Alex the Mouse and A Year of Techniques

Here is Alex, my new design for A Year of Techniques! Being a part of Jen and Jim’s A Year of Techniques has been such an amazing experience.

The Year of Techniques is a printed book which starts out as downloaded monthly patterns, each by a different designer, exploring a different technique. There are in-depth tutorials and videos to accompany each design – plus Knit-along support (with prizes) in Jen and Jim’s Ravelry group and the Mason Dixon Lounge. There’s also the opportunity to purchase yarn kits, just to be sure that you have everything ready to get stuck into learning new techniques and knitting fantastic new designs. The summer yarn pack has just been made available.

You can read more about a Year of Techniques on the Mason Dixon website. Alex is the third design from the collection – but you can join in at any time!



The technique that I have used for Alex is the pinhole cast on. It’s something that I’d never heard of before – but I wish I had because it would be perfect to cast quite a few of my toy designs; Tawny Owl, Dashing Dachshund, Lucy, Moggy and Plum Pudding Pig. The technique is also great for socks, hats and some shawl and blanket designs.

In general I tend to be slow to learn new techniques. I can be a bit of a reluctant learner! But every time I do make the effort it always pays off; I learn something new and, more importantly, I grow my confidence. In A Year of Techniques Jen, Jim and the rest of the team (designers, contributors and knitters) make learning the new techniques so accessible and fun. I’ve been following the progress of Alex in the Knit-a-Long and after less than a week since the pattern was released there are already two completed mousies, many that are halfway complete, and more being added all the time. The group is so welcoming and supportive. The joy of learning new techniques is infectious!

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