Lovely! I find knitting a little easier on my hands than crocheting (and mostly what I used to do in crochet was granny squares and straight crocheting, for hot pads. Now I can't remember how to do granny squares, darn it!)
The first thing I learned to crochet was granny squares. They're easy, and I'm sure when you sit down with instructions or someone to show you, it will come flooding back and you'll be fine. They're great for working on in hot weather (which I hear you get occasionally in your corner of the world ;-D), since you don't end up with a big thick wodge of blanket spread over you. The downside for me is having to stitch them all together.
Actually, I'm partial to broomstick lace. So easy and so fast and so pretty. I've just started one, and when it gets too big to keep working on in summer, I'll start another one, then finish them in the winter when being draped with them will be wonderful.
I did straight crocheting some when I was young, haven't done it in years. I have a friend who is making hats for people (my daughter, her twin brother, my husband, said friend's boyfriend, etc.), but I think I'd prefer to work on re-learning or learning something new that would let me make blankets.
My sister made herself a bedspread with granny squares. She was working on it around the time of my wedding. (That was almost 20 years ago.)
I spent several months trying to learn to knit (again) last year (I knit with my Gramma lots when I was a child) I downloaded video's, talked to friends, got books, and practiced most nights..
but, if i missed a night or two, I had to start at the very beginning. Again.
After the aforementioned several months, I just gave up, it simply would not stick!
What the heck..
So, I took up cross-stiching, some nice designs not full of pink flowers, and the like. I like it pretty well...
But, I wish I could knit.
Hope you bring by your project some time! I love the sounds of the clicking needles. And the colors are good.
If your muscle memory doesn't work with knitting then it's going to be a tough road. Mine, for some reason, does. I will say that when I started up again, it took repeated practice sessions before I didn't have to start at the beginning again. It's getting better, but we're talking a month (but not every night.)
Nice! :) And yes, by all means stick with whatever needle size is giving you the look and gauge you want for a project. Lord knows I do.
I'm a devoted lurker on your group on SFF.net and I think I've delurked a couple of times to comment on things, mostly technical stuff I have some experience with. Like you, my mom taught me to knit 40-odd years ago and I was a knitting demon as a child. Between my knitting and my mom sewing, I had the best dressed baby dolls in the neighborhood. And like you, life got in the way and I gave it up until a few years ago when I rediscovered it. Unfortunately, life is getting in the way again and I've let it slide the last couple of years. However, there is one lesson I learned early on that I'd like to offer up.
Gauge only matters on garments.
I've never in all my life knit a gauge swatch for a blanket. Does it really matter if the blanket is X by Y size per the instructions? Unless you're knitting for a dictatorial tyrant, not really. What matters is how tight the stitches are and the effect on the pattern, if any. If you're going for warmth, smaller than recommended needles make a nice tight stitch. If you're going for light and airy, bigger needles do the trick. The only thing you have to keep in mind using the "what the heck" method (which is what I've always called this approach) is the amount of yarn is going to vary from the amount listed on the pattern. Generally, small and tight means more yarn while light and airy means less yarn.
And all of the above nonsense - wry grin - is just a prelude to say I really like the colors and I hope you get the joy and ease of mind out of knitting that I do.
I want a certain "feel" for this blanket...comforting/cuddley, not too dense but also not too loose and snag-prone. I don't have a pattern, just a rough size (shooting for "about" 40 inches by "about" 48 inches as suitable for slightly older kid.) This would fit across the top of a single or twin bed (32 inches, so 40 would be wide enough), and be long enough for a kid 4' tall to nap under or a taller kid to use as a lap afghan. Of course, for my first one maybe I shouldn't go that big. They want 30x30 to 54x70 (inches) and "child-friendly" colors (do they ask children??? I don't know. This blend has passed muster with guys I asked "Would you have wanted this when you were a little boy?") I'm thinking kids at 5 years have definite color preferences, and some of them will like it.
Anyway, I'd also like to know sooner rather than 3/4 of the way through that I have enough yarn, so if I don't I can order a coordinating color to fill in with. And I need to know how many stitches to cast on. The gauge patch is telling me about how many stitches/inch I do with these needles, and I can then multiply inches desired by stitches per inch, which right now appears to be 4.44444...very close to their 4.5 st/in with a 9. Going up a needle size could be too loose for this yarn, in a blanket that's supposed to survive use by an upset kid and possibly foster parents.
I'm planning a garter stitch border (less curl--uses that on scarves back in the day) and a sort of checkerboard of garter and stockinette (at which I need practice) in the body of it. I don't have the knowledge to do any cables. Yet.
Oh, my. Everyone seems to put a lot more thought into their knitting than I've ever done. My mom never knit a swatch for anything in her life regardless of the project and that is how she taught me to knit. I will admit it here, I do not swatch for anything. I pick a yarn. I pick needles. I cast on. I knit. Maybe it's a German thing. My grandmother was the same way. The only thing I knit I pay close attention to is socks. You can't hide a bad fit in socks.
If it looks and feels right, then it is right. Needle sizes are a suggestion, not a rule :)
Well, then, now I need a circular needle size 7 that's long enough to hold 200 stitches. About to order same off the internet. Advice? I'm looking at the bamboo needles at eknittingneedles.com.
Jumping in for an unrequested 2 cents....
I strongly recommend KnitPicks Interchangeables,
or something similar. The KnitPicks cables are awesomely resistant when it comes to unwanted curling. But that's not all! The Interchangeable system means that you can mix and match the needle size with a cable length for whatever project you need. So instead of buying a 36-inch size 7 circs, and then later on buying a 60-inch size 7 circs, you can buy the size 7 tips (in wood, acrylic, or nickel-plated) and whatever cable length you need for a current project.
I took a deep breath and invested in the Options Interchangeable Nickel Plated Circular Knitting Needle Set a couple years back, and it's been AWESOME. Since then I've bought Harmony Wood tips in size 7 and 9 (very useful for when I'm knitting with soysilk or bamboo blends) and I've bought a set of 60-inch cables, but that's it for circs. Any other needles I've bought have been of the DPN variety.
I looked at that site, and am delighted to have your input on it. While we're on the topic, how do you figure what length cable for a given width of project?
If I'm knitting from a pattern, I look to see if there's a particular length recommended. If they don't specify a cable length, I check the expected finished measurement of the project and go from there.
On many occasions, I admit, I've grabbed whatever cable has been handy and gone with that. Generally I find that for the projects I tend to knit, I use my 24-, 36-, and 40-inch cables. The big exceptions are the bigger projects, like the seamless raglan sweaters I've been doing lately, where I'll start out on DPNs, then move up to a 24-inch cable, then up a few more steps to generally the 60-inch cable. Which is another reason why I love the Interchangeables: if/when I discover I'm using the wrong cable length, I swap out on the next round/row. It's a little tricky to manage that at first, but practice makes it easier.
Oh, the Harmony tips are GORGEOUS. I have a set of Harmony DPNs I use for when I'm knitting socks for my mother-in-law; she's allergic to wool, so I like to use soysilk or bamboo blends when I'm making socks for her. The Harmony DPNs are perfect for slippery yarns.
I don't know what that particular brand is like, but I do like bamboo needles in general. I've got several sets of Crystal Palace
needles that have done stirling service.
2011-04-21 03:52 pm (UTC)
The needle size on the yarn balls is definitely a suggestion. I am a loose knitter and always have to go down at least 2 sizes in needles to reach the gauge in patterns.
It looks like where I am. My stitches/inch on 7s is about where their 9 is.
Yay for the knitting! I do hope you are safe from these dreadful wildfires that are dominating the news lately?
We've had them here in the past but aren't having them right now. However, the fire danger is very high. No outside fires at all, not even barbecue (I hope nobody breaks that rule for a holiday weekend!! One first in another part of our county was in fact started by someone grilling in their yard.)
I live to the northwest of you (San Angelo), and I'm dreading the 4th of July. Especially if we don't get a good dose of rain between now and then. There's always some idiot who doesn't think, or doesn't care.
Come to think of it, I pity the fireworks vendors, too. This isn't shaping up to be a good year for them.
My grandmother taught me to crochet, but I never had the patience to knit. It felt like the pattern emerged faster under the crochet hook. Maybe that's just because I had that rhythm down a little better. Grandma used to make bead rope necklaces, thick white ropes of beads crocheted together with thread, punctuated by flowers - a circle of pink around a single gold bead, with a bit of green under it. I still have one of those - beautiful! At one time, I could make them. I haven't played with it in years, though :o(
Another knitting friend pointed me at this before...cute, but not my thing.
It looks like it will be a beautiful blanket. As men in my family weren't taught to knit, I've taken up weaving as my primary fibre addiction.
I also just finished _Kings of the North_ and I must say WOW!
2011-04-22 03:28 am (UTC)
Re: Fibre Fixations
Thanks--glad you enjoyed the book.
I just found out recently that in the Dales area of the UK, men, women and children all knit--children were taught knitting in school (and songs to knit by.) Although I sorta-kinda understand simple weaving (those metal frames with teeth standing up on the side, and colored loops to put on them, were a common kid's craft in my childhood, and I made dozens of potholders) the looms I've seen in shops look very complicated. I can understand stripes and plaids (sort of) but not how the other patterns are created.
The only problem I have ever had with interchangeable needles (Denise and Boye) is that I have the bad habit of twisting the needle as I knit, and I've detached the needle from the cord/cable mid-row, at the join point where the needle attaches to the cable. I have not worked with the Knit Picks Needles, so I can't compare them. I tend to use a 29 inch circular for the afghans that I knit and that tends to be fine. I prefer Addi turbo needles and use them when ever I can.