Monthly Archives: May 2004

I should have made the I-cord first.


Much like my trials with the circular cast on, I have now decided that the creation of any serious amount of I-cord is a reason not to do a project. Knit five, slide, knit five, repeat five hundred times. I don’t care that it seemed to go fast when I applied myself (applied…I-cord…get it? Hee.) it was the knitting equivalent of the dentist’s office.

But I soldiered on, producing 5+ feet of I-cord in record time, and now my Booga gift bag is done. There was a recent outbreak of “what’s up with all these felted bags” on knitflame (I think), saying they were heavy and ugly and lots of other words ending in -y. Well, I have to admit that my first felted bag resembled that remark – the fabric is somewhat bulletproof. It’s a handbag for a stylish Secret Service agent.

But the Booga is subtle, delicate yet strong – dare I say minxy? The fabric is soft, light, and the color is beautiful. Even Knit One Purl Too’s Felting quality Control Analyst (my husband), after initial skepticism, liked the Booga very much. Just goes to show you that yarn selection makes all the diffference – you can felt all 100% wool yarns, but you might not want to try each and every one.

Here is what I said to the KnittersWay group by way of introduction – by the time you read this, I will have actually started reading the book:

Hello, knitters -

I’m Donna; I turned 35 this month (make of that what you will; I’ve been
thinking “midlife crisis”), and I’ve been knitting on and off for 3 years, “on”
for the last one.

I love so many things about knitting: the color, the dimensional quality of
making something you can touch, hold and use, the feel of the yarn, the
“puzzle” aspect of putting stitches and pieces in place, the research and
reading about new techniques and patterns – I’m hooked (but I can’t crochet, no pun intended). My reach exceeds my grasp; I have yet to complete my first sweater (mostly because I abandoned the first one out of boredom and
restarted), but I’m already looking toward Aran knitting, Fair Isle and more complex projects.

I might be the exception, but I have no prior exposure to The Artist’s Way save for having heard of it. I wanted to read and work through it with you all
because I’m interested in discovering more about the kind of knitter I am,
beyond the projects I like. My husband is a fine woodworker, and makes
beautiful furniture out of just his ideas and talented hands – I’ve gotten used
to people saying “I can’t believe he can do that” about his work. People have liked my knitting, but I’ve never thought of myself as an artist. Perhaps
instead of asking whether I could be an artist, I should ask what kind of
artist I am.

Donna
who promises to start reading tonight

The way of the knitter.

I have a gift to make by Memorial Day weekend, and it’s going well – a Booga Bag for my friend Amy. This is a landmark project for me; when I started knitting again nearly a year ago, I called Amy and said “I want to make you a bag.” We went back and forth via e-mail about what kind, what color..and then other knitting got in the way. But the Booga has cycled around to the head of the list. It’s part of the great purse-along at Wombatty’s and what’s more it’s a stash-busting project because I purchased the Kureyon months ago when we finally picked the color. It feels good to plan something and finally do it. starproject1.gif [this button swiped from Vera]

It also feels good to be able to do it; the biggest difference between my knitting eleven months ago and now is that I have come to appreciate re-doing things as an opportunity to learn more about a given technique. I tried picking up stitches three times for the bag – each time it got better, and I could see why it was better. How about that? Here’s a closeup to celebrate:
Instead of a knitter who gets from point A to point B by the skin of her teeth, I’m becoming a “process knitter”. To better develop my appreciation for the art of knitting, I’ve signed up for Knitter’s Way a Yahoo Group that will read and discuss Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way in knitting terms. Am I an artist? Hmmm. Not like this. But I want to be the most creative knitter I can be.

Knit faster!

I didn’t realize how much I really wanted to go to Sockfest until it was happening; same deal with Maryland Sheep and Wool – even though I have zero interest in spinning, and MS&W is a spinner’s mecca, I was jonesing for a fiber road trip. So I thought “My brother in law lives in New York state; how about Rhinebeck in November?” How about “He lives 200 miles away from Rhinebeck – New York is a bigger state than I thought!” So, maybe not. Maybe Michigan Fiber is more realistic. Or even KnitFest; Toledo is the gateway to knitting, apparently.

Fiber road trip or no, I’ve been knitting up a storm; it’s hard for me to tell whether or not I’m knitting faster, but I think so, because I’ve produced six seven inches of sock in a week (plus, I turned the heel on my birthday). See? That’s Lion Brand Magic Stripe on size 1 needles – I never thought I would use size 1s, but they feel great. Magic Stripes is heavier than average sock yarn; I’m slightly worried as a loose knitter that I’ll need to use 00 needles with regular sock yarn to get a fabric I like that wears well. Small needles are fine, but I have my limits.

In large-needle news, I am almost half done with the sleeve on my Lush pullover – two more sets of decreases then it’s knitknitknit till the shoulder shaping.
Whee! My new skill for the week is learning how to do an invisible increase on the purled side of the work – cool, no? I owe my newfound knowledge to the Knitter’s Companion, a surprise gift from a friend (a knitter, of course) that’s proving invaluable.

I’ve mentioned before that I have some sweaters my mom made me when I was in high school that are beautiful but terribly oversized. Unraveling a sweater might be just the tutorial I need to begin their transformation into something even more lovely.

And, just for laughs, here’s my wishlist from this thread on the Knitter’s Review forums: if you were given $500 and had to spend it on knitting supplies, what would you buy?

I’d buy the Alice Starmore Rambling Rose Fair Isle cardigan kit from Virtual Yarns, plus the yarn to make Little Rivers (also from Starmore’s Stillwater). A Charlotte’s Web Shawl kit in Koigu from Threadbear Fiber Arts, a complete set of Crystal Palace circular bamboo needles (well, 0 to 8, probably in the 24′ length), 0 and 1 40″ Addi Turbos to try Magic Looping, the Big Book of Vogue Knitting, The Knitter’s Guide to Finishing Techniques by Nancy Wiseman, The Art of Fair Isle Knitting by Ann Feitelson, a subscription to Interweave Knits, The Sock Calendar from Jackie E-S of Heartstrings Fiber Arts, some Lorna’s Laces sock yarn, because I’ve never used it, some Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn (ditto). And I’d use the remainder of the money to take designer Kathy Zimmerman to lunch, because I think her cabled designs are so beautiful; I want to thank her. That should do it :)

Thanks to Knit One Purl Too’s Knitting Supplies Procurement Specialist (my husband), and some Barnes and Noble gift card action for my birthday, I’m getting a subscription to IK and The Art of Fair Isle Knitting – yay! More birthday surprises unveiled shortly – stay tuned.