It’s funny how things go. I was checking my site and realized my knitting link went to a page I hadn’t yet built. Ouch! Apparently I set it up and never bothered to populate it. It can’t have made a tremendous impact on the website because nobody commented. Hubris. It lives.
I started knitting when I was 10. My mother knitted, crocheted, tatted, cooked, canned, sewed . . . but was not Wonder Woman. I’m amazed at all she could do but I know it’s a sign of her times. Most women back then did most of those thing . . . okay, less the tatting. There wasn’t a baby my mother heard about that didn’t get a crocheted layette. Her fingers were always busy. So growing up I knitted, crocheted, cooked, helped with canning and sewed. Notice I said nothing about tatting? Or housekeeping. Or parenting. Cut the woman a break. She had undiagnosed celiacs and died at 54 as a result. She gets all the breaks she wants because she raised five kids in a one bedroom house while our father (commercial fisherman) was gone all summer. I’m amazed we all survived our childhood!
I made a three piece wool pantsuit for my senior project in Home Ec. They don’t even have home ec anymore, do they? I still sew. The ten years of couture were awesome. I learned and did so much. Fun times, great people. None of the fabulous stores that sold high end fabric are still in business. Such a shame but a sign of the times.
I knitted into my 20’s. The last thing I knitted was a sweater for my son. Shortly thereafter I got into horses in a bigger way and didn’t have time for knitting. I didn’t pick up knitting again until my BFF had a stroke. Because I was/am mentally incapable of doing nothing while sitting with her I again picked up knitting. I did simple things, hats and scarves (mobius). When she passed I continued knitting. When your quilting buddy dies, quilting alone isn’t much fun.
I got bored with hats and scarves . . . trust me, that didn’t take long . . . and I moved on to socks and then sweaters. Just for the record (in case you didn’t already know) I HATE-LOATH-ABHOR raglan. I’m pretty sure this is because I spent ten years in my 30’s doing couture sewing. The way raglan fits . . . uh, doesn’t fit . . . drives me nuts. Raglan does NOT have to fit that way. Yes, I know my son’s sweater is raglan. It is the last raglan sweater with which I polluted the world. I did tell you I’m not a fan of raglan.
There’s a lot about knitting I like and a few things I don’t. I’m sure that’s the same with everyone. No activity (except maybe laying in a bubble bath reading a book) is all upside.
One of the things I don’t like is knitting patterns that tell you how to make a stitch instead of what the result should be. There are masses of videos showing you how to do this stitch or that stitch using this method or that method. A pattern that uses SSK as an instruction produces the right result with only one style of knitting, whichever one the designer uses. That makes no sense to me at all. Maybe that’s why people use charts. They don’t have to reinterpret SSK to mean a decrease that leans a specific direction. If the pattern would just say “left leaning decrease” or “right leaning decrease” I think the world would be a better place. Just sayin’.
I also hate picking up stitches and sewing things together. At this point in my diatribe you probably already guessed that. How many people do you know who have a bin or more of items that “just need to be sewn together”? Now that I have a clue I enjoy working in ends. I have a tendency to do it as I go along. It’s a nice break from boring knitting.
Part of the reason I don’t like sewing things together is efficiency. Why, when I can start at the top and knit without those things would I bother? Every seam and picked up stitch is a constriction point, a place where the fabric can’t stretch sufficiently to match the remainder of the garment. Admittedly, some of the seams are there to add structure but if the garment fits correctly from the start, most of that “structure” isn’t required. Okay, okay. Yeah, some of it is. It’s just not my thing so I avoid it . . . rabidly, and actively design around having to use it.
A lot of my joy in knitting is tied to learning new things and developing new techniques. I watched my intarsia in the round technique spread from my video to Suzanne Bryan to Phrancko and beyond. The number of videos showing my technique is approaching a dozen and climbing. I’ve gotten zero credit but hey, it’s out there.
My icord caston and castoff is a superior thing! I use it all the time including all the edging for my knitted bras, the most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn. I don’t know if I can claim sole credit for conti-rag. I started working on the technique in 2005. Ten plus years later I saw a foreign video (slavic country, don’t know which one) that explained the technique with some unique twists that I liked. Kudos!
And the beat goes on . . .