Somewhere around February, I started knitting…again….I had learned 30 plus years ago but it didn’t take…i didn’t need it.. i couldn’t have wrapped my head around just SITTING…. these days I am knitting while i am listening or watching – things that don’t require my hands, to the detriment of many other things. I haven’t worked on anything else…blogs, manuscripts, publications..nothing that would make a profit… but i have turned out an afghan, a few dishtowels, scrub pads, a rather lovely shawl and ONE sock.
I confess I have fallen down the knitting rabbit hole rather far… but I recognized the hole before I got anywhere near it…and I made up a bunch of my ‘rules. It wasn’t that hard.. I still have an addictive personality but i don’t have the finances to support it. Right now I am looking at a few boxes of yarn..my cache… i avoid even going INTO ‘yarn’ stores..if you been in one you’d know why… i have parsed knitting into recreational knitters and subsistence knitters..i am of the later… I am only wasting my time knitting things I can actually use and even then if i can avoid using buying A grade yarn the better. The brown shawl used to be a small alpaca sweater purchased at for $2…unfortunately I have an entire trunk of Goodwill sweaters waiting to be unraveled….wool from all over the world all disguised as ugly sweaters for the moment. The socks on the other hand are new sock yarn, which I am resisting the urge to buy more of until I complete an actual Pair of socks..I keep unraveling them and doing them over, the 1st one in unraveled to make the second one, and the second one took me 14 tries.
Once I wrap my head around an aspect of knitting it sticks.. though my right hand is still a little fucked up, my biggest difficulty is SEEING the stitches, I like things like the socks where i can just measure. Thankfully youtube is chockfull of knitting instructions and inspirational blogs – the videos are much more helpful than learning from a real person, it’s hard to get people to freeze frame and slowmotion backwards.
Ravelry.com is the internet within the internet for knitters and crocheters, you need never have to pay for a pattern. It also cross-references all the possible yarns and online places to get them, basically it satisfies all the possible yarn joneses. There’s even a lovely corner for people like me, who unravel things to make other things. Btw you can buy recycled yarn all over Ebay and Etsy, unless you are broke like me.
One of the things about knitting that I find endlessly fascinating and does feed into my raison d’etre, is the ability to unravel and recycle the yarn, or even just pick up the stitches on something and continue making it. Granted you can try to get away with that in sewing, but it’s trickier..unless you are into patchwork, everything you are making is vastly smaller than the used fabric you are starting with. Yarn doesn’t know that sort of limitation. If you plot out the chess-like knitting notation on graph paper it is clear that it is completely binary, knit stitches and purl stitches which makes perfect sense to a brain like mine. Knitting is also similar to 3-D printing, you are creating all sides at the same time, the inside and the outside, as well as height and thickness. Running a soon to be felted slipper through a few hot wash loads yields a 3 dimensional object which started out as an unbroken line…a skein of yarn, I still think that’s pretty spectacular stunt.
Right now I am more interested in acquiring the skill, than acquiring a closet full of knitting items. I already have a few sweaters now, how many can I wear and I doubt I will ever be able to knit a a sweater as nice as the ones I have purchased, but I am using my new yarn knowledge to improve my thrift shopping. I have some really nice stuff now. But having the ability to churn out a new sock when I need one is empowering ( you know even the Egyptians used replaceable heels on their sock designs?) I still need to finish this second sock before I start patting myself on the back.