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 Being a Knitter vs. knowing how to knit
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kadiddly
Permanent Resident

USA
3076 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2005 :  4:34:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit kadiddly's Homepage  Send kadiddly a Yahoo! Message Send kadiddly a Private Message
I think I became a knitter when I realized that this was something that fills not only that mostly unused creative outlet, but that I could take with me, and do whenever I wanted (within reason, of course), and that I wanted to be able to do more things with it. I made my first two scarves, then put knitting down for a while, thinking it was a nice thing to know how to do, and didn't pick it back up until one of my friends announced she was pregnant. As we are no longer in the same locales, and she had had a difficult pregnancy before, I wanted to send her something special for the baby. I somehow decided that I would make her a baby blanket, and when I started looking for patterns, it really opened up a whole new world! I really couldn't believe that there was so much out there that was functional, cute, and that people actually wore! Not just those scratchy sweaters great aunts sent at Christmas. (Not that I have anything against them, and, knowing what I know now, they were very well made, but I've really been turned off from sweaters for a long time because they were too hot and itchy for me!) I think it was when I realized that I wanted to make those, and I COULD learn how to make those, and I ENJOYED learning AND making those, that I started considering myself a knitter. For me, a knitter is someone who knits as an enjoyable hobby, like other people play video games.

FO: scalloped baby blanket, "Cleo" halter top, Winter Night Afghan #1(Blue/Cream), Booga Bag, Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf
WIPs: Knitted Stripes Afghan, Winter Night Afghan #2 (Emerald/Tan), Rainy Day Scarf, Easy Mittens
Backstage Stitches
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typingN
Chatty Knitter

145 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2005 :  4:44:46 PM  Show Profile Send typingN a Private Message
When I read an ad in the paper for a Shawl Ministry meeting last year was when I realized that I know how to knit and I could use my talent to comfort others in knitting shawls; but I found out I was a knitter because I like to match the color of yarn with a pattern for a specific person within the realm of the Shawl Ministry theory. For each shawl, depending upon which I start with: pattern--I pick color; or color--I pick a pattern.
I am also doing that with scarves. I am not satisfied with just knitting a scarf, there has to be some pattern to it.

J
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catlady
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2005 :  5:36:35 PM  Show Profile Send catlady a Private Message
I think I have always been a handworker. It is something that is standard in my family. We females all do some sort of handwork and seldom sit down empty-handed. I have been a "knitter" ever since I realized that knitting was something I could sit down and do and not worry about having a pattern or instructions and, if I didn't like what I was doing, I could always rip it out and do something else and would not have wasted my materials as in sewing or embroidery.
Catlady
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SerMom
Permanent Resident

Canada
6412 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2005 :  5:38:05 PM  Show Profile Send SerMom a Private Message
I've always been intersted in knitting, but I was not always a knitter. It's something that always appealed to me, but I didn't know how to access the creativity it was calling to. Then, acouple of years ago, I discovered KR, took knitting up again for the fourth or fifth (and, I'm pretty sure, last) time. I started needing to knit, to carry my knitting everywhere, to look forward to waiting time, as it would give me a chance to knit, I started sitting bolt upright in bed in the middle of the night, [b]having[/b[ to start my brainwave.

I think, for me, being a knitter is more a matter of love and need than skill. I'm a very adventurous knitter, if not a particularly skilled one (shhh, don't tell my gift X partner ). I can't imagine what my life would be like now, if I didn't have knitting. It's been instrumental in keeping me connected to life through this never-ending depression. My shrink actually told me she thought knitting was as important to my mental health as my meds!

Yup, I'm a knitter.

Barbara
It's a feature, not a bug.

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Roberta


Posts

Posted - 09/01/2005 :  9:01:56 PM  Show Profile Send Roberta a Private Message
I learned to knit about 4 years ago--at the tender age of 48. For the first 6 months I knitted several scarves and a couple of felted hats and some felted slippers. I wanted to knit a sweater but I was not confident enough to do it on my own so I took a class at my LYS for a basic top-down cardigan. About half way through the class I had to have surgery to get a breast lump removed. (I'm happy to say not cancer) I ended up dropping out of the class when my sweater was done to just below the armpit.

When the dust settled and I picked up my sweater I decided to abandon the seed stitch the sweater pattern called for and just did stockinette-not fully grasping what that would do to the gauge. Needless to say my sweater was much too large when I got the sleeves and the rest of the body knit. Changing the stitch also meant that I had quite a bit of yarn left when the sweater was hip length. So I did the only reasonable thing I could think of...I just kept knitting until it was coat length. Then I to felt it to fit.

It actually worked! When I took it back to my LYS to show the woman who taught the class I took, she was speechless. It wasn't at all what the class produced but it was beautiful and soft and warm. Best of all, I had confidence-even enough to start desigining my own things.

Well, that's when I realized I was a Knitter! In fact, I may havae been channeling my grandmother. :-)
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LINDA B
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2005 :  09:56:52 AM  Show Profile Send LINDA B a Private Message
Think I'll feel justified in referring to myself as a true knitter if I ever get the hang of circular and double-pointed needles. Haven't tried those tools yet, but someday...I'd appreciate hearing from my neighbors here on Knitter's Review as to your experiences trying new-to-you tools.
Health, home, & heart to all,
Linda B in NJ
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SerMom
Permanent Resident

Canada
6412 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2005 :  10:25:49 AM  Show Profile Send SerMom a Private Message
Linda, I truly believe that being 'a knitter' is more a state of mind than a level of skill.

As for the new tools issue, that, too, is a state of mind. Mone on these things is likely to bite you, or blow up in your hands, so what's to worry about.

Some of us like to say that we learned to use DPN before we knew we were supposed to be intimidated by them. I have the same theory about why kids (supposedly) don't like vegetables. They've somehow picked up the idea that they're not supposed to like them. My kids love veg., including broccoli and brussels sprouts, I think, because I never made an issue of it.

Personally, I find circs far easier than straights, and use them both for circular and back and forth knitting.

When you're ready to tackle these instruments of torture , there's a ton of help available to you, both here and on other, more instruction specific, sites.

Barbara
It's a feature, not a bug.

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Fran's Site:

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RachelKnitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2995 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2005 :  10:35:55 AM  Show Profile Send RachelKnitter a Private Message
Thank you, Barbara, I was waiting for someone to say exactly what you said. I have been a knitter since I first sat down and taught myself to cast-on and knit garter stitch. I have been addicted ever since. I know lots of people who knit, but only a handful (outside of KR, of course)who *need* to knit. I am one of the latter category.

Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it. -Mark Twain
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Roxanneh
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2005 :  2:19:11 PM  Show Profile Send Roxanneh a Private Message
I became a knitter when I finished my first self designed sweater and it fit perfectly. Then I knew that I could make anything that I wanted. Now I can just look for the yarn I like and then decide on the project, instead of finding a pattern and then looking for yarn to go with it. It is much more fun and really allows for full creativity. I still knit from patterns too - and I learn something new from each one. I am not sure how old I was when I learned to knit, somewhere in elementary school - I learned to knit and crochet from looking at directions in books because I didn't know anyone who could show me how. I made a lot of mistakes, but finally figured it out and have been an addict ever since.
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Karknit
Seriously Hooked

USA
711 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2005 :  3:36:50 PM  Show Profile Send Karknit a Private Message
I taught myself to knit about 5 years ago. Then I did dishcloths and then went on to socks. I had no desire to advance further and I never wanted to make a sweater back then. I would knit for knits sake. It was like I can knit so I can quit now. and I did.
I started again knitting back in April, making scarfs, hats, felted bags, and of course socks. Now I have a different attitude towards knitting. I truly want to knt and make beautiful things. I have even started a sweater.

For me its a matter of "wanting to knit" no matter what the skill needed or what the projects may be.

The joy one feels when knitting makes one a knitter.



karknit

My diet incentive, to knit smaller sweaters.
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sweetnsour
Chatty Knitter

USA
156 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2005 :  6:11:42 PM  Show Profile Send sweetnsour a Private Message
I think being a knitter can have levels for some people, sort of like the belts you get in some martial arts.

My levels have come very recently. My first level came when I realized that knitting calms my nerves during times of stress or irritation. I became really addicted to it this past year, being without a job and worrying about money or some family strife almost constantly. So, I was knitting almost constantly too.

When I finished my first sweater in July, that was nice but not earth shattering. I knew I had the perseverance to finish one in a decent amount of time. Level two!

This past Sunday I had a eureka moment while looking at a pattern for a top and figuring out how to resize it because I have too much up front for it to fit well as written.. Then I added a ruffle and edging to it that wasn't called for in the pattern. I put it on, and it fit! I was on cloud 9.

If you've ever watched Dragonball Z, I went super saiyan about Wednesday. Level 3! It felt empowering to wear something that was personalized by me, and not feel bad about being an odd size. My mind opened up to all the possiblities, and I've been making a to do list of garments to make, and have started the next project already.

Level 4 will probably come when I make my own pattern. That will probably be a while, but I'm happy with where I'm at right now. Like most of the video games I've played in the past, it takes time to level :)

Amy

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
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