Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fearless Knitting

“Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.” Bette Davis

Knitting Daily had a post that asked “Was the knitting I did the kind of knitting I REALLY wanted to do? Was I happy with the finished projects? Did the knitting end up looking as good as I'd hoped it would? What would it take to become a truly fearless knitter?”

I have thought about that a lot. When I first started knitting I did the Irish Hiking Scarf with cables and I was amazed that I could do it. I then moved on to doing the Branching Out, socks on dpn’s, socks on two circs and I learned I had been knitting wrong and changed that. I tried stranded and the Hemlock Ring.

What did I find out about these? Was I happy? Well, I found I love cables, not so much lace. If I remember correctly I cut the Branching Out short and made a cowl out of it. I loved the stranded hats I made but have to find better control as some stitches are tighter than others and I need to do better getting gauge. I did the Hemlock Ring and it is beautiful and I have been on a round afghan thing (doing a plain pi right now) but I find I prefer the reversible afghan’s as there is not such a drastic difference between right and wrong side. I want it to look good from both sides.

Another thing is I find myself knitting for other people and not for myself….not that that is a bad thing but because my time is limited I will do an old standby instead of trying something new or taking the time to perfect another skill.

So what do I want to do? What needs improving? What will make me a “fearless knitter” in 2008?

Well there are few things I want to learn- the first will help in all aspects of my knitting the rest I just want to learn to learn. So, first I want to learn to knit English so I have better control doing stranded. I taught myself to knit continental because I had crocheted for many years before hand and holding the yarn in my left hand just felt more natural. The others are to knit with beads, do a sock toe up, and finally conquer the short row heel. I cannot tell you how many times I have given up on that heel and just done a standard one.

The other things that will make me fearless are personal-self discipline issues…such as… I NEED to learn to say “no”. No, I can not put 30 hours in a 24 hour day just so you have (fill in the blank) for (fill in the blank). Go to Walmart, Sears or Zales and buy them a gift. Me buying/making the yarn and crocheting/knitting them something means it came from me not you. I need to stop knitting for people who ruin the items the first time they use them or those that store them away because they don’t want them to get dirty….a happy medium would be nice.

I NEED to learn patience with myself. I choose items based on how long they will take as knitting time is at a minimum. I tend to choose hats, scarves, socks and mittens. I am on nobody’s time table except my own and I need to stop cracking the whip. Who cares if that hat took 3 years to make? Also, if I am making something for family and I see a mistake and it entails ripping out several rows I will ignore it, if I can tink down I will fix it. If I ignore it I am not happy in the end so I need some patience in that area also to rip it back and do it the right way. I can make 20 crappy hats or take the time and do one sweater that I really like the right way. Quantity vs quality.

So for a fearless 2008 I need to remember knitting is my hobby. It is something that is suppose to give me pleasure. Making things that I don’t want to make, rushing for no known reason and not doing them right doesn’t give pleasure. So with felted bra as my shield and needles as my sword I go forth to become that fearless knitter. Wish me luck!

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