Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shawls and Ruffle Scarves - Anyone?

Saturday, October 18, 2013
Cloudy and Cold Today
                                    The days seemingly blend seamlessly one into the other.

Although I knit/crochet all year long, even on the beach, my attention does tend to wane a bit when the temperatures reach 90 degrees.  However, there is something about red, orange and yellow October,  along with hints of crisp blue air, which re-awakens my passion for these crafts.
So, as the outside temperatures begin to cool down,  my love affair with yarn is re-kindled, ultimately intensifying until it crescendos into a heated frenzy.
The first indicator that I have crossed over from being mildly interested to completely absorbed is my compulsive need to have a hook or needles within reach at all times.
Another clear sign is that I cannot leave the house without my knitting bag, which, by the way, is always packed, just in case of an emergency.   I never know when I might be called upon to knit up a hat or pair of mittens.
Which brings me, to a touchy subject.
I have talked to a lot of knitters.  I read blogs about knitting.  I follow fellow and famous knitters alike on twitter.  The first thing most folks do at the start of their day is check Facebook.  The first thing I do is check Ravelry.*
One of the things that I notice, and this does seem to be a regular theme, is that most people who knit are often asked by their loved ones, friends or even mere acquaintances to make one of those "gorgeous scarves" or  that "really cool hat" for them.
Yeah, I was talking to someone the other day.  She was making one of those "gorgeous scarves".  I admired it.  It was rather beautiful.  She said that everyone she shows the scarf to has told her that they would love it if she would make one in red or blue or yellow for them.
Okay, I admit my skills are amateur to average.  Well, that's according to me anyway.  Ross thinks that I am quite talented.  But then, he also tells me that I am such a good writer that I should consider publishing something.  Uh huh.  Okay.  Yes, he is just slightly biased.
Yes, I figure that I probably will never be able to knit as proficiently or fast as the Yarn Harlot.**
Although interestingly enough I have been trying different methods to try to speed up my knitting.
I was surprised at how many different styles there were.  Countries and even whole sections of the world have their own way.
The list is endless. There is English, Continental, Norwegian, Peruvian, German, Russian and Irish Cottage, to name a few.  Some of these techniques have aliases.  For instance English is also known as throwing and Continental is can be referred to as "picking".  Irish Cottage is sometimes called "lever" or "flicking".
There are hundreds of YouTube videos which demonstrate each one of these aforementioned ways of knitting.
Trust me, I think I have watched them all.
I decided to give the Continental a try.  I had this brilliant idea to record my progress so I had Ross video me.   I had grandiose ideas.  Well here, check it out...

Anyway after all of that I am back to the way I have always knitted, which is the English or Throwing method.   I realized that knitting faster kind of doesn't make sense to me.  I mean what's the rush?

Okay, back to that "touchy subject".  I like to knit for others.  I mean I have done that many times.  But it is mostly me giving a gift for which the recipient then politely expresses joyful gratitude.  
Oh, there was that small flurry of interest last year from Jimmy D and Jimmy P.  They each requested a hat.  Which, I admit led to hats for a few of Jimmy D's friends.  
But, even though I always carry my work-in-progress (WIP) with me and sometimes someone will ask, "Oh what are you making?", it is almost always never followed up with, "Ooh, would you make one for me?" 
Anyway, I knit for a lot of different reasons.  I rhythmically knit to the point of distraction.   Knitting brings back memories of the many times I waited in rooms while I knitted, as I waited.  Knitting reminds me of new motherhood,  holding my infant girl on my lap, just watching her while I knitted. 
I recall my mother as she tightly held her needles clutching onto them.  I believe she feared to let them go, for so would her life.  
So, I continue to knit and knit.  My cache of finished objects grows.  I make promises to myself (and Ross) to knit or crochet every yard of yarn of I have in my stash before I buy another gorgeous skien of soft cuddly alpaca.  I guess in the end it doesn't matter that you all cannot possibly use another dish cloth, ruffle scarf, afghan or hat, because that is not, I repeat, not going to stop me from my quest.  Whatever that may be.
 I am curious.  Why and how do you knit?  Are you one of those who cannot keep up with requests?
*Ravelry is an online community of knitters and crocheters.
**The Yarn Harlot AKA Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is a knitter, blogger and author who “goes on (and on) about knitting."


  1. I have had requests from my daughter for a jumper, gloves, scarf and hat. I've also knitted a couple of hats and scarves for hubby and myself. Apart from that i Knit for fun and give the things away to various charities. My mother who taught me to knit is Irish. I don't know what method she taught me. She knitted so fast her hands were a blur. I knit fairly fast but carefully as I hate dropping stitches etc.

    1. Hello Una,
      I have thought about charity knitting. I am going to look into it. Knitting carefully and fast is a goal I could easily aspire to.

  2. Little Man is too young to request things but if he did, I'd make it (or try to figure out how to make it). He does love yarn so that helps. He's usually really good when we go to yarn shops. He especially likes the one here in town...usually because the owner gives him a cookie, I think. I've had a few people say things like, "Oh, I'd love that" but I haven't had anyone actually say anything along the lines of, "Make me one." So, either I really suck (which I know isn't true) or people actually kind of get it.

    There are whole groups dedicated to the art of selfish knitting on Ravelry (why yes, I belong to a couple of them...).

    1. Renee Anne,
      I like that selfish knitting. Wow I didn't know there were groups on Ravelry dedicated to this sort of thing. Gonna join one for sure. :) BTW, Little Man is the cutest :)

  3. I love Ravelry.

    I learned to knit English, but I picked up continental (self taught) about a decade ago. It took some getting used to, but it flows so much better that I'd never go back.

    I don't get a lot of requests for things. I only knit for the few who appreciate it. Anyone else can pay me for my skills. I've taken to writing patterns, though. I enjoy coming up with things that no one else has.

    1. Liz,
      I think I can honestly say that I have given continental a good go these past couple of weeks. But, I just can't seem to tension my yarn the right way.

  4. With a new grandson, you should have a reason to knit. Sweaters, hats, scarves. Make matching ones or Ryan, Bella and Jax.

    1. This is true anonymous :) That's a good suggestion. But by the time I finish knitting a whole sweater, they would have all outgrown it.
      So, I think six matching hats for all the grandkids would be more my speed.