Saturday, December 10, 2016

It's a process

Margaret (Mugginsquilts) from Ravelry has said 2 things that really stuck in my head.  First, pertaining to tension.  In crochet, when you yarn over and pull your yarn through the loop on your hook, you pull your yarn up a little to the height of the stitch, and that keeps your tension and stitches nicely even.  You do the same with knitting.  If you don't, you'll find that you can't even get your needle through the loop on your other needle on the next pass, so.  Very important.  Pull the yarn up a bit when you pull it through.

Second, "Knitting is more of a ‘process not product’ venture than crochet is. If you convince yourself to enjoy the process, it’s very satisfying."   Ahhhhh.   That's why I found doing a long swatch of just garter stitch boring and had to refer to my brand new book "400 Knitting Stitches" to find a knit/purl design I can work on rather than just the same stitch every row.

Garter:   Knit stitch on every row.
Stockingette:  Knit a row, purl a row. (that's the sweater look knit stitch).

Back to that brand new book, it was definitely the right choice for a beginner knitter (determined to be stubborn about learning to knit) to buy.  It includes pictures to show "how to", it includes 400 knit/purl designs, cables, slipped, lacy, and double stitches (and more), then it has a section showing and describing symbols, so you can read both a pattern and a diagram.   Excellent book!


Thursday, December 8, 2016

I'm back!

It's been a very eventful year, this 2016.  Several family members have died, including my  husband's grandmother, father, step-mother, my mother, her little brother (7 weeks after Mom), and several great-aunts and family friends.  I got a new job, found that health insurance premiums are more than my paycheck now, the most controversial presidential campaign and election in my memory, and my touchable "peace", my yarn.  My crochet.  I've made quite a few things this year that I'm very happy with, can't really post pictures yet because some of them are Christmas presents.

But this week I decided, since I'm in a place where it's okay to set my current projects aside, to learn to knit.  I've tried before, using long aluminum needles, and really just didn't like it.  Then someone said that sometimes it's the needles you're learning with, and that really, circular needles are just best to learn with and use no matter what your project is.  So, I ordered sets of size 7 and size 8 Knitters' Pride Dreamz to go with my KP Dreamz Tunisian hook set, so my cords and stuff will all be interchangeable, and definitely, there's a big difference!

This is ILTY, and KP Dreamz interchangeable circular needles size 8. -- Using the right size needle, the right wood, my tension is correct, and I'm finding it much easier to handle and control the yarn and needles.  There are many videos and instructions that are helpful, as well as many local classes (not necessarily here, but in general).

One small step forward, that's all this is, but the point is to open the doors of my mind and creative options.

Some sites I've found helpful for just getting started:
Sheep & Stitch (no longer active, but some excellent helps, tips, and videos)
Long Tail Cast On
Handsome Fibers (where I buy my hooks/needles)