When I read this on For the Knit of It,
I thought the idea was too good not to share. So what does knitting mean to me?
My 10 top thoughts.
- Keeps fingers nimble and the brain agile (I hope!)
- Relaxes and soothes (think swathes of garter)
- Challenges and stimulates (lace in all its intricacy)
- Means wearing clothes that fit
- Makes long journeys seem much shorter
- Is giving presents that are personal
- Is being creative with colour and textures without having to be inventive
- Brings like-minded people together
- Is learning and teaching and sharing all rolled into one
- Lets you be a little part of something bigger (Knitting for Water)
What does knitting mean to you?
I started my ‘Summer Socks‘ way back mid February… but they were abandoned for other projects. I really don’t know why. These socks were easy to knit – you can see straight away which row you’re on just by looking at your knitting. The design is quite stretchy so they’d be ideal gifts for Those Who Appreciate Handknit Socks. The yarn is a wool/cotton blend – perfect for cooler summer days as well as spring and autumn. My only complaint? My ankles seem to be skinnier than standard so that even 60 stitches on 2 mm needles results in some sagging at the top of the heel/ ankle base. I guess there’s always room for improvement!
Well no, not really.
But this is a sock called Orchid hanging out on my balcony. I’d bought this lovely Atelier Zitron Trekking (XXL) yarn in a lipstick moment when I’d gone into a yarn shop nearby that I’d never paid much attention to up to now.
Then of course I needed a good pattern. I tried out a few different things. The stripes are too well-defined for many textured patterns (although Uzu looked quite good).
In the end I went with Orchidee (scroll down for the English instructions). It appears to be a variation on the waffle stitch pattern. The purled rows really make the slipped stitches stand out. I worked this toe-up and knitted my preferred toes and heels.
The pattern is very straightforward and so lends itself to car-knitting. A very respectable amount of the first sock was done on a 750 km weekend trip to northern Germany. The remainder was partly knit outside. On the balcony.
comes my new cardigan. Not just any cardigan but my bright, white Neon cardigan. I knew I wanted to knit this as soon as I saw Joji’s design on Ravelry. The pattern is well written and very easy to follow. I’m extremely pleased with the results. I’ll be knitting more of Joji’s designs in the future, I’m sure. More photos and notes here.
There’s a bit of a stereotype that all women have hundreds of pairs of shoes. I do know women who appear – to my eyes at least – to possess ten pairs of (nearly) identical black heels and another ten of flats but I’m different. I walk a lot and use local public transport. I like to walk at a ‘smart’ pace as if I’m on a mission so I like comfy shoes. When I get a new pair I wear them day-in-day-out until they look as though they are as comfortable as they feel; verging on the shabby perhaps?
But I too was stricken by the shoe bug. I knew exactly what I wanted and nothing else would do. I looked online and in local shops until finally I found them – the perfect way for me to
show off admire my handknit socks…
I had been looking forward to starting this project. It was an easy knit and the yarn was well suited to it. I’ve made something similar before so it was going to be stress-free knitting. There’s a recipient for this so it’s top secret at the moment but here’s a little teaser…
Somehow this wasn’t the satisfying knit it should have been. The dimensions seemed wrong and the fabric dense. I thought it might be better once there was more of the item so I carried on but quickly ran into construction difficulties. I’ve met these before and solved them – kind of. I knit some more. My dissatisfaction grew with the knitting. There was no way I was ever going to give this to anyone.
It had to be frogged! One last look then I took it off the needles and ripped it back. It’s rather alarming how quick and easy ripping back is – it’s a bit like spending all afternoon preparing dinner, to have it wolfed down in ten minutes flat!
Now I’m using a different pattern, different needles and this is turning out to be the fun project I was looking for!
When I succumbed to this lovely yarn a few weeks back, I optimistically named my project Quick Knit on Ravelry. Sure enough, once I’d got used to such thick needles again (9 mm), I had the back and the front knitted up in a couple of days. Admittedly, it was plain stocking stitch with no shaping – just some points of interest at the beginning, middle and end in garter stitch using 2 strands held together. The sleeves were fast too, but then trouble struck. I had to sew the shoulder seams to determine whether the sleeve length was correct… So my quick knit lay around in pieces waiting to be finished off while I returned to another of my WIPs. It’s now finally assembled and I’ve worn it loads already. I wish I’d done it sooner – this could so easily have been started, knitted and made up in a week to ten days!
One of the first events I attended after joining the American International Women’s Club of Cologne was Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. There were four of us and I had taken some cross-stitch embroidery along, not thinking about how difficult it would be to count and talk at the same time. Since then I’ve always worked on my knitting and as the group has grown (we’re up to well over 20 crafters now), so has my experience of what makes a good project for these knitting get-togethers.
Something straightforward that in other circumstances might even be considered boring – like miles and miles of stocking stitch with little or no shaping. It also helps if said project can be put down and picked up at will. I don’t consider my self to be an expert but there is often someone needing a spot of help. Trying to find my place in a complicated pattern has been known to end badly. A smallish project, like a sock, the sleeve of a jumper, one front of a cardigan, or a scarf, is easy to transport and you don’t need half the table for all your paraphernalia.
Our group only meets once a month so there is often something new to admire. Although I spend a fair amount of my time knitting, it is usually during the evening or on quiet weekends so a morning spent surrounded by good friends, lovely yarns and inspiring books and patterns always feels like a bit of a treat…even if I don’t do much knitting!