Wednesday, January 9, 2008

:: Love/Hate Knitting ::

Like making meringue from scratch and having a clean house, I hate the work of knitting but love the end product. Each winter I knit exactly one scarf, sometimes for me and sometimes for someone else. This year, I went totally insane and knitted two.

I know. I'm still catching my breath. That's, like, four months of my life I knitted away. Slowly. Painfully. Boredly.

The first one was a great little lace-knit number. I started it in October and when I was home in Rochester back then, my sister saw it and told me it was her favorite color and before I knew what I was doing I was making top-secret plans to make one for her for Christmas.

My lacey scarf turned out fabulous except for one thing: despite serious wet blocking (the process by which you supposedly make a scarf hold its shape), the scarf curled up so that it practically looks like a bolo tie when I wear it. I think it's because it's made from acrylic yarn instead of wool (mama's neck is sensitive). I worked so hard to make all the holes and when it's rolled up you can't even see that it has them. So uncool. So I don't wear it.

Scarf number two (pictured above) I did in seed stitch (knit one, purl one for an even number of stitches, then purl one, knit one for the next row) and despite my best and most valiant efforts, I didn't get it done in time for Christmas. Luckily, my sister's birthday was this past Sunday, so I had a second chance. I knitted like a fiend (even at dinner with friends on New Year's Eve!) and just barely eked it out.

Thankfully, she seems to have liked it. I told her if she didn't to give it back (not something I would usually say of a handmade gift, or of any gift) because that was a hunk of baby naps all knit into a pretty green scarf and I didn't want to waste those precious sleep hours on someone who didn't like the scarf.

Plus, I really love it and there is no way in hell I am knitting another. Not until next year.


Oh, and since I know the request is coming, here's a picture of the first scarf, pre-rolling:

Cool, huh? I still can't believe that I knitted that. Oh well.


Janet January 9, 2008 at 2:52 PM  

It is a lovely scarf. I have been knitting the same little Holly hobbie purse for my daughter for about four months now. I am not having fun.

McSwain January 9, 2008 at 4:11 PM  

That is gorgeous! Beautiful pattern, and I love that color.

a pinkroom January 9, 2008 at 5:37 PM  

That's fucking impressive as hell. I can only do very simple knit stiches because I have no attention-span for anything even 1/4 as complicated as that. And what is wet blocking? Should I be doing that with scarves? If you lived near me, or I lived near you, I would pay you to teach me all sorts of artsy craftsy shit.

Christina January 9, 2008 at 6:53 PM  

Beautiful! I have yet to attempt a lace pattern, mostly because I haven't seen anyone else do it. If someone demonstrates it, I can usually pick it up.

I finished two simple scarves for gifts last month, and now I'm back to working on my felted handbag. Someday I'll turn my attention back to my basket weave pattern Irish reading shawl. (from the Folk Shawls book)

Julie January 10, 2008 at 8:08 AM  

It's all about The woman who runs the site provides video demonstrations for everything knitting-related. It's totally freaking AWESOME. I find a pattern I like in the Internet someplace, something pretty, and then I go to to figure out what on earth the pattern is telling me to do. Then I attempt the first set of rows about a hundred times until I've mastered it and then I start fresh and make the scarf or whatever it is. So far, it turns out that everything is pretty easy once you practice it a few times.

I'm kind of terrified of trying Fair Isle but that might be next year's project. A fair isle hat for Evan.

Don't quote me on that, though.

Toni January 10, 2008 at 7:26 PM  

Such a pity about the first one... it's beautiful. I would be happy if I could knit a single row of anything!

Anne January 12, 2008 at 9:26 PM  

I *lovelovelovelove* the scarves. And the color. So pretty. You rock.

Knitting Rears Its Ugly Head Once Again « Letter9 January 16, 2008 at 4:36 PM  

[...] however, I am totally OK with. Which is why it pains me to say that I’ve decided to start knitting some more. It’s something I can do wherever Evan [...]

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