Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hindsight Thoughts

It's funny, I realized I went about the knitting learning curve all backwards. I could NOT stand the boring repetition of stockinette stitch, or garter stitch, or ribbing, or any of the other very repetitive projects that are so frequently recommended for a new knitter. I made a large square and then asked my friend if I could knit branching out. That's right, my second knit project ever was a lace scarf. I think my third one was a tank top with a lace panel. I loved lace from the get go - the challenge and repetition was soothing and meditative to me.

Of course, I completely disregarded important things like gauge and swatching and size. All those things are taken care of in blocking with lace! Now, I'm eating humble pie and going back to making sure I understand the basics. Sure, I can wing it and adapt a lace pattern to make a cardigan. But I wouldn't be able to tell another person how in the hell I modified the rate of increases to deal with a top-down raglan while maintaining the stitch pattern. I find stockinette stitch soothing now, because I don't have to look at what I'm doing. Plain cardigans are my favorite thing to knit on the exercise bike.

I'm working on a plain cardigan now, called Hatty, to make myself learn those basics. Yup, I did a gauge swatch. I ripped out 4 inches of the back panel when the gauge in the seed stitch didn't match the stockinette. I changed needle size and pattern sizes to get something that I hope has a better fit. I think the biggest lesson I've learned is not to be afraid. Well, I am afraid. Afraid that I don't get the sleeve caps right. I'm afraid that I'm going to screw up the seams. I'm afraid the button bands won't line up. What I'm really learning is not to let that fear stop me from accomplishing new things. When I first started knitting, I would have never guessed that simple stitching would have so much to teach me.

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Welcome to Crazytown, where my friends have proclaimed me queen. Why did they do that you ask? For some reason, there's very little that I fear about knitting. Hmm, a dress in laceweight done in lace knitting written by vogue? Sounds great! I have very few inhibitions when it comes to knitting, and that sometimes ends disasteriously. Apparently, other people think this signifies a level of crazy that only the royalty can attain. Follow along with my escapades as I dive head first into all sorts of insane techniques and projects without much more than an "Oh! That looks pretty, I can make it!"

Those will probably be my famous last words.