Monday, December 28, 2009

A look (a few looks) backwards.

1st of a series.

I’ve knit for years. Since 1960 (autumn)—I started to learn in May, but it took a number of months before it took—and then once it did—I felt (and acted) as if I could knit anything—and to some degree did.

I don’t remember exactly what the first project I knit was.
Early on, certainly, was a Red Heart wool (grey) ribbed watch cap—It was knit flat, and finished by gathering all the stitches into a drawstring and then sewing a seam.

I remember both being pleased (I finished it) and displeased—there were little (and big!) design details I didn’t like.
I didn’t like the drawstring top (and rarely use this method to finish a hat!) I didn’t like the seam (the pattern didn’t start end and end with K2—so the seam was a visible K1/p1 break in the pattern.

I didn’t like my ribs (and now, after many years of practice I am often vain about my non wonky ribbing skills!)

The next project I remember, was a doll dress, knit in the round, with fair isle type detailing.

It was done in fingering weight yarn (wool) in pale pink and pale turquoise blue. It was knit in the round, on 4 DPN’s, (size 3) –all of which I purchased my self, with birthday money.
(My fathers brother, Uncle Andy always gave money as a present!)

This project too, had flaws.
Knitting in the round was were I learned about combination knitting (though I didn’t know that word)—I just knew,
1—I general knit into back of stitch,
2—when working in the round, this caused twisted stitches,
3--when working a pattern you need to plan to have enough stitches for a full repeat –or to plan the break in the pattern.

But I was still pleased in many ways with this project—it wasn’t perfect—but I loved the challenge of the DPN’s and I loved the color work—(still do!)

My next project was the worst failure of my early knitting.

My mother bought some dark blue –not a navy, but bluer than teal—yarn for me, to knit a sweater. She bought a pattern book, too, for me to pick a pattern for the sweater. I never finished. (I did finish the front and back, and made it into a vest.)

There where several reasons for the failure. I like the yarn, but not the idea of sweater. (I still don’t much like sweaters) I didn’t like the stitch pattern much either-- (it was too simple) or the style of the sweater.

And truthfully, I got bored—and overwhelmed. I don’t remember ever wearing the finished garment (my mother might have frogged the project and knit something else with the yarn)—the yarn was Patons ‘Beehive’ wool (I still have a huge amount of Patons wool in my stash sable)

I knit some hat and scarves when I was in my teens, but did less knitting—the failed sweater stung—and soured me a bit on knitting.

I started knitting again in earnest when I got pregnant. Baby clothes, and crib blankets, and stuff. I never stopped.

I can hardly remember what I knit—but 15 years later, I made a full size (that is 54 by 72 (inches) afghan—of scraps! I had enough let over bits of yarn from enough different projects to do that! (So I must have been knitting something—but I have no memory of what!—but then, a good deal of the 80’s is a blur—no drugs involved—but several bouts of depression.)

I made my first socks somewhere along the way—but socks were a pain—I hated knitting the same thing twice, and would rush through—(and ended up with one tall sock with a loose foot,(the first) and one short sock that barely fit—the mate) not the best pairs!

I learned (very late!) to take photo’s of my FO’s--and keep a photo diary of my work. Since Ravelry, I keep, in effect, a knitting journal of my projects. I love it!

I don’t think I knit a lot--but in the 2.25 years I have been on Ravelry, I have amassed 100 projects.. (about 20 are pre ravelry stuff—but that still leaves 80 projects.) And several project didn’t get photographed—and some project pages are collections (of wash cloths, of hats) So I guess I knit more than I realize!


Anonymous said...

Wow! You do knit a lot. Thank you for the memoir... I hope I am able to keep knitting throughout my life, and your post encourages me.

Virginia G said...

That is an awesome post.

I am currently struggling with wonky ribbing. I didn't have wonky ribbing when I first started knitting last year, so I don't know what happened.

gayle said...

I didn't learn to knit until 1962, so you have me by a couple of years. My first project was a tie for my dad - it varied between 10 and 20 stitches, with occasional wonky yo holes. I wasn't bothered by the fact that he didn't wear it to work (he did humor me by wearing it at home!) Next were endless slippers and Barbie clothes, and I tackled cables and multicolor knitting right off, since there was no one who tried to discourage me by telling me they were harder than plain knitting.
Hats, mittens, gloves, sweaters, even a skirt, followed. My first pair of socks were argyles that I knit for my best friend when we were in high school.
It's an advantage to not have a 'teacher' telling you you're not ready for a skill yet. 8)