Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


No, not this guy.

I knit (and occasionally spin) in public. It gets some interesting comments.

A few years ago I saw my first knitter in the wild, on my regular bus. I was a little too excited and I think I scared her off because I never saw her again. Since then I’ve seen knitters and crocheters on transit periodically but I keep quiet unless they say something first.

Earlier this week, a woman told me I had a rare gift. I didn’t understand what she meant. She said being able to knit like I do is a rare gift and that I was very talented. I told her it’s really not that hard, honestly, but thank you.

The truth of the matter is that knitting is really not hard. I’m not even in the top ¾ of knitters I know in terms of skill and etc, I have never done colorwork, I hate cables, I have no interest in anything but basic shaping and lace. I’m really not that skilled or talented or whatever. I think I’m pretty good at spinning for the length of time I’ve been doing it. But again, in very specific ways. I’m not interested in making art yarn, in corespinning, In bulky yarns. I like spinning worsted or finer with a default to three ply fingering weight. At that, I am quite good. Other stuff, not so much, and truth be told, it’s way more practice than talent.

Knitting is only two stitches, knit and purl. And if you break it down, knit and purl are the same thing, just reversed. Compared to crochet, where there are a million stitches to learn, knitting is very basic.

But what you can do with those two stitches!

And that was knit on a bus! I could never. Ever. do that. I need to be at home with the ability to concentrate and have good light. I do have the pattern, though and plan to knit it, from incredibly bright pink silk that I'm spinning on a spindle. I might get the yarn done in ten years.

Anyway, the gist of it is, knitting isn't hard. It's mostly the ability to follow a pattern (or make one up as you go along) and pick the right yarn for the project. With those two simple stitches, done with loops between, more than one at a time, crossing over each other, or in all different colors, you can come up with some amazing stuff.

(For incredible colorwork and cable patterns, see Alice Starmore's designs.)

Here's some of my favorite things I've made from those two simple stitches.


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