30 January 2007

the knitty gritty

panda...  the supermodelone with powerful skills of observation may note that i have spoken of making knitting needle cases, but i have devoted no space to the act of knitting. it has been entirely overshadowed by crochet goodies. there is a reason for this.

i am only just now really teaching myself to knit. i have taken it up twice before (just as i had two half-hearted attempts at crocheting under my belt before i really learned) and i think i am now ready to do it seriously. pictured to the left is the most serious thing i made prior to this renewed interest. yes, that is a garter stitch scarf made of super chunky weight yarn and fun fur. i have made several of these for people in my life. they appreciated them, but i didn't kid myself that i was a knitter.

in case you were wondering, the ravishing model in that photo is Panda. he and i have been together a long time, gone on many adventures, and he has been a good sport through it all. clearly. i mean, fun fur. seriously.

eventually, i'll introduce his buddy Baby Panda. anyway!

technically, i was a knitter. i could knit. i could not purl. so it is safe to say i really was a half-assed knitter! i could not purl because i was trying to teach myself from a book, and the books i was using were not as helpful as the fantastic original by debbie stoller... Stitch'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook. i know i have sung her praises a lot, but this book did something revolutionary for me. i had no idea why i was messing up my stitches when they seemed to match the pictures in the books. i mean, i'm an artist and a fairly visual learner, so what gives? then i bought this book and....
she includes the hands (not just the needle tips) in the illustrations of technique. and what did i learn? i was trying to knit english style (right-handed) with a continental hold (left-handed). it was the second biggest duh, dumbass moment in my needlecraft life. second only to figuring out how to tunisian crochet.

now that i have ironed out my knitting problems, i have settled down to practice projects. needless to say, i am a little sick of scarves, so i have challenged myself to find things non-scarf to build skills. the little blue and purple capelet was all about me practicing sockinette stitch and learning to decrease. the pattern is from Moda Dea, but i used some old stash yarn, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick and whipped it up on US size 19 (15mm) needles. i don't like giant needles and thick yarn. i have tiny hands. but they found it educational.

i have another educational project on the sticks right now. this one to practice 2x2 rib, and incorporate crochet into knitting. hopefully i will be able to post a progress photo soon--that would mean i picked it back up, AND the sweater is done.

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