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January 21, 2010

You may be right . . .

Dream in Color Knitosophy Butterfly
You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just might be a lunatic you're looking for
Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

(Lyrics, Billy Joel, You May be Right)

It was about four years ago that I finished my first pair of handknit socks and last night I had a dream about knitting socks -- particularly about starting a new sock when I already had single socks waiting for their mates to be knit (that's actually true, by the way). However, in my dream, I was experiencing the absolute joy and freedom of starting a brand new sock, shamelessly and totally guilt free. I woke up thinking how crazy that probably is to most people -- not to mention that non-knitters don't get the whole handknit sock thing in the first place. (Those who wrinkle their noses at my handknit socks simply don't get them as gifts. Their loss). There are no knitting police, but there are often haughty knitters who remind you that you already have single socks that need their mates. And yes, I already know about the concept of two-at-a-time socks. I have some on the needles now!

All I know is that when I saw my first handknit socks, I had to learn how to knit them. It took me a solid year -- perhaps almost two years -- to grasp the concept and actually learn how to knit them. Undeniably, it was one of the most difficult things for me to learn how to do, but I figured it out and count it among my proudest achievements. Sadly, somewhere along the way, I began experiencing the guilt (again, from other knitters . . . not from the loved ones who would eventually GET my handknit socks) about the unfinished pairs. I started feeling guilty about casting on and some of the pride of finishing a single beautiful sock was diminished by the finger-pointers. You see, I can finish a single sock -- the first sock -- rather quickly. I enjoy the entire process, start-to-finish (yes, even the grafting -- now one of my favorite parts, as a I always knit cuff-to-toe). But when one sock is finished, I desperately want to start another in an entirely different sock yarn. Yet I don't. Because of the guilt. Holy cow. How insane is that?

I'm starting another sock.

Continue reading "You may be right . . ." »

August 21, 2008

And now . . . something simple

Who doesn't love a baby hat and everything it represents? I get a little nostalgic whenever I see a wee knit hat. And because I like to have access to basic, unembellished knitting patterns, I put one together for you so that you can use it as a starting point for your own baby hats. I wanted this basic pattern to be something that one could use to teach knitting with double-pointed needles with 4 DPNs rather than 5; and on the Ravelry page for the Very Basic Baby Beanie, I also included suggestions for yarns that can be found at your neighborhood discount store if you aren't close to a local yarn shop. If, however, you regularly visit your local yarn shop (and I hope you've already discovered this wonderful resource), ask them to point you to a sportweight merino or wool; then find your favorite color and knit a baby hat. I'd love to see it! The free pattern link is in my sidebar if you don't have access to Ravelry.

Basic_Baby_Beanie.jpg

Thank you all for sharing your favorite summer reads in my last entry! I added a few of them to my "To Read" list on Good Reads. I'm still going through my emails and comments so your suggestions are all going to end up on that list. I'll read 'em all. I might not be a fast knitter, but I am a fast reader.

And to clarify some of what I wrote about knitting sweaters; I want to assure you all that I totally push the boundaries on sweater-WEARING - just not necessarily sweater-KNITTING! In my lifetime, I've bought so many sweaters and I have worn a few to death. There's one charcoal gray wool cardigan in my closet that I've had for at least 16 years and it still looks good. I really wish I was a knitter back when my kids were outgrowing their sweaters faster than I could buy them replacements. I simply understand better now the dynamic of knitting up north. It's more for survival than fashion. I'm fascinated with it really. I love all the little factoids I learned about our northern neighbors who knit sweaters - like the fact that they opt for natural and neutral colors for their sweaters. I envy the fact that there is an accepted tradition of knitting functional and wonderful sweaters that are passed down for generations. Perhaps I secretly want to be Canadian, eh?