My mom taught me to knit when I was five. I plunked down on the floor and used some of her leftover peach color yarn, which I thought was gorgeous and she probably felt smacked of the 1970s, and learned to knit to a nursery rhyme:
In through the window,
'Round the back.
Out through the window,
Off pops Jack.
I can still feel the smooth coldness of the silk cord drawstrings of the navy blue corduroy bag she gave me to store my wooden knitting needles and knitting projects in. I didn't knit much as a child, although I do remember making leg warmers for my American Girl doll. It wasn't until my early teenage years that I actually became proficient at knitting. That's when I tackled Barbara Walker's Learn To Knit Afghan and learned just about every basic knitting stitch and technique you need to know. The afghan, with all of its mismatched squares, is draped over the cabin's couch today.
While I've been knitting longer than I've been reading, I didn't put much effort into really improving my skills until 2008, when I discovered Ravelry. By that time in my knitting career, I'd had a fair amount of knitting disasters and I was tried of attempting to transform gifted yarn into beautiful garments. So I gave myself permission to buy myself some yarn and started to tackle progressively more difficult projects: felting, socks, colorwork, et al. I had a major epiphany last year when I discovered the concept of "blocking" your work (where you wet a garment and pin it out to desired dimensions after you've finished knitting) which helps give knitted pieces their proper shape and also has a smoothing, evening effect on your stitched. It makes everything look so much better!
My latest project was a hooded lace sweater I started just after Christmas. The sweater, entitled Apres Surf (handy for all the surfing that goes on in northern Minnesota, eh?), uses sock yarn on size 3 and 2 needles (translation: itty, bitty needles and thread-like yarn) and although the pattern wasn't especially complicated, it did require patience and concentration.
My goal with this project was to make a sweater that didn't look homemade. I realize this is rather counter intuitive to the whole reasoning behind knitting, but we're all familiar with the ill-hanging, bulky homemade sweater. I wanted a sweater where people's first comment was "What a pretty sweater" rather than "Did you make that?" I'm rather pleased with the results.
I had to slip in a fun little project while the sweater was blocking. This little sweater is for former co-workers' baby-to-be.
|Photo credit: changcon|
|Good thing they have their love to keep them warm because it's going to be a while before this afghan achieves the same effect!|
I better get those needles flying.
Do you knit or crochet? Working on any projects this winter?
*Title shamelessly stolen from fabulous fellow "K"rafter Ali.