One of my favorite blogs of late is Beki's blog aka ArtsyCraftsy Babe. She makes darling patterns, bags and has taken up knitting lately. I cannot believe how she is able to finish stuff in a matter of days. She will show a couple of knitting needles and some cast on stitches, and the next day the same color of yarn is being modeled by the maker herself, her project done and she is wearing it! And she has little kids! So I dug out my old knitting needles and tried a darling pattern called A Piece of My Heart.
It has rows of hearts purled into the design.
I am learning to do the continental method, which is done with the yarn in the left hand, and no wrapping around the needle like western method.
I have made two dish cloths now and loving it. Dish cloths are a good place to start, because it is something you can use up, and those stitches will not stay around forever like a badly knit sweater would be. It makes for great practice with not too much commitment.
When Beki, the ArtsyCraftsy lady, talked about "frogging" I had to look that one up. I had never heard the term. It means to take it apart, as in "rip it, rip it." Get it? like a frog says?
When I looked up the term, I googled "knitting frogging" and found this site called KnitKnitFrog. This is a woman who lives in New Zealand. She not only knits, but she spins her yarn, and she is a pro. Her yarn is more beautiful than the stuff you can buy at the store. The other day, she blogged about something she just purchased. It was a Whisper Light Feather and Fan Shawl.
Here is a quote from her post: (when she speaks of the local guild, I am assuming she means the spinning guild.
"The local guild had an exhibition, and the lovely Ngaire submitted (this) item,. . . this whisper light feather and fan shawl. I succumbed and bought it, its so beautiful, don't you think? Truth it was one night at spinning when she drew the whole shawl entirely through one of her rings and I was in total awe, then finding it for sale ... well the more I thought of it, the more I wanted it. So on day three of the exhibition, finding it still for sale, well I made it mine."
I was enthralled as well and decided to look up this pattern, hoping to find something named Feather and Fan. I found several versions and chose this one. I didn't have any of the Kid Merino yarn, but I did have some very soft off-white yarn. So I started trying. First on the red cotton yarn just to see if I could follow the instructions and then pulled that off the needle and started the white, softer version.
Long ago, I taught myself to knit. I have never been good at it. I have found crocheting much easier and more relaxing. I ended up being very tense when I tried to knit. My MIL was an amazing knitter and I would watch for hours as she calmly knitted beautiful things. I started a sweater, but it got stuck somewhere and eventually I gave it to her to finish. You can see where I left off, there is a definite line, and where she picked up. I learned lately that if you leave your yarn on a needle for too long, it "remembers" and leaves a line. If you are going to put your knitting down for a while, put it onto those cable knitting needles or a smaller needle.
Anyway, I digress. I recently purchased bamboo needles, just to see what all the fuss is about. I really don't see, but they are shorter in that size, so easier for me to use. I still admire all those accomplished knitters. I am hoping by practicing this shawl that I will get better and my continental method will become second nature to me.
I promised myself I would NOT start a new project, and I didn't stick to my resolve. I really have LOTS of projects I need to finish. But it is fun after eating dinner to pick the needles up and try my hand at following directions, learning the continental method and making something pretty. Maybe if I like this, I will purchase the Kid Marino yarn. It is much lighter and wispier.
We will see.