I had a good think about this, what new skills have I learned in the last year of knitting. I was amused to note that actually I'm knitting exactly the same sock pattern now as I was at this time last year, Monkey by Cookie A.
That aside I feel I have developed a lot as a knitter over the last twelve months and have taken on some projects I would have shied away from this time last year including two large lace projects, my green shawl and my mother in law's pink scarf. I knew how to knit lace this time last year though, I just didn't do it much so hardly a +1up.
A skill that is new since last year is cabling without a cable needle, I'm pretty certain this time last year I'd have looked at you like you were crazy had you even suggested this to me. I wasn't very good at cables, I hadn't knit many of them and often found little ladders at the sides of them. I liked the look but actually knitting them was another matter entirely and I will admit I hated faffing with the cable needle but really didn't believe there could be another way for me. I then joined a KAL on ravelry for a mystery sock pattern by Cookie A. In the pattern notes she recommended cabling without a cable needle, ha I thought, not for me.
I got my cable needle out and started the project. After one round (yes the cables or rather twisted stitches) started on the FIRST ROUND of this pattern, a round which involved dropping my cable needle, muttering, cursing, pulling out and starting again, I decided to give this cabling without a needle a go. I'm so glad I did.
These were the socks from that first cable needle free experience and I still love them:
I don't think I'd have kept going past the first few rounds had I continued with my cable needle as there were twists on pretty much every round of the pattern. I've since knit more socks with tiny, twisty cables and once again didn't use a cable needle and once again was so glad I made the effort to learn this simple technique as it really is so much quicker.
I'm not saying I'm putting away my cable needles forever, for wider cables over quite a few stitches I will still use one but it has opened up a whole new stack of sock patterns for me to play with and I do love the look of tiny little twisty stitches.
As for how I want to develop as a knitter, my next +1up well there is a technique that still frightens me even though I know I shouldn't be frightened of knitting, the worst that can happen is I'll have to rip it out. Still I get into a panic when I think of it.
I'm determined though, I even bought wool in Edinburgh with stranded colourwork in mind, good, old fashioned, sticky wool which I was assured is excellent for colourwork (and I saw a lovely example in the shop) so I am going to give it a go this year and add that to my list of knitting techniques.