Hello there - I am still among the living, but still dealing with my cold and The Cough That Will Never End. Not that it surprises me, since anytime I get sick and it involves a cough, I know that part will be around for the long haul.
The other day, I read or heard somewhere that there was a method for stranded knitting that allows you to secure the floats while knitting - as opposed to stopping to pick up and put down different yarn, which is what I have had to do with the very few colorwork projects I've ever knit. It was mentioned as being included in the instructions for a pattern which I had not purchased. I did have a pattern that I was going to start which had a tiny bit of colorwork, so I thought to myself, surely someone else has done that, or something similar and posted it on YouTube, right?
Right! You can see for yourself here. It's not the only one out there, but this is the method I tried and could "get," so to speak. Of course, it doesn't matter how easy it is or is not if you are not paying attention to the pattern ... ahem.
Last year when I finished this sweater and this sweater, I decided that if I could find another way than just the regular bind off for the neckline, I would use it. I didn't like the way that the usual bind off made a sort of ridge on the outside. I asked some of my knitting friends on Facebook, and more than one person suggested the Tubular Bind Off. Some were kind enough to provide a link, but this one was the one I found the easiest to understand. I'll admit that when I got to finishing the second sweater, I had to watch it, stop-n-go again, but in the end it was worth it because the neckline finish looks so very nice.
When I finally started knitting my Weekender, the pattern suggested using a Tubular Cast On, and linked to this tutorial. I have to tell you, I watched that thing about 4 times, and for whatever reason, it made absolutely no sense to me! So again, I headed to YouTube, and found success, this time by watching two different ones - this and this. A really good thing about YouTube is that if you can't understand one person's video, there's a really good chance that someone else has made one that might turn on the light bulb in your brain, so to speak.
Here's the advantage, as far as I'm concerned: if someone shows me something, and I can't remember exactly how it was done, I can jog my memory using illustrations in a book. But - I am not a person who can easily figure things out with just a printed illustration. For so many years, I would give up on trying to learn new techniques with my knitting, because no one could show me, and the photos/drawings in books meant nothing to me. Now, with YouTube, online tutorials from yarn stores or other knitters, you can actually see in real time what is happening. You can freeze frame to be sure you are doing it correctly, or slow it down to your preferred speed. And in my case, at least, that is beyond helpful.
Granted, there are still plenty of things that are more easily learned one-on-one, in person. None of the online stuff will ever replace a good teacher sitting next to you. But today there are so many opportunities for learning things if you are lucky enough to have access to a computer. And how many times do you hear or read that one of the ways to keep your mind healthy is to learn new things?
I like to think that with just the three things I've mentioned above, I've bought some extra time for my brain. And even if I haven't, for now my horizons are so much wider!