Friday, August 25, 2006

Confessions

One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog is an attempt to encourage me to knit more, especially during the school year. Lets call it shame factor. Additionally, I'm not a very confident knitter yet and, as I've found that the knitters I meet around my LYS (local yarn store) and read about on blogs seem a friendly bunch and willing to encourage, this blog stuff seems my cup of tea.

Two days ago was a very exciting day as I received my very first comments to my blog from someone I don't know and am not married or related to! And, even better, it was from another knitter whose blog I read regularly. Thanks, Renee (http://www.froggiemeanie.blogspot.com/)! I am still learning how to to use this blog and wonder about stuff such as, although I posted a message on my blog yesterday, the day and date and time posted were from the night before when I had originally drafted that particular post. Go figure.

I've been knitting for only about 18 years, or 3 depending on your perspective. I knit a couple of summer type, late 1980's style 't-shirt' sweaters in the early 1990's to 'get used' to knitting (my mother and grandmother had taught me when I was quite young but I didn't continue with it then). I hated the yarn and the patterns but figured they would be good practice. I guess they were as my tension is still very consistent after taking a 15 year break from knitting however, those sweaters certainly didn't encourage me to continue my knitting career at that point. I finished them and gave them to my mother to sew up. I haven't asked about them since.

At the time, I found knitting slow and crocheting fit my 'instant satisfaction' craving much better. I also didn't see any patterns or yarn interesting enough to invest time and money in. When we moved to Ottawa in 2002, I realized we had moved very close to a fantastic yarn store a five (well, maybe a ten) minute walk from my house (Yard Forward at http://www.yarnfwd.com/). Their yarn is gorgeous and inspirational, the patterns interesting and to my taste and I'm a wee bit older so don't require instant results anymore. I have, however, developed a much higher regard and preference for high quality fibre (read: expensive) yarn. I started knitting again in the fall of 2004 with Fiddlestick Knitting's (www.fiddlesticksknitting.com) 'Easy Lace Mesh Stole' for my sister (who had better not be reading this blog as she still has yet to receive it!) out of a gorgeous varigated merino wool (www.filtesfilati.it and select the Filati per Aguglieria tab. The wool I used is the Australian Merino) from my LYS. I won't post this WIP (the fringe isn't yet complete) until it's been gifted so as not to completely ruin the surprize. However, that project helped to turn me into a fibre addict in a rather serious way!

I had already developed an acute affection (read: addiction) for quilting fabric and other interesting sewing fabrics. I am also intrigued by weaving and, thanks to the generous gift of a table loom from my mother-in-law, intend on taking weaving lessons when I finish school. A firm addiction to knitting seems a natural progression. It's also genetic. I am a Newfoundland and Labradorian coming from generations of knitters after all.

After knitting the stole, I found a Shelridge Farm knit kit for a 'Rainbow Hat' (www.shelridge.com - not the Forest colourway but the one that matches the Rainbow Sheep sweater). I was still thinking that I would buy wool for one project at a time and keep at least one crafty pursuit under control (ha! I will show you what happened to this plan in a later post). Another 'easy' project but one which I needed A LOT of help with for the first one. I'd never knit in the round before, had no idea what 'be careful you don't twist when you join' meant (it terrified me) and when the pattern ended in an I-cord, broke the wool in my desperation to make it tight enough (a note here: I am normally a VERY loose knitter usually going 1 to 1.5 needle sizes SMALLER to achieve the proper gague). However, I learned to knit in the round, splice wool and make an I-Cord all in one neat, and fast, little project. I was addicted and knit three more.

Although it's meant for children, I've knit four of these hats in total, all for adults: one for my sister (see, she has received at least one knitted gift after all!), one for my sister-in-law in England (London), one for a friend currently living in Kingston and one for me. I managed to get four adult hats from purchasing only two kits! The picture above is of my hat - the only one left uncompleted and the only knitting project I 'finished' when I was in school last year. I finished it after the weather warmed up so it is the promise of fall that has me interested in sewing in the ends which, lets be honest, will probably take 15 minutes of my time and I have to wonder why that hasn't been done before.

This is the last WIP I'll post today. This is a design from Mags Kandis' 'Mission Falls Harvest' (http://www.missionfalls.com)/ book and Mags is almost single handedly responsible for my starting knitting again. I love Mission Falls wool and cotton, I love the colours, I love the feel of the wool to knit, I love it, love it, love it, er, I think you get the idea. Yes, this obsessoin has become a bit of a problem. This is Mags' 'Zelda Pull' in Mission Falls 1824 Wool colour 21 (denim). I waited ages for this wool to come in and it's perfect. Another item that needs to be finished. I'm learning how to do that so that's my excuse for not having it done yet. I'm slow! I'm hoping to get to my LYS shortly for more instruction (and encouraging words) to get this lovely piece finished ASAP.

2 comments:

Renee said...

No problem. See, a girl needs comments to keep the blog momentum going so I'm happy to oblige cause, well, I like ya (and we're both Newfoundlanders - we might just be related).

By the way, I have that hat and I love it. My friend and I both bought kits from Shelridge Farms a few years back (me the Checker's Sweater, her that hat) and she made three from one kit and I got one. I wear it all the time. Their yarn is great. I hope to get some more at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair in a couple of weeks.

JustApril said...

That's a really great knitterly autobiographical post! =)*) That's a very interesting journery into becomimg a knitter. It's so cool to see that so many people arrive at knitting from so many different angles. About the only thing my story has in common with yours is that the horrible stuff that was popular in the fiber world back in the early 90's totally turned me off to fiber arts. Other than that, me being a knitter is mostly a happy accident!