89. 2007 was a year of fearless knitting for me. I just picked up needles after many, many years in 2006 and knitted a bunch of scarves. Then, in 2007, I discovered felting and fell in love….cat beds, purses, hats, clogs. Then I did lots of socks. I really was not afraid of any of these things. This year, I want to move fearlessly into bigger projects that use more then 5 skeins of yarn…like sweaters and the log cabin scarf and a huge cable cardigan for me. I never knit for myself so this year I will. I am not a good finisher…this year I will learn.
    Thanks, Sandi, for KD. Really missed it over the holidays.

  90. I have decided to do the same Fearless Knitting thing, I am going to un-do the gansey I started many years ago and start over to make it better. Meanwhile I am designing a 2nd gansey using the vertial lines instead of the horizontal ones. In addition, I am going to use the wool from my sheep yarn. It will be in either a medium grey or snow white as these are natural colors.
    Diana at the Wooly Sock

  91. Maybe this is too late but last year (my third as a knitter) I made my first lace shawl (from an interweave shawl pattern that was really pretty) with real lace yarn. I gave it to my sister. So this year I’m going to try cables….. and another lace project – don’t know what yet…. for me… or my mom

  92. Great topic. This year I fell in love with lace and made peace with small needles to make socks. I thought I had terminal second sock syndrome but no, I can finish a pair of socks. Just have to take a break between the two. 😎

    What do I want to do in 2008? I want to be able to create a sweater that really fits me. I’m not a big girl, but I have my own fitting problems. I have linebacker shoulders with an average bust. Everything is usually too big looks like a sack on me. Looking forward to more fitting suggestions. Don’t forget the Skinny Minnies have fitting issues too. Really.

  93. Love your questions, Sandi. I’m an intermediate-level knitter, but I’d still like to learn to customize my own knitted pieces. And someday down the road, I want to design exciting plus-sized knitted garments. Thanks for inspiration and support through this newsletter!

  94. Yes, knitting garments that truly fit would be top on my 2008 knitting goals. I am small, but even the smallest size pattterns end up to bulky, or droopy.
    Creating flattering stitch patterns also goes a long way in a well designed garment.
    Looking forward to some posts regarding sizing this year!

  95. For 2008 I have a few things I’d like to do – find a pattern that I can use my expensive FEZA yarn on that will fit (FEZA patterns are one size fits all – NOT). Knit baby stuff I’ll be a grandmother for the 1st time in May or sometime near then. Knit 2 socks on circs at the same time – have the book just need to get started.
    What I accomplished last year – 3 shells for myself one using a lace design, toe up socks knitted on 2 circs, knitting and frogging a cardigan with the feza yarn, a lace shawl, 4 other wraps, scarves galore, a hat from top to brim.

    I don’t know if I knit fearlessly, but I’m not afraid to try something different. I bought the Cat Bordhi book on socks and managed to figure it out, including the heels which did scare me a bit.

    I have fibromyalgia which causes me to have a fogginess in my thinking process at times so directions take a bit to sink in and something new is a real challenge. I start practice items to learn new things before I start the actual project. I fear I will have a pile of bitty socks and lace samples everywhere.

    What else would I like to do? cables, steeks, mobius knitting, felting and maybe try my hand at spinning.

  96. In 2007 at the age of 42, I taught myself to knit (FEARLESSLY!) from library books. I read the motto somewhere “It’s only hard until it’s easy” and that was my mantra. My first project was a vest with a cable, that I then converted to a sweater by adding sleeves I improvised from another pattern. In 2008, I want to knit socks for everyone in my family. I haven’t tried socks yet. And color-knitting, starting with mosaic knitting. I want to learn symbolcraft. My ultimate fantasy? I want to try pattern writing and charting. The prospect of writing patterns for different sizes is intimidating. And I have pledged never to buy another sweater.

  97. In 2007 at the age of 42, I taught myself to knit (FEARLESSLY!) from library books. I read the motto somewhere “It’s only hard until it’s easy” and that was my mantra. My first project was a vest with a cable, that I then converted to a sweater by adding sleeves I improvised from another pattern. In 2008, I want to knit socks for everyone in my family. I haven’t tried socks yet. And color-knitting, starting with mosaic knitting. I want to learn symbolcraft. My ultimate fantasy? I want to try pattern writing and charting. The prospect of writing patterns for different sizes is intimidating. And I have pledged never to buy another sweater.

  98. I want to knit socks this year!! I have all the stuff & just need to DO IT!! And no more scarfs…..ok, maybe just a few….and if I’m really honest I’d like to knit a long sweater coat….for me! and maybe something lace!! Starting to sound like a busy year. I can’t wait.

  99. I am knitting fearlessly again! I’m back doing lace knitting, this time with a wonderful almost celtic one-ounce scarf pattern from Lucy Neatby for Sandy Pines Farm. I’m knitting it in the most beautiful cashmere handspun by Roberta Maier who owns Breezy Meadow Cashmere Farm near Bellingham, Washington. After all the years of Alice Starmore’s celtic cables, I’m back knitting lace – and in the cashmere – – – it’s heaven!! This year, once again, my resolution is to learn how to knit socks and maybe find to the time to learn Fair Isle. And for truly fearless knitting, I’m re-knitting for the third time two “heart” sweaters for my son’s nieces, ages 8 and 5 1/2, who have waited so patiently, as they keep outgrowing the completed sweaters from Aunt Beth. Don’t ever promise a sweater to a child you can’t deliver!!! Especially if it has hearts in it!

    Thanks for your wonderful web post. I look forward to it every day.

    Beth Rockwell
    Olympia, Washington

  100. I love and do a fair amount of textured knitting. I completed a very cabled pullover in 2007 along with caps, scarves, felted bags and socks. I really like to knit socks. This year I want to branch out into lacey shawls and Fair Isle knitting. My biggest knitting fear though is steeks. After all that work to knit in many colors, cutting into it with sharp edges is terrifying, but someday I know I’ll do it.

    Marilyn D.

  101. I would love a tutorial on increases and decreases as well as alternative cast-ons. Now that I am learning how to make sweaters fit my curves I want to learn how to embellish with fully fashioned details.

  102. No I have NOT been fearless; you really hit a chord with that one. I’ve been knitting wash clothes and straight neck scarves. Yes, I would love to knit a sweater or jacket or skirt or DRESS! I have to get into a class to do this though; that’s the next step for me.

  103. No I have NOT been fearless; you really hit a chord with that one. I’ve been knitting wash clothes and straight neck scarves. Yes, I would love to knit a sweater or jacket or skirt or DRESS! I have to get into a class to do this though; that’s the next step for me.

  104. In 2007 I did something I’d never done before: I knit an entire adult sweater! That one was for hubby; the next one’s for me! In 2008 I’ve already started another first for me: knitting with beads. If I’m to be truly fearless, though, I’ll have to face up to my biggest fear: knitting a sweater with steeks!

  105. I received Clara Parkes BOOK OF YARN for Christmas and have already ready it. This year I want to learn more about what yarn/stitches to use for what project, and all about different kinds of yarn.

  106. Thanks for making patterns available for in the online pattern store!

    I am requesting Jared Flood’s “Big Blue” sweater. Perhaps within the pages of KNITS or here?

    It’s awesome as usual.

    Thanks, again!

  107. Oh Sandi,
    Inasmuch as Jared has designed a classic Men’s sweater (the Cobblestone), I’d put my money behind the fact that the Yarn Harlot made one for a family member, and finally posted the pic after the gift was unwrapped Christmas Day.

  108. I wasn’t fearless by any stretch (is knitting without fear even possible?), but I did try new things. There was a mohair lace scarf that required serious concentration (not easy when you’re a sleep deprived parent of a 10 month old), but turned out beautifully. Scariest of all was (and is) my first ever coat (the red one on the cover of Knitscene a few seasons back): Scary because the yarn cost 200 bucks, so I’ll be mortified if it doesn’t look good, and scary because I ran out of wool two inches from the top of the last sleeve cap (what did I do wrong??). Thankfully Tahki has found me a ball of Baby Tweed in the same dyelot (great company!). Praying to all the knitting gods that it looks ok in the end.

    2008 is going to be my Zimmerman year, inspired by Jared Flood’s knitting blog BrooklynTweed (my favorite knitting blog by several orders of magnitude). Can someone there please convince him to publish his “Adult Tomten” pattern, with plenty of hand-holding??

  109. I taught myself to knit at the end of January/beginning of February last year. My first project had cables and I fell in love with knitting. So far the only other projects I’ve completed have been a pair of socks for my sister, she loved them!, and a hat for my boyfriend. There’s a shrug that only needs 3 inches of ribbing to be wearable floating somewhere in my bedroom and my purse contains my Dad’s half finished socks that were his Christmas present (yes, I gave them to him with the needles in and then took them back to finish them, he has really big feet!). Numerous other things were started and abandoned. I guess the number one thing I need to work on this year is finishing projects LOL. I also want to learn how to adapt sock patterns to fit the large feet of my family, because 90% of the patterns I see and like are to small to fit anyone I know. I also need to learn how to adapt them to my really tight gauge, because I’m not going to knit any looser. I also want to make a lace shawl or scarf and learn how to do fair isle. I also want to use up my entire yarn “collection” this year so I can buy even more! I’ve crocheted for about 15 years and probably have enough yarn to make three afghans.

  110. After close to 30 yrs of NOT knitting, & only VERY BRIEFLY knitting prior to that, I decided this was the year to really learn to knit.
    I love E Zimmerman! What a guide into uncharted waters.
    & Knitting Daily for the ongoing encouragement & excitement. But, how DO you afford to knit all those things??? Jennifer

  111. I just finished the Tangled Yoke Cardigan and I love it. I used “EssentialTweed” from Knit Picks. It is soft and lovely. I’m older, so I didn’t decrease at the waist and I made it a little longer than the pattern suggested. I wish that I could show it to you. I thought that the sideway cable would be hard but the instructions were great. You have encouraged me to knit harder things and I’m loving it. Thanks

  112. I did try new things this year and learned a lot. What i want to learn is how to knit in tubes and be brave enough to cut the knitting (ala E. Zimmerman). I find that daunting to even consider! I’ve knit sweaters in the round, but not that way.

  113. I am disappointed that the Cobblestone sweater is advertised as a man’s sweater! I haven’t yet seen this sweater on a man, but I’ve seen it on several women recently, and it’s lovely~

  114. Sandi–your list of questions also works well for writers–just change knit/knitting/knitter/knitter’s to write/writing/writer/writer’s and reword the bit about only knitting accessories, and it’s a whole new list of questions/prompts. I like the idea of a year of fearless knitting/writing/everything!

  115. 2007 started off very badly, my hands kept cramping and turning in on themselves. I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. After a few miserable months I had an operation which made things a bit better, but not perfect. My husband bought me new knitting needles in ebony, all circulars, that I had never used before.
    After 8 months I started knitting again and had to virtually re-learn due to my strange hands, a scarf, a pair of mittens, a hat, a pair of socks, FairIsle mittens, a lace shawl, and a twined Scandinavian sweater.

    I think that I managed to be fearless even during the times spent frogging, and crying over bad gauge swatches.

    I have yet to re-try cables, one of my loves, so that will be the next project.
    Keep knitting, all will work out in the end.

  116. I’ve made a blog-post for this thread: http://breisels.web-log.nl/breisels/2008/01/brei_zonder_ang.html

    I really liked the idea of knitting fearlessly and in addition to that, I immediately tried a new technique: 2 socks on 1 circ. I wasn’t really afraid of it, but I had never done it. Now I’ve started (doing toe-up and only finished half of both toes) I don’t think I’ll do it again, but at least I can say I’ve tried.

    As for my greatest fear, designing, I’ve decided to try that this year. It’s my new years resolution.

  117. Steeks!! I’m going to tackle Eunny Jang’s Autumn Rose, and I already printed off her steeks tutorial. And knitting socks two at the same time so I don’t loose the momentum. I already ALWAYS knit sleeves and fronts of cardigans at the same time, that way they at least match when I make changes on the fly. And I mostly knit for myself, and will try to knit more for others 😉

  118. All I can say is A big Knitted thank you. This site has gave me the boost to take my knitting beyond hats and assorted asseriors. I have found myself designing things in my head. My granson was the first to get a original memeknit In call it my One eyed purple people eater hat I dont have a website but I would love to share it I wish i could send you a pic

  119. Regarding the comments on the Cobblestone sweater, yes, the Yarn Harlot posted a picture of her friend Ken wearing it (Dec. 27 post). And, yes, I think it would make a great woman’s sweater too!

  120. Fearless Knitting last year: put back a store sweater and went home to embellish/alter a sweater to update the look (saved $80.), threw an old, ratty hand knit sweater in the trash (took allot of courage), tried no rinse wool wash, ordered yarn on the internet from Turkey, gave up on knitting wool sweaters for the grandkids because it is too much to expect my daughter to hand wash children’s clothes (knit with washable yarn instead). Fearless plan for 2008 — knit for my family who hates natural homemade and loves fossil fuel store bought. Least fearless knitting (my old standby) — raglan sweaters. I’ve knit about 80 since 1966 in every size from 2 to 42 and every needle size from 2 to 15.

  121. I have been enjoying receiving Knitting Daily for the last couple of months. It’s got great ideas. I have just downloaded the Central Park Hoodie and I was wondering if I could knit the fronts and the back in one piece up to the armhole. Would it work?

  122. I’ve been knitting for about 3 years and have done 1 pair of socks(in a class) and tons of hats and scarves, but can’t seem to get over my fear of big projects. I know how to seam well so that isn’t the issue I have. I think I’m just afraid to have UFO’s or finishing a sweater that won’t fit.

    2008 is my year to knit a complete wearable project that is bigger than a beanie. I’ve just moved to a new town so haven’t had a chance to get to my LYS yet, but have high hopes that I will do several more knitting classes

  123. For 2007 I branched out to do some different projects for gifts & charity & made sure I finished as many UFOs as possible. For 2008 I’d like to do more embellishments (e.g. flowers, popcorn bobbles), an Aran sweater for myself, an involved lace pattern, and a top knitted on smaller needles. Be fearless!

  124. There are many things that make me fearful: The current political climate, the future of our planet, the prospect of further deterioration of my aging joints and eyesight. Knitting is not one of them. From the moment I picked up the needles five years ago, I’ve been merrily knitting whatever I wanted to own or make, without regard for its purported level of difficulty: Sweaters, felted bags, intricate lace, socks, socks socks. Some of the early efforts are pretty lumpy and baggy, but I keep them to remind me how much I’ve learned with every stitch.

    I chalk my fearlessness up to the mantra my mother taught me: What’s The Worst That Could Happen? With knitting, TWTCH is that I’ll have to frog – and even then I get my raw materials back.

  125. How in the heck can knitting be “scary”? I mean really. It’s just two sticks and some string that you take and make loops with. So you try lace, or entrelac and it doesn’t work out so well. Whoopie do. You rip and do something else. Or throw it out. The world continues to turn upon its axis.

    Scary? Come on!

  126. This year I’ve knitted more fearlessly than before. I even felted a Manos vest where I adapted a pattern. Veering from the printed page was exciting and risky, especially with all that gorgeous yarn. The vest is perfect. And, I put in my first zipper. I tried, this year, to make things where I’d learn a new technique every time. And, I’ve started to do charity knitting—something in between the projects I’m keeping, My knitting group also tried our first communal project—afghans for a4A. It was interesting to see our individuality rise up–sense of color, design, preferred techniques. We succeeded in making 4 lovely afghans, including one made from long-ago knit strips made by a member’s mother who died over 25 years ago. Here’s to more knitting adventures–it’s the process, not the product.


  127. I taught myself to knit early in 2006 – everyone female on my list got a garter stitch shawl in 2006. In 2007 I made hats, scarves & squares for charity – knit 3 sweaters, and a cable vest, taught myself to knit socks, taught 2 other people to knit, knitted socks for soldiers and started knitting lace shawls. I am now test knitting patterns and knitting socks for a sock book. Knitting a lace shawl for a cousins wedding.
    No support groups around here – only yahoo and Ravelry.
    Thanks for the interesting articles and patterns too

  128. After reading these inspirational confessions, I’m ready to be a real knitter again. I’ve been knitting 50 years (I’m 60 years old) and fearlessly went straight for the big projects: blankets, cabled and bobbled sweaters, afghans, fair isles. I’ve never knitted a scarf and only a few hats. I took great joy in these projects, no matter how long they took. Most of them are still owned by the original recipients (some have become third generation heirlooms), and when I see them again, I’m often struck by the nerve I had to complete them and offer them as gifts, let alone attempt them! But I am proud of them. Lately, though, I’ve become a fearFUL knitter. I have all sorts of excuses, despite a stash that literally fills three closets. “I can’t find a pattern I like,” or “I can’t find a pattern that uses the weight of wool I have,” or “I don’t have enough in the stash to make what I’d like” (and I have pounds and pounds of beautiful merino I bought in Italy recently). Good grief! When I see that whining in print and then read the postings about fearless knitting, I am shamed into getting on with it. Thank you EVERYONE for breaking my self-imposed barrier!!

  129. This year I am going to finally learn to knit with DPN’s — I have some beautiful bakelite needles my mother gave me and they are begging me to use them.

    I’m also going to knit more vintage patterns — I have several “Knit for Defense” books from WW2 – from the U.S., Canada, and Austrailia.

    I’m also going to exhibit at local craft fairs and county fairs up here in the Wilds of Western New England.

  130. I’ve read the neat comments and one of you, Sharon but I can’t remember the city. Anyway, you said that you were afraid of steeting and I’m in the same boat. Scared to death to try it as I’m sure it will be really a mess. My first thing I ever knitted was a $8 Sears kit and was a pullover. The only bad thing was that it got turned around the needles. Needless to say, I had to rip, rip, rip but it taught me something. I’m determined to do a sweater for me but my problem is getting the right fit for me. All I ever do is do stuff for others where I don’t have to worry about it.

    Peggy S., Edgewood, NM

  131. I started knitting again in 2007 after a 15 year hiatus – that was my first brave move. I also completed my first stranded/Nordic project – a headband and I tackled knitting a pair of gloves on teeny size 2 double points! In 2008, I want to learn to knit socks and lace. I may not be brave enough to tackle steeks quite yet, but it’s on the list!

  132. I have been knitting since I was 17– Eisenhower was president– and this Christmas season nirvana arrived: my older daughter asked me to teach her to knit! She had been seduced by a gorgeous hank of handspun tweed yarn and her DNA kicked into overdrive at last. There I was with both daughters (younger daughter is a knitter) in older daughter’s LYS, which has a mindboggling inventory and interesting samples, and there it sat: the Dread Entrelac! Ever since Edsels were still for sale, I have looked at entrelac with cold terror. Never had the nerve to attempt it. I, who have done whole Aran sweaters, more than once, and like that. Jenny noticed my doubting regard of all those little squares, and said, “That’s pretty cool, Mom. Can you do that?” “It’s always terrified me,” I admitted. “Oh MOM,” Jenny groaned, a comment she should no longer be making at her age. Guess what I will be fearless-knitting in 2008!

  133. Next week begins my third year of teaching knitting at our local library — I think “Knit Fearlessly” will be our theme for the year. So many knitters come in frightened — of techniques, dpn’s, even getting started. I think I will put “WTWTCH” on the top of every handout from now on!
    Thanks to KD for all the inspiration, and these posts have been great reading! Peace to you all in 2008.

  134. In 2007 I taught myself to cable.

    In 2008 I hope to make my very first sweater and my first pair of socks (most likely with the help of my mother, who has been knitting socks for me to wear for a while.) I think I’m still scared of making things that need to fit properly, and I want to conquer that fear this year.

  135. I began knitting with a lovely, vibrant blue and brown cotton yarn for my grandson and just couldn’t stop myself. Before I knew it, the arms were longer than mine. What WAS I doing, getting so carried away!! So…for the first time, I ripped out an almost-finished sweater!! However, I persevered and tackled knitting a pattern for him from the neck down (in a more appropriate gauge). I even entered my fearful world of joining colors. The sweater is BEAUTIFUL and I’m victorious!

  136. One of the comments described a fear of knitting a sweater because “I’ll be too fat to wear it when it’s finished”. I propose we aim to knit instead of snacking and maybe learn to knit while walking. That way we can enjoy our fearless knitting and avoid becoming part of America’s obesity epidemic.

  137. I’m always up for an adventure and that’s how I approach knitting. I’m new to knitting having started in the fall of 2006 with the what seems like a standard, the hat and scarf. In 2007 diversity was the name of the game for me. I made two wraps with Habu Textile yarns as my third and fourth knitting projects. That was a challenge but they turned out beautifully. I made an afghan which called for knitting two yarns at the same time. I did a felted yoga bag project. The knitting was simple for the felting was a little un-nerving. The last project for the year was a cabled sweater for my son. The cabling was simple but I discovered that I love cabling. For 2008 there will be a lot more cabling, I want to design a throw, and I want to try my hand at lace…I like to approach my knitting as I do life…It’s an adventure…and by all means HAVE FUN!!

  138. I’ve knit so many things in 2007 but NOTHING for myself. I want to continue to be invoved in making prayer shawls for our church program but this year I am going to make something for myself. I have to learn to say NO to others more and YES to me. I’ve already purchased yarn to make myself some socks but I also want to find a great sweater too!

  139. At first I didn’t think I had done any fearless knitting, but then I remembered my first pair of socks. I haven’t finished them yet, but they’re well underway. I’m knitting a pair of double socks (one inside the other for warmth) toe up as my first ever pair. Right now I’m debating whether to knit the heel double or not. One side is variegated and the other side is yellow on one sock and orange on the other. I can hardly wait to be able to wear them. Hope they actually turn into a pair of socks! My first 2008 knitting goal is to finish them.

  140. The great thing about knitting fearlessly is that nobody dies! Mistakes are only learning opportunities. I make plenty of mistakes, and boy, have I learned a lot.

  141. I started 2007 picking up needles after 15 year absence and knit tons of fun fur scarves for the neices. I crocheted a sweater for charity, knit a sweater – too big, crocheted a sweater – too small, and am now knitting another sweater. It takes me A LONG TIME to knit a sweater… my fearless knitting for 2008 – WORK ON GAUGE, try knitting in the round…

  142. In 2007, I bought some needles and taught myself to knit; for me, that was “Knitting Fearlessly,” as I don’t like to make mistakes and I made plenty of them. Over the Christmas break (I am a teacher) I made so many scarves and caps I thought my arms were going to fall off. I also tried to teach my grandaughters to knit – the eight year old actually understood me and made a scarf for herself. The six year old played with the needles and yarn for over an hour and told her parents that she “was knitting like mamaw.” It was great to feel I was passing on a tradition to them, even though it was a relatively new one. My daughter-in-law wants me to teach her to knit – imagine that? In 2008, I want to knit a sweater and learn to knit socks, using dpns.

  143. 2007 was a fearless year for me. retired from the army after 25 yrs my son went to IRAQ I quit my job and started going to school full time to become an art teacher, I also was the president of a dysfunctional knitting guild. I knitted modular jackets designed my own sock pattern knitted wire jewelry for the first time. Knitted the most difficult lace patterned scarf that measures about 8 feet long. I felted purses, that I spun yarn for. Which I taught myself to do. So, as you see it was a fearless furious fantastic year for me. I hope 2008 is quieter and calmer for me and mine. thanks for your blog

  144. My Mom was a fearless knitter in 2007. She learned to knit 2 socks at once on 2 circular needles from the cuff down. This wasn’t challenging enough for her, so she told the instructor she wanted to do the next pair from the toe up. The look on the instructor’s face was priceless.Then she made 2 mitts at once on the circular needles. We are very proud of her. My Mom is a blind senior. I am so grateful to Donah (the instructor) for having the patience to work with my Mom. Deb R.

  145. 2007 was my year to just knit. I taught my friends continental style knitting. I made socks and gloves for my family and friends and I started a hat and scarf making business. For 2008, my hope is to actually knit fearlessly and what I fear most is CABLES. Just talking about knitting cables makes my gut churn. I;m hoping also to be able to make a sweater for myself that doesn’t end up as a kitty blankie. Heather J

  146. I learned to knit just over a year ago – right before 2007. Last year brought my first sweater, intarsia, socks, cables and lace! This year, I want to learn to spin! I always knit fearlessly – what is the worst that could happen- you pull it out and try again!

  147. I love the idea of fearless knitting. I consider myself an expert knitter–I have been knitting for over 30 years and I work very complicated lace patterns in fine yarn with multiple distractions in the room. But in 2007 I came to understand that I will never learn everything there is to know about knitting. What a wonderful craft this is. It starts with only 2 stitches, but there’s always something more to learn! My goal for fearless knitting in 2008 is to always be able to say that I’ve RECENTLY learned something new in or about knitting! 🙂

  148. Okay, if I’m going to be Fearless this year, then I’ll have to get out the fingering weight yarn and make a baby dress for the neighbor’s soon-to-be-born little girl. I’ve never knit with anything smaller than sport weight and never made a baby dress, so this will truly be a Fearless project for me! The interesting thing is that I have no trouble crocheting doilies with thread that is about as thin as fingering yarn, but I seem to have a severe fear of knitting with thin yarn and small needles. Wish me luck!

  149. I think I knit fearlessly. I’ll do anything if it appeals to me and frogged it if necessary to reknit it again. About the only thing I won’t knit is Fair Isle – much too fiddling for me. This from the person who loves lace knitting. I just can’t be bother dealing with numerous colours all dangling from the back of the work, having to be constantly untangling them and sewing in all those end when the work if finished. No thanks. Small bits in a particular garment pattern I don’t mind, but I will never, never do a whole garment in that type of pattern, slthough never is a long time and, by some miracle maybe I’ll change my mind sometime in the future. Catherine

  150. I don’t normally think about whether or not I’m fearless in my knitting. I have made socks, lace, cables, intarsia. The only thing I haven’t done yet that is on my list of must dos is fair isle. Fair isle is top of my list for 2008.

  151. I just learned to knit in October and already have several UFO’s (all of which got put aside while I crocheted like a mad woman to get Christmas gifts done) I’ve been a fearless crocheter since I picked it back up a year ago (today!) so I’m sure I’ll be a fearless knitter as well. After all my first project that’s half done is a pair of felted clogs for my DD (I have one finished and need to start on the second one). My main goal for 2008 is to knit a sweater for myself, hopefully fair isle or cabled.

  152. Fearless Knitting. This blog has been the most helpful, and wonderful knitting thing that has happened for me in 2007. It has helped me learn to knit for the real me. I look forward to your blog every week. Please keep it up.

  153. My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet when I was 7 or 8 years old. This was 40 years ago. As most of us did, when “young women”, I put away my hobbies got on with life and had little time, patience or inclination to knit or crochet. Four years ago, this summer, I did what Caroline S. of the January 2nd comment said she would do, I quit my job and now I knit all day. 8 to 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. Lace, Socks, Sweaters, I have no fear. Likes and dislikes, yes. Fear? Never.:)Becca

  154. My fearless knitting will include colorwork, and, hopefully, 2008 will be the year I finally finish a sweater (and it will fit me). My other knitting new year’s resolution is to learn how to spin and knit something from my own hand-spun wool. I’ve already ordered a spindle kit and some roving!

  155. About 18 months ago, I found a wonderful yarn shop in my area. I started taking classes there (I was an advanced beginner when I started), and I can’t seem to stop. The teacher is very talented, patient and so good at teaching us something new at each session. I have become much more fearless. I’ve learned to knit socks, mittens, lace shawls, sweaters and more. I think continually learning has made me fearless! C.T. in NJ

  156. I have to admit, I don’t know what is fearful about knitting! Yarn is a beautiful thing: the feel, the colors, the unlimited possibilities for handmade creations! And since discovering bamboo needles, there is the added pleasure of another natural material in my hands. I think that the hardest thing about knitting a new pattern is to follow the instructions — once you slow down enough to read carefully, practice a swatch or two, and FOLLOW, then you can make just about anything you want!

  157. Also, because it was my grandmother who taught me to knit and crochet starting when I was 5 yrs old, I feel that whenever I am knitting, she is with me, and I honor her spirit!

  158. I decided to be a little less fearful and tried a couple of new techniques this year. Knitted a little hat for my grandson using the Intarsia method and a chart. I become very frustrated trying to figure out directions in knitting books and even with frogging and starting again, still have projects that probably won’t be finished. I do hate to “waste” the money and the time. That has held me back from becoming a really fearless knitter.

  159. I think I am pretty fearless about trying new techniques, however, I have been afraid of spending a fortune on yarn for a garment that may or may not fit. I would hate to spend all my time and money knitting something that I would never wear.

  160. I started knitting after crocheting for 10 years, I used to watch old movies that showed women knitting and that got to try knitting. The first knitting was scraf that I knitted with wool yarn, and found never use wool yarn again, I am allergy to anything that has wool threading. I dropped stitches, and still do to this day and only occassionally. When I first started knitting, I got frustated because of the dropped stitches I did, but was determined to continue trying,and now I do knitting and crochet, working on one knitting project, and going to crocheting project as a change. I hope this year to do two thread knitting and getting more daring on challenging patterns Anna

  161. I think it is patterns that most intimidate me. Early on, I had so much trouble understanding patterns, that I started to mistrust them, even when I should have trusted them. As a result, my most fearless knitting comes when I make up my own patterns. And my most frustrated knitting comes when I cannot find a pattern that does what I want, or when I think that a pattern is inaccurate.

  162. I am afraid of being too cautious. Of course, this means some of the new patterns/stitches I try I end up frogging out ;> but it’s a lot more interesting than “st st (a storebought pattern) with one color….”

  163. I have knit socks before, but what keeps me from being absolutely fearless about them, is my lack of confidence in the perfect, supremely done finishing of it, or the lack of holes techniques. Tutorial videos are wonderful for this, as I have just discovered them…just got broadband.

  164. I approach my knitting like I do my life. My philosophy is “what is the worst that can happen? So what if I mess it up?” I’ll figure out how to fix it and won’t make that mistake again. This philosophy works for all aspects of life. I knit a gansey pullover this year. Every single round was different. Very Zen. You had to knit in the moment. It was a wonderful adventure. It came out gorgeous. Life and knitting should be savored for the experience and never feared.

  165. I am a fearless knitter! I have tried several new techniques in knitting and find each one a challenge and a pleasure when I finally complete it. Even if the project comes out too small or large, I always can find someone who will be able to wear and cherish the item. I learned to knit from my grandmother at the age of 10. Learned to make socks! I began knitting in earnest again at age 50 with socks, lace work, mosaic knitting, felting and sweaters. Some things I have to frog, some are UFO’s in a drawer, but eventually most get done. Knitting fearlessly is just knitting to enjoy knitting and the challenges.

  166. I am an adventurous knitter – I knit lace, tackles mohairs, use ultra-fine yarns…however what I fear is trying socks for the first time. Why? I’m afraid I’ll be bored after doing the first sock and not knit the second sock – I have heard that happens. There are so many sock-knitting classes available. What is it that I’m missing – do I need to take a class to know how to knit socks? My philosophy is that if you can read and knit successfully, then you can read and successfully knit socks. Cat Bordhi has written 2 books on sock techniques (and I know she’s soooo creative and fabulous). I love looking at sock patterns, so maybe this is my Year of Knitting Socks. Can anyone help me overcome my fear?

    from Willa – British Columbia, Canada

  167. The only fearful thing about knitting that comes to mind is steeking (sp?). I’ve been knitting since I was a little girl, and can knit a wide variety of items. I also like to try different techniques, and play around with the “possibilities”. So, not too many things throw me. But the thought of cutting my knitting is a little unnerving.

  168. This year I’m determined to fearlessly finish my projects. I love to knit and have been knitting since I was 5 years old. I made doll clothes with my Mother and Grandmother’s help. When I was a teenager, I made 2 Aran knit sweaters and when my daughter was born, I made sweaters and bonnets and mittens and booties and everything else I could think of. I have two grand daughters (5 and 7) who want to learn too. So this year, I’ll knit on breaks, lunch hours, while walking (socks are easiest with this activity), while watching my favorite shows and while my grand girls are visiting. I will finish those projects I so carefully chose the patterns and yarn for. Ahhhh….I’ll let you know how I’m doing as I plan to keep a knitting diary to inspire me!

  169. Don’t be afraid to try something new like knitting a garment w/o a pattern for a friend’s daughter! I was afraid 1)it wouldn’t fit and 2)they wouldn’t like it, but they did! It looked better on the daughter than by itself! So be brave, YOU CAN DO IT!!! G’ma Linda

  170. I believe the only way to become fearless is to make mistakes, take apart the mistake, redo it so you like the outcome, and have faith in long term gratification! My first project was a turtleneck sweater (because I didn’t know any better!)and I literally made every mistake I could have made on it. Even knitting on the wrong side and having to rip out half of the front! A little tiny piece of me believed I should be able to do it, so I corrected every mistake so I would be very happy with my finished product. After that, I figured I could make it through something more difficult, remembering what I had already been through!

  171. I noticed another post about socks…I am determined to do 2 socks on 2 needles, toe-up. Any help or support would be appreciated. Sandi, you think you could get some info out that would help me get these going?

  172. Perhaps I’m a little late on this bandwagon, but I thought I’d share my “fearless knitting” and knitting for men. Both came together in a sweater for my husband. With the help of Barbara Walker’s “Knitting from the Top”, and input from my husband, I designed and knitted a sweater for him, something I’d never done before (designed a sweater for an adult, that is). It turned out great! He loves it and wears it often.

    If you’d like, you can see it here, on my blog:


    Sincerely, Ev

  173. Hmmm. I have definitely been a fearful knitter.
    Thank goodness for a great friend who when I emailed her and said, “I am NOT a knitter! I have made two mistakes and can’t fix them.” She forwarded me a blog of lots of people saying the same thing and reminding me that it is about the process not just the finished product.I had been scared to death of slipping any stitches off of the needle to fix something. I thought surely that it would wilt in my hands. I’ve learned that the whole thing will not wilt if I take it off the needles. I have also learned that you have to just put it down and slowly walk away sometimes. 🙂 Many mistakes are fixed the next knitting sitting.
    I will be a fearless knitter this year!!!
    For me becoming a fearless knitter is all about a great knitting friend who will let me run by or call for help.

  174. My biggest fear is wasting money. I’ll try pretty much anything, and have. I love the funny stories of others who have made the same mistakes I’ve made, or the one I’m making right this very minute. Those really help when I look down at an evening’s work and go “What on earth is this?”
    Or back on a month’s work for a skirt panel and find that it doesn’t fit the other panel by about 2 inches in length?
    Or on that fabulous yarn I got for a project that I’m now not interested in, but want to use for a different project and don’t have enough, and the dye lot is gone. So my yarn just sits around.
    And I’m a slow knitter, so tackling that stranded color turtleneck, knit on size 3s with 24 colors, well that means a long devotion to a project, and I worry about boredom, or all the other totally inspiring patterns that I come across that I won’t be able to start.

  175. I am a fearless knitter! I knit in the waiting room at the DMV! I am back to knitting for about 8 years following an oppressive 24-year marriage in which my knitting was scorned (along with other things like my religion and politics) and I gave it up in the hope of some peace. It is a source of tremendous peace for me – meditative – restorative – creative. The only thing I fear, about knitting at least, is that the arthritis in my wrists will hinder the ongoing pleasure I have rediscovered in my stitches. But tomorrow I get another cortisone shot in my wrist and I am making a wedding afghan for my niece’s wedding in May. I have to go to bed – but wait, wait – just one more row before I go!!

  176. It’s not so much KNITTING fearlessly, I do that in any free time I have and have done for decades. I can knit anything, I’m just learning freestyle knitting and crocheting. Everyone admires what I knit, aren’t you clever, and all that. But, and you are not going to believe this, I have hardly ever worn what I knitted, because I’m hopeless at making garments up, they always look lumpy and they are rarely exactly the right size even though I do a sample square. So I end up either storing them in a cupboard, undoing them and starting a new project with the wool, or (as I have just done, because I moved to a much smaller house) chucking them out. So please teach me to fearlessly size garments properly and make them up well, then I’ll be happy. Caroline V in France

  177. I think I was almost too ambitious when I started my first sweater. It was a Fair Isle pattern. First, I ribbed through the first Fair Isle pattern on the back. Have you ever seen a ribbed Fair Isle? Because it had taken me so long to get that far, I didn’t think it was worth ripping it out, so I just carried on, without ribbing the rest. I also used different weight yarn, and, dare I say it, different materials (some were acrylic and some were merino wool!). I also ran out of two different colors, including the main color over the course of knitting the sweater. I would search for the main color (a sort of marbled beige/cream mix, very unusual) for a few years–finally finding an EXACT match on a weekend trip to Dublin. It ended up taking me 13 years to finish the sweater. There are so many other mistakes in the sweater, but, I tell you what, I wear it, mistakes and all. That sweater taught me to be fearless. It taught me that I will finish a project if I persevere. It taught me that ripping out actually is okay, so you don’t have to stare at a mistake for the rest of your life, but at the same time, mistakes are okay because they are your signature–they are what says, “this is handmade, not from a store.” It also taught me about yarn weights, yarn types and what all those words mean. Now I am much more particular about things, but, yet, I still wear that sweater (only when it is really cold because the acrylic in it will make me over heat sometimes) and I love it. I love that it took me 13 years and that there are mistakes in it. When I wear it, I get lots of compliments and no one even sees the mistakes that I know are there unless I point them out.

  178. Hi, I am left handed and taught myself to knit. However, as far as I can tell I do everything backwards and I am too old to change. I am attempting some very complicated patterns because I don’t want to wear old lady clothes, but pattern reading can be very scary. Old lady Bishop, fearful but determined

  179. There is only one thing that frightens me about knitting-simply not having enough hours in the day, days in the week, and living long enough to use all the yarn in my stash and knitting all the things I want to knit in my lifetime! I have calculated that I will have to live to be 304 years old to use my stash up(that is, if I never buy one more skein!). I even taught myself to knit with my eyes closed prior to my eye surgery several years ago just in case the surgeon “blew it” and I was no longer able to see!

  180. There is only one thing that frightens me about knitting-simply not having enough hours in the day, days in the week, and living long enough to use all the yarn in my stash and knitting all the things I want to knit in my lifetime! I have calculated that I will have to live to be 304 years old to use my stash up(that is, if I never buy one more skein!). I even taught myself to knit with my eyes closed prior to my eye surgery several years ago just in case the surgeon “blew it” and I was no longer able to see!

  181. There is only one thing that frightens me about knitting-simply not having enough hours in the day, days in the week, and living long enough to use all the yarn in my stash and knitting all the things I want to knit in my lifetime! I have calculated that I will have to live to be 304 years old to use my stash up(that is, if I never buy one more skein!). I even taught myself to knit with my eyes closed prior to my eye surgery several years ago just in case the surgeon “blew it” and I was no longer able to see!

  182. It is so wonderful to hear from other knitters that have some of the same problems I have, like making garments fit properly and finishing them with neat seams. I feel I am basically a fearless knitter as I taught myself to knit many, many years ago and have attempted many new stitches with good results. My husband actually wears the sweaters I made him. He’s always teasing me “where’s my next sweater?” The only thing I haven’t tried (this I fear) is fair isle and illusion knitting. I have no fear to KIP and take my knitting everywhere with me. I also hope I live long enough to use up my yarn stash (boxes and boxes) but not sure that will happen as I can’t resist all the new yarns out there. Perhaps one day I will challenge myself to those fair isle designs and even illusion knitting. Love Knitting Daily and hearing from other knitters. Let’s all just KNIT ON!!!

  183. Fearless Knitting in Columbus Indiana! Plenty of discussion has been given to the subject of knitting and crocheting Tree Cosys for 30+ trees in our town. Pros and cons. The project will enable the winner of this competition/art project to donate a large sum of money to the local charity of their choice.
    Trees get “dressed” in February. Knitters are busy knitting fearlessly for the cause!
    Cathi Jones
    Columbus, In

  184. Part of the difference between being fearful and fearless is your objective. If you’re only focussed on creating a work of art that would make Armani drool, you’re, first of all, not going to enjoy the proess, and secondly, will likely be disappointed in the end result, because you will know about every tiny flaw (which are in any hand-made object and no one else ever sees). But if you focus on the process, the feel of the yarn through your fingers, the way the light hits it as you’re knitting, the play of colours together, the end result will be a souvenir of the good time you had making it. One of the things I had the most fun with was a sweater I made just after learning to knit. I started with the body and knit in the round because I didn’t know how to pearl yet. I had a basic pattern I (sort of) followed, but I played with colour. I knit in all different colours, and diferent weights of yarn (it’s striped). There are a LOT of mistakes in it and it’s incredibly shapeless, but I love it, and every time I wear it and someone compliments it I proudly say “I made it”, remembering what fun it was deciding which colour to use next. I was playing. Like a five-year old. If knitting is work, don’t do it. And if you focus on the end result, it’s more likely to be work because if it isn’t the same as your mental picture, you’ll resent the time you spent making it. We have enough work to do. Just play.

  185. Steeking scares the bejeebus out of me. Perhaps I don’t understand the technique completely or perhaps since I don’t own a sewing machine I don’t feel I have the right tools to try but I’d love to be able to knit a sweater in the round and steek the arms.

  186. I am not fearless about any thing! Knitting, spinning, weaving, beading, sewing. I think if you want to do it you can. I am an optimist. I see the glass as half full. I see the knitting as done. I learned to RIP and RIP again. Someone asked my Significant other how many sweaters he thought I knit a year. He replied about 50 if you count the ones she rips out. 10 make it to completion. If you think you can you will!

  187. One of my pet peeves is the rating system on patterns. I was *so* intimidated when I first started knitting. It seemed like the only thing that was for beginners was straight up garter stitch. I recently saw a pattern labeled “experienced” that had nothing more complicated than p2tog and yo. I was liberated once I started ignoring those stupid ratings!!

  188. I started knitting when I was 8. Basic garter stitch scarves for relatives that lived up north and I only saw once a year. After many years of boring scarves I gave up knitting … my mother who knew how to knit never had the time to show me how to follow a pattern. When I learned how to crochet the lady thought me all about reading patterns. Since then (that was 12 years ago), I have challenged myself with learning a new technique in both knitting and crocheting every year. My goal is to learning how to knit two socks at once on circular needles … maybe by 2009 after I finish all of the projects I have started but not finished yet – a crocheted rippled blanket, furry basic garter stitch scarf, and an alligator scarf. I can not knit or crochet fast enough for my son!

  189. It would be fun to see pics of the “experts'” mistakes. I look in the bottom of my closet and see my bloops that I won’t wear, yet each reminds me: “Whatch what yarns you try to mix!…Just because it’s a bargain doesn’t mean it will work!…”Just going up a size needle to make it larger doesn’t make it fit!…etc. etc.

    If we laughed at our mistakes, it would be easier to take risks.

  190. It would be fun to see pics of the “experts'” mistakes. I look in the bottom of my closet and see my bloops that I won’t wear, yet each reminds me: “Whatch what yarns you try to mix!…Just because it’s a bargain doesn’t mean it will work!…”Just going up a size needle to make it larger doesn’t make it fit!…etc. etc.

    If we laughed at our mistakes, it would be easier to take risks.

  191. It would be fun to see pics of the “experts'” mistakes. I look in the bottom of my closet and see my bloops that I won’t wear, yet each reminds me: “Whatch what yarns you try to mix!…Just because it’s a bargain doesn’t mean it will work!…”Just going up a size needle to make it larger doesn’t make it fit!…etc. etc.

    If we laughed at our mistakes, it would be easier to take risks.

  192. I guess my biggest fear would be trying to follow a pattern for a sweater or something else wearable and it not fitting in the end.

    Knitting something for someone and they do not like it would be another fear.

  193. I don?t think I?ve ever been fearful of knitting, but I certainly do understand those people who may be a bit intimidated by it. Over the years, what I have found works best is for me to make a number of items using the same knitting technique. My strategy is as follows ? pick a technique that you want to learn more about, let?s say Aran knits, then find a very, very simple and quick to knit Aran pattern (the people at your local knitting shop are great for suggesting appropriate patterns). By the time you?re finished, you will have learned (and likely mastered) the basic skills for the technique in question. Next, try another one using the same technique that?s just a bit more complicated. After a while, you?ll be comfortable with that technique. A while later, you?ll be so comfortable, you may get bored. That?s your cue to pick another technique and start again. Don?t expect perfection right away. Focus on the learning aspect of what you are doing. Unless you are dealing with people with ?eagle knitter eyes? no one will notice that you put in a purl stitch instead of a knit stitch here or there!
    Alice, Winnipeg

  194. I am a fifty something left handed knitter who has knitter for family and friends for over thirty years. I have struggled repeatedly with patterns, techniques, etc due to my “disability”. It was only last year while in a local knitting group that I discovered how different my knit stitches are from everyone else’s. When I taught myself to knit, I did as the directions stated, knit into the back of the stitch. Well, my knit stitch is what every right handed knitter calls a twisted stitch. I knit thru the back loop. This is my normal. Of course, whenever I follow a design pattern, the areas are always on the opposites sides, and, my left front or back is always the right one. No one truly knows any difference when they wear my knitted sweater or whatever. But, the problems left handed knitters face are complex and frustrating at times. When I started looking for more left handed directions, I found very few that went beyond the basics into more complex projects. After all these years, I am wondering if there are other lefties out there who knit as I do, thru the back loop? If so, what problems and solutions have you encountered? I would love to design a few patterns, but, would there be a demand for them? Thank you for any and all comments you may send my way. Cindy K.

  195. Fearless Knitting is allowing yourself a new challange, with mistakes along the learning path..no one will laugh or make fun. After almost 50 yrs of knitting..there is nothing fearless about..only lots of pleasure..yes, you even get a real smug feeling.Others think everything comes from a machine!!!Just put YOUR MIND to the challange.

  196. Fearful? NEVER!! Bad memory? YES!!! After all, if I mess up on a pattern the yarn can easily be undone and reused. However, some of the lesser used techniques that are really good are not easily remembered. My most valuable tool is a good general knitting reference book. Just because I used short rows sucessfully on a project doesn’t mean I will remember the technique in 6 months with several projects in between. A really good reference book took away alot of my fears. Susan Mitchell

  197. I’m a fearless and passionate (perhaps obsessive) knitter. I recently retired and now have time to try new techniques and search out sources for support, such as Knitting Daily. I am not afraid to make mistakes since I look at them as learning experiences. I learn something new with each project! I know I can conquer any obstacle-sooner or later. The fearful knitters should understand that everyone makes mistakes. The difference between a great knitter and an average knitter is recognizing mistakes and taking the time to fix them!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Sandy, and providing a forum for others to share.

    Sherry H.

  198. I have no fears about the knitting process, but I do worry that the results will look terrible on the wearer. The cure for this lies in good, clear photos and diagrams to spot possible disasters.

  199. ? I thought that lace & cables were to scary when I first started knitting a year ago, but now everythign I do seems to have one or both.
    ? I would love to learn how to Steek. If knitting daily had a tutorial (with lots of pictures!) on that I would be forever greatful!
    ? Colorwork charts will always stump me.
    ? There is nothing I haven’t tried yet (except for steeking! *hint*) but everyone has their own learning curve.
    ? I may knit many of the same kinds of things but they are all completely diffrent (even if they are relatively the same color!)
    ? I usually always knit for me or because I want to knit something. Then if someone wants it afterwards then I might give it. but I rarely will knit something with a specific person in mind, makes it continue to be fun!

  200. I thought of “fearless knitting” differently… more in terms of allowing myself the luxury of spending time knitting. It felt selfish; it has more to do with permitting myself to do a craft I enjoy without guilt (when there are so many other things I could be doing that have more immediate results).
    In the way you have defined fearless knitting, I would say that giving us confidence to take next steps and try new things are always good. I find I often just need incremental help.

  201. I’m learning to be f-f-fear-less about steeks. I have just finished my third sweater that requires sharp sheers to cut through my stitches, and it’s still can be a little scary! I like someone to hold my hand – what if I don’t measure right and cut too far, or I don’t organize my thoughts and cut the sleeve opening in the wrong place, so I save this activity for early morning when the mind is fresh, and I hold onto Eunny Jang’s hand through her “Steeks Cutting the Edge” article in the “Interweave Knits” Winter 2006 magazine. Fabulous tutorial! Thanks Eunny!!! There will be a many more such sweaters, for knowledge equals confidence.

  202. I love a challenge, I wanted to get past the scarf making stage and create beautiful knitted work. However, what trips me up is the way that patterns are written. I have such difficulty understanding the writing. It’s another language. I have taken classes on how to read patterns but I still have difficulties. How I deal with this – I take my time and re-read, and do a practice piece until I get it. Or I think I get it. (I still struggle with bubbles).

  203. This past year, I knitted fearlessly by knitting my friend a cute hat while I was at a seminar with a dozen others who watched the hat take shape all week, and when we were at the airport on our way home, I finished it. Everybody loved it. Fearless knitting is when I knit where others can see me and if I mess up, then they can see that, too. Also, fearless knitting is when I can teach some teenager who’s yearning to knit how to knit. now that’s truly fearless!
    Ms. L. (that’s what the kids nicknamed me)

  204. This summer my plan is to conquer cables and experiment with entrelac in swatches. I am now knitting my first Fair Isle sweater with Kauni and I am loving it. (this time of year it feels great to have a lap full of wool) If I practice first my confidence level soars and I feel confident enough to attempt a sweater.

  205. I hope I am a fearless knitter. I have taught myself to knit in the last 2 years and in that time have tackled most garments and numerous techniques e.g. fairisle and cables. Mt main difficulty and I suppose fear is finishing a garment to find it doesn’t fit correctly. I am currently knitting a jumper where I have substituted the yarn but the arms are now too big and I am not sure how to adjust the pattern so that they still are inset correctly but fit. I guess it will be a case of getting a book out to solve the problem which has been my usual way to solve problems.
    I think what spurs me on is the challenge, if anyone says you can’t do that or thats too difficult then I just have to try and prove them wrong!

  206. I very often do not use the advised gauge.I therefore try to do a ratio of stitches between the pattern and my gauge.I often have to rip it all out and start again.Any advice?

  207. I feel I’m a fearless knitter–this year I have learned to knit socks on circular needles. I never liked using dpns-always felt they got in my way, & I would knit too tight. But after seeing Cat Bordhi’s book, have tackled socks with no problem. My problem is knitting sweaters for myself that fit, have yet to grasp how to pick the right size for my big busted, short waisted body. I’m determined I will overcome, conquer & accomplish this feat this year. I am doing cardigans at the moment to help progress into fitted sweaters. Linda

  208. A short reply to Elizabeth H. on Jan. 2 about knitting with beads. I have had good luck with sock yarn such as Lorna’s laces using what is called an e bead and a flexible beading needle. This needle is made of twisted wire and makes all the difference when threading your beads onto the yarn. Hope this helps. Blessings, Belinda

  209. I’m fairly fearless. I’d prefer not to frog part or all of a project as a learning experience, though. The cost of the yarn comes to mind (and what I’m going to do with a “useless” sample.) If I could know the success of the project before making it, that would be great!

  210. To deal with fear in my new knitting students I have them make a scarf that uses a different pattern every 4 inches or so. By the end they have done some cables, some textured knitting, some lace and a little decrease and increasing. They are given a list of skills divided into level of ability and when they are done with the scarf, they check off many things. This gives them the incentive to try new things. My last 8 week class ended with mosaic knitting!!

  211. I’ve taken my fear by the horns, so to speak, and am starting a fair isle project. It is knitted in pieces, back and forth. What I really want to do is something with steeks, but I’m still afraid of that. I need someone to hold my hand!

  212. about fearless knitting…..I learned to knit at age four, all the females in our extended family knitted, so it was natural for me to learn. I have since tried about every thing a person can do with yarn (slight exageration here) from scarves for my teddy to today’s Shetland style shawl. I’ve made countless mistakes and learned from every one of them. I even tried wire knitting, and tried to make my husband a hammock from rope, whick failed because I used nylon rope and when he got into it, it stretched so much he was on the ground. To those who are fearfull- go for it! After all,what do you have to lose, you learn from everything, and learning is what keeps us young and alive!

  213. In repsonse to the question.”Who would be fearful of knitting????”
    ME…and many other knitters out there….
    SOCKS???……….. my Mount Everest ……(But I learned cables and intarsia last year)…..why would I be intimidated by socks….?
    Because, insecurity creeps in all phases of our lives. Myself being a completely confident, single, professional woman; I am not unfallable.
    I took my first step….a tube sock..a smaller version of an elongated hat. 😉
    Next the sock itself…..it doesnt matter why we are fearful…what matters is that we climb that pattern ….make it our own…and once we get past socks..we can proudly say..”Oh, I can Do that” …Did someone mention, “steeks?”
    Happy Clicking all you fearless knitters….

  214. GAUGE!!!! GAUGE!!!! GAUGE!!!
    I am so tired of working hard to try to get gauge and then trying needle after needle and hardly seeing any difference. I am not fearful of patterns, but if I am going to invest so much time in this project, I want it to fit like it’s supposed to. Even in my knitting club I see really seasoned knitters completing a project that does not knit to the gauge they “thought” they had. So I am annoyed when I try to do the right things and it still doesn’t fit like it should. Many times by the time you see a pattern the yarn isn’t even available anymore and so you try substituting and then you’re even more perplexed on trying to get the mystical gauge. As well, I don’t think some pattern designers actually knit the project in all sizes but just add stitches in key locations to increase a small size..
    Again, GAUGE GAUGE GAUGE!!!!

  215. I am a totally fearless knitter–I didn’t know what was supposed to be “hard” when I started “real” knitting 40 years ago so I did what I wanted–within a year I was teaching other people cables and lace–they were only holding stitches in back or yo’s and k2 tog’s after all, how hard was that? If I dropped a stitch I figured out how to pick it up on my own. My mom, who taught me originally, was very uptight. When she dropped a live ash (from smoking, tsk, tsk) and burned a hole in her vest-in-making and called me at 11pm to fix it, I figured out how to graft in new yarn because I didn’t know it was supposed to be hard–you couldn’t see it from the front. Nothing is really hard in knitting if you are meathodical and, yes, fearless. Don’t obsess. Relax and enjoy.

  216. I feel pretty fearless. I always try out different yarns and mixing colors, but they always came out as scarves or gauge. My first project of 2008 was a pair of mittens that taught me I have a little problem trying knit in the front and back of a stitch (any suggestions or better increasing ideas?) but I was pleased I made it. I’m tackling hats soon.

  217. I was a fearless crocheter from the age of 6, 32 years ago. Now I’ve learned to be a (mostly) fearless knitter (still have to tackle designing knitting, but I’m always trying things just a bit beyond my skill level). Complicated cables? Sure! Intricate shaping? I’m making a suit from a 1950 pattern, and understanding it! Fair Isle? A future goal. Finishing a project? If it’s for someone else, no problem. For me? That’s my big goal. I have three superb, ambitious projects that have been nearly finished for about a year now! So, fearless, yes. Disciplined? Um, no.

  218. Ihave been knitting for 25 yrs. I have been fearless, spinning,steeks, fair isle, circular, this year I did a lot of lace. I have made vests and sweaters and mittens and scarves and hats. I have been frustrated at designing my own stuff. I have one success, an Aran sweater pullover with a zipper when my son was small. Fine yarn worth knitting is not cheap and I hate wasting good wool.
    I have made peace with just following patterns, it’s what i’m good at. I try find learn a new technique with every pattern. I’ve never done socks…this year socks.

  219. I’m very much trying to be a fearless knitter and to learn new things about knitting. Last year I made my very first lace scarf for my siter as a christmas present. I didn’t know any good tricks that would have made the work easeier (now I know where to look, because she gave me a book full of them in return). This year, I want to learn to make prettyer Fair Isle and to learn to modify designs to suite better. I’ll start with mittens, but my goal is to be able to knit a sweater. I think that when it comes to knitting, there’s allways new things to learn.

  220. I want to be able to fearlessly fix mistakes that will happen when I try more and more complicated patterns. I want to try new patterns. I want to understand how to read patterns. Finally, I want to knit an item of clothing, not just an accessory.

  221. I strive to be a fearless knitter by applying what I learn in yoga, which is to concentrate on the present moment. My personality is that I am a list-maker, so I am always thinking two steps ahead. This can be good for keeping the pantry at home stocked with groceries, but it can also clutter my mind and make me less focused on any task at hand. So when I knit I try not worrying about how it will look when I or someone else wears it, if the color I chose was the best, or that I might make a mistake when the techniques get more complex. I just try to take each stitch as I can, and remember to breathe.

  222. I am proud to say I have progressed from scarves! Last year I knit a hat as a gift. That was my first experience with DBP needles. This year I knit my first layette set, kaftan, hat and booties. I think the time has come to knit something for myself…and the yarn just arrived… crimson colored alpaca… yyaaayyyy!!!

  223. I would like to try short rows this year. There are some lovely patterns for scarves and shawls using the short row technique. But how do we tell what we fear from what we just don’t like? I just don’t like sewing (and that includes weaving in the ends), so I’ve avoided anything with color changes or seams.

  224. Although I’ve been knitting for two decades (sporadically then, but now constantly with the new wave of knitting enthusiasts), the things that often held me back were perfectionism (I’m an adult, I should get this immediately!) and feeling like I could not afford to spend money for nice things for myself. I see so often in blogs and comments young women who buy some really nice yarn, and then say, “of course I bought it on sale…” Stop apologizing for buying good materials. If hubby wants a golf club he just buys it–doesn’t talk any nonsense about waiting till it’s on sale! Perfectionism is harder because we tend not to even attempt something if it can’t be perfect. But with the internet today, one can learn anything!(Often the comments can be very instructive too.) You can’t buy every book, or take every class, but you can often get a blow-by-blow set of instructions or video. Kitchener Stitch? Check out lectio.ca Best 4-minute video ever!

  225. Knitting Fear: finishing. Not the technical piece but the discipline and loyalty part. I get distracted by new yarns and patterns–must have, must start. Gauge swatches become scarves. I would LOVE to know how the loyal knitter actually finishes things.

    I believe that any pattern can be knitted. It’s a matter of good planning and following directions. It’s all based on the knit stitch (even the purl stitch).

  226. I have been a gardener for 30 yrs, raised deer and now teach classes on Gardening w/Deer and Elk. The first thing I teach a class is to suspend all self judgement. Leave it at the garden gate and create a space that feeds your soul.
    I have the same attitude about knitting and crocheting. I love the colors, the texture of the yarn, the feel of the needles or hook. I am eager to try a new stitch, work with a new yarn or figure out a new pattern. For me it is all about the process that feeds my soul, sooths my heart and quiets my mind. All that for the price of a skein of yarn. Patti Simons

  227. For me, becoming a fearless knitter has come with age (I’m a ripe old 56), as has fearlessness about so many other things. It’s like being a teenager, but with experience. Fearless knitting for me has been coming to understand that I CAN modify patterns to fit my shape, that no pattern is too advanced (not because I’m a fabulous knitter, but because I know how to read and to rip out!). Last year I did my first ever commissioned knitting, which was cool! And turned out! I’m even tinkering w/ designing, or at least with the idea of it! So all you fearful knitters out there, buck up. This fear, too, shall pass. Remember the first time you rode your two-wheeler w/o training wheels? Same thing.

    Linda from Maine

  228. All I need to be a fearless knitter is the time and yarn – and sometimes a pattern. Since I am a combination process/result knitter I am always ready to try something new – after all Froggy is our friend. I have reknit some experiments 5 times before I got it right. I enjoy the accomplishment of learning something new – and showing off what an amazing knitter I am to everyone who sees my results! Deirdre

  229. I’ve been thinking about this question, how to be a fearles knitter since the original post.

    For me, it’s doing what I fear.

    I’ve been knitting since I was five which seems like forever, (50 years) and had been afraid of lace, though I’ve always thought it was so beautiful. Last year, I started knitting lace shawls and I LOVE knitting lace! This year I’ve been knitting lace socks and having SO much fun. What’s next? A lace shell, or skirt? Whatever I’m knitting, it’s my ‘take a breath at the end of the day’ time. So who knows. Whatever it is, I’ll be knitting fearlessly and loving every minute.

    Thank you for sharing your love of fiber and delightful sense of humor.

    Meg Boendier
    Lilburn, GA

  230. 2007 was a big knitting year for me — I learned how to do fair isle, knitted continental, made my first items to sell, and gained the courage to actually rip out and redo what I didn’t like the first time. For 2008 I want to work on my finishing techniques and actually remember to make something for myself occasionally! I’m inspired by all the other experiknitters out there!

  231. In 2008 I started knitting curtains for my kitchen; an open lacey weave from Interweave Knits. It is going well – I am even planning to do some for my sliding glass door! that kitchen needs something!
    thanks for the incentive to get started.

  232. I knit and blocked an over all lace pattern shawl. I have toyed with knitting lace but this time I used stitch markers to guide me. I learned to read my knitting and identify mistakes in the lace. I had the courage to drop down a row to repair mistakes without having to rip back the whole row of 300 stitches! It’s amazing how the idea of ripping back 300 stitches will force you to learn a new skill. For 2009, I want to learn to knit from the top down without a written pattern. Yes, I want to learn to design my own.

  233. I have been trying to knit a pair of socks all year, I have a pair on 2 circular needles that are stock with only about a quarter of an inch of ribbing, some how they became so tight, that I will have to cut them from the needles to get them out. Using five DP needles has ladders in four areas. I did knit a cable square of a sampler afghan that came out well, and now working on a fair isle square that looks ok accept it seems a little tight. In 2009 I will make a pair of nice socks.

  234. In 2008 I had wanted to knit a pair of socks, but when it came to doing the gusset, I was afraid it would be too difficult for me. But I finally did it, I picked up my double points and off and Went and I practice and practice the gusset on the sock until I finally got the hang of it, so now I am working on my first real pair of socks!
    I also practiced making the toe of the “Toe Up Sock” and am in the process of making my first pair of Totem Toe up socks, as well. Something I thought I’d never bee able to do.
    Now for 2009, I would like to learn to do the Fair Isle Knitting. There are so many beautiful patterns. Maybe in 2009 I can make my first Fair Isle socks.

  235. My challenge was to try entrelac, specifically socks. I have not finished them, but they are on my needles. I ripped them off once, but I will finish them when my next priority is done.

  236. I started off 2008 making scarves and hats, everyone wanted em. I made a few bunny rabbits and socks. So I challenged myself and made a sweater for my father and it fit him PERFECTLY, i had never made an adult sweater before! Of course i made a hat to match :).

  237. In 2008 I made my first shoert sleeve top.
    I also went to Stitches East – there I learned about Continental Knitting and the Norwegian Purl.

    My goals for 2009 – make an item that I can include the Norwegian Purl – example a pair of fingerless gloves or a pair of socks.

  238. i am janknitter on ravelry. i will put all my stuff on the blog. i made a wavy scarf and did that for the first time tryed that from the picture and the result you will see.

  239. This year I moved to the West Coast and began the first steps of a career in the fibre industry, from working in an office tower. I also taught for the first time – a group of 10 friends who were at various stages of being beginner knitters. I’m now setting up two classes to teach and have started designing – my first were two thrummed mitt patterns that will go on display at the LYS. I would like to challenge myself to work without patterns, understand shaping and learn how to design wearable and flattering garments.

  240. I was asked by a non-knitter friend if I could make a Christmas Stocking for a new grandchild. The tradition goes way back in her family that every memeber have a handmade stocking to hang by the fireplace. Although I had never made one of these before I accepted the challange. I did a lot of researching before I began as I did not have a pattern. I became obsessed with the this project. After finishing each section of the sock I could not wait to go on with my next idea. I found myself incorporating many skills into this project. For instance: kniitting flat to incorporate intarsia, made a short row heel, joined and knit in the round on two circs for stranding, used duplicate stitches for some motifs, used lots of colors and the list goes on. Anyway, I am now making another stocking for 2009 and it is coming out nicely as well. I have pictures of the first one and will take pictures on the second one when finished soon.
    When I first learned to knit many years ago I would never had diviated from a pattern. I thought this was a “fearless” project as I just made up what I wanted as I went along.

    RuthAnn re: 2008: The Year of Knitting Fearlessly

  241. Let me begin by saying I am a die-hard crocheter and knitting was never my “thing.” I could knit and purl but that is about it. Well…for 2008 I did cables and learned how to read knit patterns. I learned to knit on circular needles as well as double pointed needles. I can now knit ALOT more than scarves!!!!! I’ve made cabled hats…pocketbooks……and for 2009 I’m trying socks. I am truly…..FEARLESS!!!!!

  242. I have been knitting and crocheting for years, but this past year I fearlessly decided to knit an afghan for my daughter in 5 colors and in a zigzag pattern. It is the first time I tried that pattern and I found out it wasn’t so difficult after all. My daughter was thrilled with her afghan and so was I. Now I’m ready to tackle something else new. Maybe socks????? Yikes! We’ll see how that goes.