Friday, January 09, 2009

Knitting Along

I've really enjoyed knitting; I think that's not much of a surprise to anyone who's been reading this here blog! But I've never really tackled anything particularly difficult.

When I think about all the projects I've been doing, they sort of grow one into the next in terms of techniques. The first baby blanket I knit, for Amy and Isaac, was pretty simply constructed on a diagonal with lacy yarn overs. I learned how to do increases and later realized all the yarn overs in that blanket are done incorrectly! I'd just learned how to knit Continental and was still shaky on the differences between that and the English method.

Now I know better :)

Once my friends stopped having babies, I began branching out into scarves with different yarn types. Poor Candyce received one of the experiments: a super bulky purple keyhole scarf that, though I used huge needles and made "skinnier" than normal, is still dense enough to choke a llama (and I'll re-knit if for you, Can, if you unearth it!).

Each project helped me see how stitches ought to sit; how increases and decreases matched up; how to pick up stitches; how to cast on in different ways. I've been on Ravelry for a year now and it opened up a whole new world of projects and possibilities!

My "stash" of yarn is now more wool and natural fibers than the boxes of acrylics that I had gotten from Suz, via Broos. I've knit with alpaca, silk, wool, soy and now have a hank of yarn made of banana fiber. Bananas! I've learned how to wind hanks of yarn into neat center-pull balls.

I've further learned that it takes viewing both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi to wind 1,400 yards of laceweight yarn into a ball by hand. =)

My foray into fingerless gloves taught me about kntting small things in the round, which naturally led to the year-end sock project. My new socks are nice and warm; I've worn them several times now. Can't wait to make more, to try out more techniques.

And so, I am participating in a Knit-Along (abbreviated as KAL, because knitters are funny that way) that takes obscure-but-cool projects and knits them at the same time. It provides a support group of folks who are doing the same project while not confining one to knitting at the same time and place as everyone else.

I chose to knit Sunshine, a cute pullover. Hopefully all the techniques I've learned thus far will help me make it fit for a two-armed human to wear!

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