You are viewing e_moon60

MoonScape - Tending to My Knitting [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
e_moon60

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Tending to My Knitting [Aug. 12th, 2011|11:16 am]
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
[Tags|]
[Current Mood |accomplished]

Since I started knitting again (whenever that was...April?)  this is what I've accomplished: 




From front to back, Project #1 (a blanket, in progress), Project #2 (a scarf, ready to be cast off and have fringe added), and Project #3,  (blanket, probably with the addition of solid color squares or strips to go with the stripey ones.)

Project #1 is folded under because I'm not at the end of a row and couldn't lay it out flat.  It's  roughly 40 inches wide, 180 stitches, with a 20 stitch border on either side and four 35 stitch divisions inside .   It has suffered the most mistakes from my re-learning attempts and I made another one last night, knitting in a friend's house in inadequate light while listening to a conversation.  Listening too much, in fact.  I chose to make it wide, so that in relearning I'd have long rows on which to regain rhythm.  That worked.  But it's a big project (it's supposed to end up in the range of 48 inches long) and the long rows make it impractical to work on when I have very little time.  It's also on size 7 needles and that makes it slower going than #2 and #3, just for that reason alone.   It's on a 40 inch cable and would like to crawl off the ends.   Note to self: do big finished-size projects on larger needles and a cable at least six inches longer than the project is wide, if possible..   However, I've taken it on long trips and made progress that way.   It's also useful for long waiting periods at the doctor's office or hospital--if you know it's going to be an interval long enough to do a row or two.

#1 has a lot of mistakes, only some of which were corrected by ripping out and redoing.  In anything but perfect lighting and silence I have trouble ripping out and capturing the next row of stitches.   So some mistakes became design features, and some were cobbled back into the whole as best I could.  I love the color of this thing, but I'm using multi-colored wood needle tips (Knit-Picks) and the colors are close enough together that in anything but perfect lighting I can miss a stitch and not see that it's not "made."  #1 has a design of sorts (making it up...) with should've-been-squares but turned out rectangles of stockinette or stockinette with garter stitch stripes alternating with garter stitch and a garter stitch border.   The first set of stockinette are done; I'm on the next set, checkerboarded to the first.

Project #2 has 30 stitch rows and is a useful project for taking into situations where I may not have time to finish a long row.  It's on a 24 inch cable and readily stays put in the middle of the cable if I cross the needle points.  I've had fun with it; I find the colors a bit easier to see than #1's --but part of that was using acrylic needles, and one size larger than those of #1.   Ripping out a row was also easier, though still nerve-wracking.

Project #3 was chosen to force myself to learn how to cast off.   I tried doing it my mother's way, which I did not remember as clearly as I'd hoped, and then went online (LOVE the variety of YouTube videos!!)   My mother cast off with a crochet hook mostly, but I decided to learn the knit cast-off.    Figured that having to do it every square would cement it in my mind, the same way the long rows of Project #1 re-fixed the feel of knit and purl.   That's worked.  My speed and rhythm of the knit cast-off have improved a lot in the last three squares.   Project #3 is knit on another short cable, in 20 stitch rows (to get to that casting off part faster) with #9 wooden needles.  The color of the yarn is different enough from the colors in the needles that it's no problem, and the larger size means faster work.  OTOH, I've discovered that I really don't like being interrupted every 34 rows to cast off and cut the yarn and then have to cast on again.  So part of this blanket will be knit in long strips, probably in a solid color.  

Having this knitting going has been a sanity saver since early May, when my husband went into the medical system for multiple problems.   I can sit more-or-less serene in a waiting room or hospital room and have something to do with my hands--feel productive, not just "waiting."    Eventually the blankets will go to a charity project and the scarf to a friend.  Eventually I will figure out how to make socks (I have trouble reading patterns because a) I don't know the code and b) I don't know how to do some of the things even when I do grasp the code.)   Code-breaking will come.  I'm not in a hurry. 


LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: mrs_redboots
2011-08-12 04:35 pm (UTC)

(Link)

It's best to start with a very simple pattern, such as these knitted dishcloth patterns (they don't have to be dishcloths; I've knitted an alphabet blanket for my grandson). I've found, in over 50 years' knitting, that even the most complicated-looking patterns are very simple when you get down to it; usually the first 2-4 rows are awful to knit, and you have to sit in a very quiet room and concentrate, but once you have them, you can actually see what you're doing, and it's surprisingly easy!
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-13 03:17 am (UTC)

(Link)

I think I'm still in the "needs more practice with plain knitting" stage, but I hope to get into patterns eventually. My mother designed patterns at times--but we were a long way from one another (like 1800 miles) when I was doing the most knitting, and I just never got to spend the time with her, when her eyes still allowed her to knit. Her vision failed about the time she retired from an office job and I was living closer to her.

I would like to complete at least three rows--in a row--of Project #1 without a mistake before tackling anything more complex. (And I should finish Project #1 and get its mistake-ridden corpse out of my knitting tote!)
[User Picture]From: mrs_redboots
2011-08-13 01:14 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Most knitters - all knitters? - have a pile of what's known as UFOs - UnFinished Objects; projects that didn't quite work out but seemed a good idea at the time. Sometimes they are merely hibernating, and come back on another occasion; other times they end up being "frogged" (rip-it, rip-it)!
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-13 07:53 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I have a UFO from 40 years ago--the start of a sleeve of a gray sweater, knitted in the round, still on its needles. But I'm not the same size, so unless I add in a stripe of another color, it'll never be done.

But since the blankets are for a charity project, I really do want to finish them (and hope the child receiving Project 1 isn't upset by the mistakes!)

For some reason, I just can't use "frogged" (I can use "ripped") and I think it's because somewhere back in my youth it was a dirty word, where I lived. Though I can't remember what it meant, exactly, I can remember that I don't want to say it. Silly, but there it is. I grasped immediately how "frogged" was related to "rip it, rip it" but it just won't work for me.
[User Picture]From: mrs_redboots
2011-08-13 09:59 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I don't know why we use it - after all, British frogs don't go "ribbit" - I gather only one species of Californian frog does, but it was useful to film-makers as it was local, so.....
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-14 12:44 am (UTC)

(Link)

What do British frogs do? The leopard frogs in our lily pond make a sound rather like rubbing your thumb along wet rubber...sort of "grrunnk...grrrunnk..." and also a sort of snoring noise. When they're very excited, they "Grunnk-grunnk-grunnk!!" faster. Our toads "trill" but it's not high-pitched (which I think of as a trill) or at all musical. It's nasal and on a vowel sound more like a flat American "a"..."annnnh...annnnnh" And loud.

[User Picture]From: mrs_redboots
2011-08-14 11:30 am (UTC)

(Link)

British frogs, allegedly, croak, although the few times I've heard them it has sounded more like moo-ing!
[User Picture]From: gifted
2011-08-16 05:01 am (UTC)

(Link)

Frogs in Australia grunnk too. :]
[User Picture]From: kk1raven
2011-08-14 05:24 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I wouldn't worry about the mistakes unless they're the type that will make things come unraveled. I crochet bed-sized blankets. They are always imperfect. No on has ever seemed upset about the mistakes. I think any child who receives a hand-made blanket is likely to feel enough joy over having received it that looking for mistakes is not going to be an issue.
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-16 04:24 am (UTC)

(Link)

I hope so! Thanks!
[User Picture]From: brownkitty
2011-08-12 07:52 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I found a knitting code card in Hobby Lobby.
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-13 03:10 am (UTC)

(Link)

Oooh...I'll have to look for it. I can actually get to a Hobby Lobby (only 20 miles away instead of 50, like the nearest yarn shop.)
From: (Anonymous)
2011-08-13 02:59 am (UTC)

Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

I don't know if anyone in your knitting renaissance has suggested her books to you, but when I was learning to knit, there was an extraordinary writer named Elizabeth Zimmermann (must be something about the first name :-D) who wrote a book called "Knitting Without Tears" in which she insisted, time and time again, that there was no such thing as a mistake, there were only unintended design elements. She even designed a garment she called a "Mistake-Stitch Sweater".

During my life-long struggle with perfectionism, her books have always stuck in my mind both for her practical technical advice (all in amusing, easy-to-follow prose) and for this lovely approach to the "stuff" that happens in both life and knitting. Although that particular book disappeared a couple decades ago in a move, it's very much on my list of "someday I'm going to get another copy."

In the meantime, your knitting looks lovely and I believe Elizabeth would approve!
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-13 03:11 am (UTC)

Re: Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

Thanks for the compliment and the book recommendation.

Could I ask you to post either as something other than Anonymous or with a signature, please? I find it difficult to converse with "Anonymous" (esp since over the years a lot of Anon posts have been unpleasant.)
From: (Anonymous)
2011-08-13 03:15 am (UTC)

Re: Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

Of course. I'm Karen, but I often forget to switch from the Anonymous default. I'll try to remember better in the future.
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-13 03:24 am (UTC)

Re: Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

Thanks, Karen. I'll look for that book. Especially since I have another 'mess' in mid-row of Project #1 and I don't want to rip out the whole row--it's the one where I added in the second ball of yarn. I think it's fixable if I can find the right quiet time and good lighting.
From: (Anonymous)
2011-08-13 04:10 pm (UTC)

Re: Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

Karen again -- I've realized that I don't "do" any of the the websites that Livejournal uses to allow me to be anything but anonymous, so here goes:

"Knitting Without Tears" is still in print via the company EZ set up with her daughter, Meg Swanson, called "Schoolhouse Press" at http://www.schoolhousepress.com/

She often referred to herself as "The Opinionated Knitter" because she loved wool yarn and hated to purl -- so much so that most of her designs were worked in the round from cuff to collar, without a single purl stitch to be found.

On the other hand, I never felt that she held a moral position on her opinions, but was merely stating her preferences.

For technical advice, I've never seen her equal, 'though it was always delivered through the lens of her being "opinionated."

Despite all of that, your knitting is really lovely. I've cut back on my own production (you can only have so many sweaters!) but I can truly say that the flaws you see would only be obvious to people to whom you pointed them out (which I always thought was EZ's point!).
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-13 07:59 pm (UTC)

Re: Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

That's so frustrating. I hit that some thing at Blogger blogs, and then there's usually a Captcha to deal with as well. Grrr. Well, you're certainly welcome here even if I have to bail your comment out of the "suspicious comments" bucket.

It's so nice to have an experienced knitter's approval! Now to go to the YouTube stuff on messes that look like my current one (I think maybe it's just a dropped stitch?) and see if I can fix it. It's right in the purl row of a stockinette section...and one thing I find very hard to see is whether the stitch is "turned" the right way (they say this on the You Tube videos and I just can't see how to tell if I'm putting one back on the left needle the right way.)

Thanks for your encouragement.
[User Picture]From: xrian
2011-08-13 06:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

I heartily second the motion on "Knitting Without Tears." It's been in print continuously since 1972 for very good reasons. It's a thinking person's basic knitting book. (And cheerfully accommodates those who aren't ready to think yet, too.) I teach knitting and I keep extra copies of this book around to give away to people who are just about at your stage of knitting competence and ready for more information.
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-13 07:54 pm (UTC)

Re: Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

I love your icon--is that a family picture you're using?

And thanks for the repeat rec on the book.
[User Picture]From: xrian
2011-08-13 08:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

Yes -- that is one of my great-aunts, I'm not sure which one. The photo is dated 1911. You haven't met me so you wouldn't know, but apparently I look a great deal like her, although I was never that pretty even when I *was* that young.
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-14 12:40 am (UTC)

Re: Wonderful Progress!

(Link)

How wonderful that you have a picture of her you can use, though!
[User Picture]From: gifted
2011-08-15 12:58 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I love those colours.

I've never been interested in knitting anything but lines, rectangles, squares. :]

All the best to your husband.
[User Picture]From: gifted
2011-08-15 12:59 pm (UTC)

(Link)

re, knitting, I just find crafting relaxing.
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-08-16 04:25 am (UTC)

(Link)

Thanks!
[User Picture]From: seitherin
2011-08-29 03:01 pm (UTC)

(Link)

There is a simple little book I bought that got me started knitting socks called "Knit Socks!" The ISBN is 978-1580175371. It made sock knitting un-scary for me. I got the basics from it and then branched out into using my own patterns to make socks.