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VioletHunterHolmes Posted - 06/27/2014 : 11:13:56 AM
I only just started knitting in May. It was a free class, I wanted to learn anyway, and I discovered I liked the feel of yarn and needles under my hot little hands. Prior to that I'd been diving into books and internet articles on the subject, to say nothing of different types of knitwear (thank you, Bohus Stickning and Fair Isle, for making me drool all over the computer screen), almost obsessively. I will say that when I immerse myself in any one body of knowledge, I don't do it by halves. (Beekeeping, how do you do? And is that my old friend forensic science over there in the corner?)

So. I know how to cast on, knit, purl, decrease, slip-slip-knit, knit (or purl) two together, Kitchener stitch, and bind off. I also know a thing or two about mounting my stitches on backward, to say nothing of the odd accidental yarn over. Joining new yarn--well, I'm still getting the hang of that one. The only place I don't bring my knitting at all is a government building--other than that, I use bamboo or other wooden needles; nobody bats an eye. I have a friend who is a crocheter. Between her crocheting and my knitting, you get two exotic birds, plumage waving in the wind, whom almost everyone else stares at a lot. I've learned to ignore it most of the time. There are other skills I still have yet to master: Increases, circular needles, double-pointed needles, short rows, picking up stitches, twisted knitting, cabling, lace, intarsia, duplicate stitch, Fair Isle, slip stitch color work, I-cord, elastic and tubular bind-off (I just figured out how to to do the traditional one), mattress stitch, buttonholes, zippers, and pockets.

By chance, not long after I started, I stumbled right into the tricky and often contentious world of knitwear design. The culprit: Adrienne Martini's Sweater Quest, which goes into play-by-play detail over her year of knitting a Mary Tudor sweater, Fair Isle pattern. Assuming Ms. Martini is reading this (somehow I doubt it), it was she who introduced to some of the best knitwear designers I had never heard of. Yeah, thanks a lot, Litigious Scottish Designer--the lawsuits were awful, but now you've gone and gotten me swooning over not only the golblamed patterns but also the yarn. Kaffe Fassett, yes. Edina Ronay, sign me up. And, yes, some of you other guys too. But! My God, those Fair Isles, those mind-numbingly gorgeous Arans and guernseys... Drool. Further proof I have been led astray from the path of righteous ignorance: I went and started on my own (Fair Isle) design for a Bloody Mary sweater. Yes, I know there's already a Lady Mary wrap, circa the youth of this same broad who snacked on broiled Protestant and persecuted her half-sister Elizabeth. This is your full-on Bloody Mary. It is enough to say I wound up having to roll up my sleeves and do some cotton-picking research. Yes, there is red in it, although it isn't the dominant color in the sweater. No, I don't think I'm going to stick any Tudor roses or Hapsburg eagles on it, since that would just be de trop. No, I don't plan on laying myself open to a lawsuit from She Who Must Not Be Named anytime soon.

That's my view and knowledge of knitting so far. My mother is trying to learn, bless her. Every time she drops a stitch or fumbles the yarn she's almost bawling. She crocheted in high school, wants to get back into that. I have a horrible suspicion she'll be happier as a crocheter. Oy vay!
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VioletHunterHolmes Posted - 07/01/2014 : 10:51:28 AM
Yes, and I'm still falling, gawking at all the things I see on the way down. Spinning and dyeing, oh my. That would be one heck of a project. It's funny you mention weaving, since I actually tried it and liked it when I was little. I also flirted with embroidery and needlepoint, although lacemaking is something I have yet to try. (Any time I try something, I flirt with it, woo it, take it out for a ride in the old Buick. Does that make me an incorrigible flirt? Never mind.) To paraphrase Robert Palmer, might as well face it, I'm addicted to yarn.
robinstephanie Posted - 06/28/2014 : 11:01:58 AM
Hi Violet. Clearly you've fallen down the rabbit hole. Look out for spinning, dyeing, and weaving, or they will get you too. Welcome!


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover

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