nitely knitterly progress


I suppose

this is where all the Nightly Knittin' information will be recorded. I'm pretty straight to the point, certainly not very eloquent, so this is a short stop with notes on any yarn fiber related projects I work on, and if I can share and learn, so much the better! But here's the obligatory knitterly background...

My yarn and thread background started when I was about six years old, sitting in my Mom's bed in my red pajamas with a big ball of yarn and a crochet hook, with her showing me how to single crochet a string. I think when I finally stopped it was probably about 3 meters long and I was dragging it across the floor to see how long it was.

After that vivid moment it took me another 7 years to start on my first real knitting project. Leg warmers in garter stitch (hey, it WAS the eighties). They were navy blue with white thin stripes, and they were for horsebackriding (yes, I was crazy about horses when I was 13). Naturally I finished one and a half of them, while my friend completed hers.

I think this is when my knitting style first exhibited itself. I am not so much about finishing projects as I am about the actual knitting process. Makes me a scary person around mistakes as I have no qualms about ripping out inches of knitting just to fix pretty small mistakes. Knitting is my therapy and what makes me happy just doing.

After the legwarmers I attempted about 3-4 sweaters, most of them were completed by the time I was 20. My favorite was a grey varigated acrylic yarn HUGE sweater in stockinette (again, the eighties..) that I wore all winter long, I think I could layer about 3 more sweaters under this monstrosity (northern Sweden is COLD.) Another one of them was the Boyfriend Sweater (yes, it has the same curse in Sweden, and yes, we stopped dating about 15 years ago.) My grandma ended up finishing it, and it fit my mother, it was before I learned about GAUGE.

Then, while visiting with my grandma in the early nineties for two weeks, she showed me how to knit socks. It involved alot of size knitting and frogging, trying on the sock, measuring how long the heel should be, and how long your foot is (and mine are LONG.) It's a process I love, it's all out of necessity, and for You. She taught me everything I know about knitting. Sitting in her living room with the wall clock ticking, knitting together while chatting, is one of my favorite memories and moments.

In 1994, me and my California BF packed up our car in CT and took a roadtrip to California to settle down. I began to knit for REAL. One of the first things I made was a Christmas stocking (which had to fit alot of gourmet coffee and 3 ft of salami, he's not much into sweets unless it's Reeses Peanut Butter Cups). Beverly's acrylic yarn in some hideous greens and reds. Let me also mention, spelling out in RIBBED stitch someones name, even if it only has four letters (thank God) - does not look pretty. 12 years later, and I'm still not allowed to make him a new one. (I didn't know the concept of "carrying" the yarn in the stitches inside either, so to get things OUT of the stocking is abit difficult with all the yarn floating around.) It's got sentimental value or some crap like that. But with some Manos del Uruguay in muted greens and reds and pretty embroidery and snowflakes, I try to convince him (also, it could be LONGER you know, and FIT MORE GOODIES). Still no go. And no, no Boyfriend Sweater either... Socks that were 3 sized too big for Christmas last year though, I don't think I've seen them since Christmas morning when he felt obligated to wear them. (Maybe I should dig them up from the bottom of some clothes pile and just felt them and they may fit me??)

From that point on it was ALOT of socks, some sweaters. Alot of acrylics (hey, I was broke, and didn't know I was a Yarn Snob at heart). I think my knitting record (while unemployed) is 3 days for a simple cardigan. My ass was attached to the couch the entire time. The yarn cost me $9 for the entire sweater (of course it was acrylic) and the buttons about 50 cents. I wore it all the time.

As years went by, I migrated over to more natural fibers, (the popularity of knitting really helped to bring out a huge selection of yarns, readily available), alot of hats, socks, mittens, my favorite cable wool/cashmere red scarf, and even a sweater or two. Always wool. But never in the summer. I am a seasonal knitter. Knitting in the summer is just too damn hot.

Then two years ago the bug REALLY hit (or maybe I finally had some funds to support my addiction to yarn, and a gazillion knitting stores kept popping up!) Everyone got knitted items for Christmas, I started spending (un)healthy amounts of time in all the yarn stores in the Bay Area, buying books, patterns, creating patterns, and just having fun! Got all my friends involved (not that they had a choice, besides, I bribed them with wine). Some of them got the bug worse, or just as bad as me now, and some of them made a few items and then decided it was not for them. More power to ya (NOT!).

The satisfaction of creating an object for someone else, planning it, figuring out what they like, and worrying they won't like it, is really my second favorite thing about knitting, and the reason that keeping track of what I knit has become so important (I have to give the damn things away). I love knitting things for my family. Hearing their excitement (long distance to Sweden, and it's not like they have a choice not to like it) makes me warm in my heart. I'm alittle sick of making matching shawls/scarfs/hats and mittens though, even if the Scarf Style book has TEN patterns I am DYING to make!!

The Knitting Olympics rolled around in February 2006, and I realized that making a lap blanket in 16 days was alot more difficult than making some stupid little sweater. So I finished a fun sweater (the Essential Stripe), an old sweater I'd worked on for five years (or more aptly, NOT worked on). And then the big question. Was the knitting going to stop when the rain stopped? I promptly decided I was going to TRY to knit something summerly this year to wear when you really just want t-shirts and tanktops. There are other yarns than wool (apparantly). I have to admit, there was a two month hiatus where I crocheted like a mad person. Anything doily like, size 10 or 20 crochet thread and itty bitty hooks.

However, the last two weeks have been about researching yarns that have so far been unknown to me, the cottons, hemp, silk, spending alot of time at ArtFibers in San Francisco during my lunch break (it's a 4 minute walk if I hit the lights right from my work, and if you walk fast, you have more time to touch n browse..) Got some of the Catnap, 100 % microfiber and made a few nauties that are going to be presents for my family with kiddos (and my lilsis who likes cool stuff like that too). Recent purchases are Hana (ArtFibers) , 100 % purply silk for the Picovoli, and the KnitPicks Shine in some limey color for maybe the Orangina.

Which brings us to today.


At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NSU - 4ever, 5210 - rulez


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