Monday, November 28, 2005

Maybe I'm screwed

I'm starting to think that I don't know how to knit. Just because I've finished lots of projects & non-knitters think they are pretty does not necessarily a good knitter make. I started to think I was screwed up when I took that damn sock class. Apparently the teacher there is an "english" knitter & I knit like an old Russian grandmother - more specifically, my teacher's granny. I apparently learned the Continental method of knitting, plus I think I put my own spin on it. I figured out that I was knitting different when I would knit in different groups & they would ask me if I was left handed. Which I'm not. So when I took the sock class, they tried to show me how to purl as if I was knitting using the English method. Which naturally didn't work, but I didn't know any better because I never bothered to study things like the anatomy of a stitch! When I went to my sweater class, my teacher there figured out that I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing. So she literally worked with me for 2 hours to figure out how I could purl to make it work with the way I knit - as you will recall, obvioulsy I put my own "spin" on it because I don't knit exactly like anyone I know - including the people that taught me.

I am such a rebel. I put the book Knitting for Anarchists on my Christmas list mainly due to my extreme agreement with this statement from a review of the book on "Zilboorg's book is a real eye opener, and equips those of us who do our stitches a little differently with the knowledge and ability to deflect purists, stitch nazis, and other fiber arts authoritarians when they tell us we're doing it wrong, and show them that our stitches are perfect regardless of whether we knit Continental or English, leading leg in front or back, or if we wrap clockwise or counterclockwise." AMEN my knitting sista!

But here is what I'm learning. If I want to be a knitting rebel, I really do need to
figure out what each stitch does. I did the exact same thing when I wanted to learn to play the piano. I wanted to play songs, damn it, not learn notes!!! I also refuse to do a swatch & figure my gauge - I mean, really, what is wrong with me. How am I supposed to knit cool sweaters & wraps & things that I'll actually wear other than scarves if I won't play by the rules? I guess I'm just frustrated. There are many things that I want to make & I can't figure out how to do them because I can't just follow a book. Like over the weekend, I wanted to make a scarf that said I needed to "yarn over" - which looks easy in the book. But they show you how to yarn over if you knit like them. So how am I supposed to know how to yarn over? I tried a few things but it's not working because instead of a spiral scarf, I have just another straight scarf. Oh, what's a knitting rebel to do? Part of me thinks that I should just start all over & play by the rules. But the rebel in my refuses that theory, because I can be an anarchist if I so chose! I guess I'll go study boring stitch anatomy. Or maybe I'll just wing it & stay in my frustrated state! I'll let you know what I decide.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Lone Sock

I really wanted to knit socks. I saw the picture of the pippi kneestockings in Stitch 'N Bitch & really really wanted some. I mean, come on, they are so cute! I had only knitted rectangles so the idea of a sock was a little more than I could handle on my own. I can't read a pattern to save my life & I learn by sight, not by books, so it's really more than I cared to try without help. One night at knitting group Becky & Valerie said they were taking a socks class at the LYS. PERFECT! I had partners in crime! So I called the very next day & signed up for my class, so excited at the prospect that I, too, could knit socks (nevermind the fact that I didn't even know how to purl).

I love the Woolie Ewe in Plano. They are so sweet & the class was super, but ya know what? I hate socks. I hate that sock more than anything else ever. I attribute my hate for socks to the following things (get your cheese, everyone, I'm about to supply the whine):
* we had homework. Obviously to be at the next point to teach us something, we HAD to do homework each week. I knit for fun, people, I don't want someone to dictate to me that I HAVE to knit. Granted, if they hadn't "made" me, I'd probably have knitted knee socks, but hey, tell me I have to do something I don't wanna.
* I have discovered that I like size 13 needles & up. I like instant gratification. These are knitted on size 5 double point needles. I have corpal tunnel & I knit really tight, so this was hell on my wrists, but I'm also a baby.
* I need to be knitting Christmas gifts! 3 weeks later I'm still not, I'm working on a sweater just for me, but in my head, every second I spent on this sock was time I could have spent on gifts.
* My sock has what is referred to as "ladders" and 2 air holes because I didn't knit it tight enough in certain spots.

Poor little lone sock. Am I going to make it a friend? One just like it so I can actually enjoy my sock(s)? I guess one day. I guess after I do Christmas presents. When I feel like it. Maybe then I'll wear them & love socks! I figure I'll make some pretty Christmas stockings & start in February on great big needles - maybe then I'll love socks! My knitting teacher said "you weren't ready for socks" - man, she is smart. I wasn't ready for socks, but hey, I know how to turn a heel. And I can say I know how to make a sock. And I learned to purl & rib. BTW, when I left my friends they were both looking for new sock patterns & yarn, so I may be the only one that hates socks.

AWWW, I'm looking at my sock thinking it needs a match. I want to hate it but I can't, it's like a knitted child, my sock baby!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Knitting for the fam

Well, when my family found out I was knitting, everyone was....skeptical. You have to understand, I used to be Ms. Corporate America & my Martha skills were limited to picking up bread or the plastic utensils for family functions. But since I am not working anymore, I am exploring my artsy side, and as far as I'm concerned, that includes knitting. So when they snickered I took it for a while & when I finally had enough, I said "If you laugh at me, I'm not making anything for you." Well, after they saw that what I was making was PRETTY, the attitudes shifted just a bit. At an extended family gathering yet another family member got wind of my new hobby & started cracking up. My sister quickly said "if you laugh you won't get anything, and her stuff is really pretty." Eureka!!!

On a trip to see my family a few months ago my Mom very respectfully asked if I planned to make her something because she would really like to have something that I made. So I sent this to her today: it's just garter stitch using 2 balls of Berroco Softy in Kiss. I don't know how to fringe, so this is as good as it gets for now.

Today's yarn fix

Ok, so here is the yarn I bought today: Baby Bee Pitter Patter Eyelash Yarn in charming ombre & boo pink solid - could the color names be any cuter? It is so soft, I just LOVE baby yarn.!I am using it to make a poncho & skirt for my niece's American Doll as part of her Christmas gift. I am ready, I think I'll start tonight...

Why a Blog?

My knitting life started in August when I decided to teach myself how to knit. I bought a book & got confused on the first day - I couldn't figure out how to cast on. So I called a local yarn store that I found online to see if they offered classes and they convinced me to come to their Stitch & Bitch group that night. I started a scarf out of expensive eyelash yarn & my obsession began. The long story of that scarf will have to be a subject of its very own. I love my knitting circle! They are a great bunch of ladies.

Like so many others, I think I might burst if I don't write about my knitting habit. And my new yarn habit. At first I thought I'd use a blog to keep a record of sorts of the projects that I completed & gave away. Afterall, I don't want to forget the beautiful (to me) things I've made, but I also don't want to double gift the same or similar things to other people! Maybe because I'm new I think I'll be knitting up things for other people all of the time. The more new projects I see for me, the more I think screw everyone else! I want me a sweater! But we'll see - Right now I'm working on Christmas gifts. After those are done I'll figure out what I really want to knit because right now, the list seems endless.

Second subject, yarn. Now that I'm doing this, I figure if I confess the true extent of the amount of yarn I have that maybe someone will stop me. But in my defense, I've gotten tons for free or cheap from yard sales. I have also traded my time to the girl that is teaching me so she gave me some really nice yarn. But I have bought quite a bit. Photographs to follow - I'm telling you, it's ugly. On the other side of that, maybe someone can help give me ideas of what to make with some of my stash. I really can't just look at yarn & say "that would make a beautiful sweater" - I need to see pictures.

Comments & visitors are surely welcome! let me know what you think.