June 28, 2005
A funny grumpy knitter
Happy knitaversary to me,
Happy knitaversary to me,
Happy knitaversary, dear Grumpy,
Happy knitaversary to me!
And many more!
Who knew? About one year ago I went to a friend's baby shower, witnessed the gifting of a hand-crocheted baby blanket, and everything changed. I wanted to be able to do that, too!
I ordered Pam Allen's Knitting for Dummies, because I thought the blanket was knit, and read it with zest, cover to cover. Even though I didn't know my left knitting needle from my left butt cheek, I made insightful notes like this one:
I also knit pretty much every stitch pattern Pam presents in the book. I happen to have saved my swatches from those days, knit in the delightfully-petroleum-smelling Red Heart acrylic. I totally didn't know any better back then, I didn't even know what LYS stands for! But look how pretty!
Here I made stripes! But look, every other row is twisted because I hadn't yet figured out how to purl to produce untwisted stitches. This is true for all the swatches and all the knitting I did for a while!
I started this swatch before I learned how to bind off, so I k2tog until all the stitches were eaten up!
In this one I was experimenting with making big holes in inappropriate places. Very handy skill and obviously a design element. Obviously. Because everyone needs holes under their bobbles.
Every other row is twisted, AND I make a cool shape, AND I use intarsia. This Red Heart swatch belongs in a museum!
I may have tried my hand at crochet. Ignore if this is too painful too look at :).
After a dozen little swatches and confidence that I can interpret Knitterese, it was time for my first project. Garter stitch scarf? I don't think so. This thing:
My special modifications for this project:
- Joining balls right in the middle of the row, right in the middle of the blanket. 'Cuz I'm cool like that.
- Weaving in ends for at least 10 inches. 'Cuz nothing is more inconspicuous than long-ass portions with doubled yarn.
- Zero knowledge of the existence of "macro" mode in digital cameras. Who needs a good picture of her first knitting project anyway?
- "Fixing" the one dropped stitch I made by looking at it with utmost confusion and seriousness.
- Knitting the thing on bamboos. Very tightly. With a lot of teeth grinding.
The experience wasn't useless, though. I REALLY enjoyed knitting, and I couldn't wait to start a new project after this one was finished. Also, shortly after starting the blanket, I finally realized that I was twisting every other row (the purl rows). Then I had an AHA moment when someone clued me in - I was purling in the Combined Method, while knitting Western. A short trip to Annie Modesitt's website changed my knitting life.
And here I am, one year later, looking at those funky swatches and wondering how that dropped stitch held up after a few washes... all while working on my own sock and t-shirt pattern. I'm a funny grumpy knitter.