Saturday, April 2, 2011

2KCBWDAY6 - Something To Aspire To

For me, I constantly love to learn new techniques, but I never really think of it being something that I have aspired to, I just thought that the more advanced you get as a knitter, the more cool things you should be able to pull out of the hat. I hope in this post I can impart a little bit of wisdom to any newbies out there who are maybe making a forray into some more exciting knitting, and maybe just encourage people to try something they've been wanting to do for a while.

Personally, I think to fully respond to this kind of topic, I first have to explain how I think about knitting as a general concept.
I'm a person who is very good at following directions and instructions, and as knitters, we all have to be, right? And the thing with knitting is that, with only two stitches and its variations, it would seem that the sky's the limit? So something which is, to me, a little crazy, is that I've seen people out there, people who have done amazing things with their knitting, that certain patterns seem more intimidating than others.

Now this is where (in my head, at least) I think I kind of sound really smug and know-it-all-y, but I find that generally, even if it's a technique I've never tried before, if I follow the directions, I shouldn't have a problem. Take steeking, for instance. It never occurred to me that the idea of cutting into your knitting was worrisome for a lot of knitters out there. I just kind of figured that, hey, it's in the directions, I'll just do it, and it worked.

And you should all do it too, there's definitely nothing stopping you. A pearl of wisdom J.K Rowling gave us via several HP characters, which I think is pretty apt here, "fear of a name only increases the fear of the thing itself." Words and phrases like "steek", "lace", "fair isle" and "aran" seem to conjure up fear for a lot of people. My advice would be this :

Any pattern is possible when you attack it one row, one stitch, at a time, and that's the only pace you can go with knitting.

As seemingly overwhelming as that Starmore sweater or Cobweb Lace Shawl may be, don't forget that if you can knit and purl, you CAN make it. Who cares if, at first, it might take you the better part of knitting to do a couple of rows? So go on and make sure that you put paid to your aspirations and try all those nifty techniques and styles that are out there these days.

Despite all of this forward thinking, there are a couple of things that I would love to make over the next year. I think that I'm going to go ahead and jump on the lace bandwagon. And here is where we have my little something to aspire to.

See, my problem is not with the knitting per se, but the sewing. I suck at making up, and I freely admit that. I'm kind of lazy and also too eager to start wearing what I spent months on making, and often the finished object leaves a lot to be desired because of it. Which is why, up to now, I haven't really given a lot of lace a second chance. Sure, it is uber beautiful stuff, but the blocking. Oh, the blocking. I could never figure out what it involved before the days of Ravelry, and anything that I tried ended up just not sitting right and I could never figure out why.

So this year, I want to pay special attention to the post-knitting part of the knitting process.

Oh, and a wedding ring shawl would definitely not go amiss. I know that having something like over 1000 stitches on a row (or something like that) is crazy and super intimidating, but I still stand by what I said before. Even if I got half a row done a night towards the end, it's still definitely do-able, and I'm so not a fan of the mention of the pattern being for 'ultra-experienced knitters'. If you want to do the wedding ring shawl, just go ahead and do it.


  1. You made a very good point about fearing the name of something only increases the fear of thing itself! I'll remember that good wisdom. As long as there are good directions out there and thank goodness for YouTube! If worse comes to worse, I can always go to my LYS and pay for some private time.

  2. One stitch at a time is good advice. I think the thing that freaks me out about steeking is the thought of everything that could go wrong. Rationally, I know that following all the steps it should work out, but it's emotionally terrifying!