Showing posts with label Fearless Knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fearless Knitting. Show all posts

05 May 2007

I'm in love

And it's not with yarn. Well, I'm always in love with some yarn and am very keen on O-Wool at the moment having just ordered some (last two skeins of sky, sorry, and six skeins of oatmeal for I know not what) from Webs (closeout, people!). But I'm in love with a person this time...

Elizabeth Zimmerman is so great! I just finished Knitter's Almanac, She combines darling Anglicisms with Midwestern common sense. And I started reading Knitting Without Tears last night. More EZ goodness.

There are many knitters who want to make exactly what they see on the page, down to color of yarn. But from the moment I picked up the needles, I've been wanting to do my own thing. I still remember going to a certain yarn shop near the Green in a historic town (you locals will know which one) with my spiffing copy of Weekend Knitting and telling the woman who was trying to help me that I wanted to make the poncho but didn't want to use the yarn called for (wanted to use Manos instead, my first yarn love) and didn't want to do the baby cable, just 2x2 ribbing. Well, I think I broke her brain. She just could not understand why I didn't want to follow directions.

It's been the same ever since for me, and so far (knock wood or click bamboos) I haven't made too many absolute disasters.

Well, I have one at the moment. Not really a disaster, but I'm not feeling the love for the cardigan I just knit up for Isobel. Finishing isn't going well. What do you think of the frog pond? I was thinking of doing a February cardigan from the Almanac in a kid size on larger needles, since the Mission Falls is worsted, and I believe the February sweater calls for DK or fingering.

As for the Double Wedding Ring quilt (my blocking surface du jour), Sandra, I did not make it, my mother acquired it at some point. She has a passion for antique quilts and my parents have quite a few in their home. I haven't taken up quilting yet. Somehow it seems to much like my graphic design/art direction day job. Just like Pilates seemed too much like ballet class, so I stuck to yoga. And good eyes, Sandra, for seeing the quilt between the drying sweater pieces! BTW, I love that you raise sheep! At a previous art directorship I always said that I was going to quit and go raise sheep.

25 April 2007

Knitting as ...

Wendy is getting somewhat contemplative about knitting, which brought my thoughts about knitting to the fore.

As you know, life has been a challenge for the Purly girl lately. And that has led to a LOT of knitting: Since January I have knit two sweaters for myself, two shrugs, a pair of men's socks, a pair of gloves, a hat, a purse, a shawl, a shawlette, along with starting another sweater for me, another shawl, a sweater for Isobel, and a vest for Dad. And most of those items are not in bulky yarn. We're talking many, many stitches.

Now, I can't say each one is a prayer or anything, but I have found knitting to be a life-saver. With knitting I've found something to concentrate on other than my situation. Creating stitch after stitch is meditative, though I don't think of knitting as meditation in the strict sense of the word. And working out a new stitch pattern or reworking a size stretches the mental muscles - mine have been getting stuck in some yucky grooves lately, so adding a picot edge to Isobel's cardigan helps to break me out of that groove.

People have been saying for a few years that "knitting is the new yoga". I know what they mean, but isn't that a facile comment? Knitting is knitting, and yoga is yoga. The two share some elements, requiring us to focus on something both inside and outside of ourselves. Modern folks have a tendency to navel gaze (see "yucky grooves"), don't we? Knitting is very personal, but it can also be communal and generous.

Yoga is, of course, navel gazing in the name of health. Breathing is central. And shouldn't we all breathe while knitting? Repetition is important in both practices and leads to increased flexibility and more even stitches. Remember your first knitted item? I still have the "scarf" in my stash, though some day I might frog it and do something else with the yarn (turquoise Manos del Uruguay - I believe in using the good stuff all the way). Remember your first yoga class? Luckily, I've always been flexible, as I started practicing ballet at age three, but I had no idea what I was doing! Now I can do Downward Dog properly and sometimes achieve a Headstand (what a rush!).

Next time: "Crochet is the new Knitting," "Grey is the new Black," and other brilliant observations. Just kidding!

03 November 2006


I've started to post to the Knitlist with answers to people's questions. Whee!

Someone asked for a hat pattern, and I gave them my recipe, which is an amalgamation of a few hat patterns I've knit up over the last three years:

"Cast on appropriate number of stitches (try for a multiple of eight. which makes for nice decreases at the top) for desired circumference and gauge in pattern. Join for working in the round and work for approximately 7" (for adult size). For a multiple of eight caston: K6 k2tog to end of round; knit one round even; k5 k2tog; even. And so on until you have 4/8/12 stitches on the needle (sort of depends on the bulk of your yarn). Cut yarn leaving a 6" tail. Thread tail through live stitches, tighten like a drawstring, then secure and weave in end inside hat.

"I did a pile of hats in Blizzard (bulky alpaca blend) a few years back in almost this pattern, but with a decrease every row (knit for another inch or so before starting decreases), which formed this lovely spiral pattern on top."

For the Blizzard hats, I think I started with 42 stitches (multiple of seven, not eight, but whatever).

I'm intrigued by people asking for a hat pattern, since they're so basic. But lots of people need big directions, I guess. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes I do, too, but it's so fun when you start to understand the structure and can then riff on that.