Friday, February 16, 2007

Coming Out of the Yarn Closet

OKAY, after much deliberation and soul searching and mostly from insistance from the little lady, I am coming out of the yarn closet. I admit it, I knit. So, now that is done, I feel as if 100 skeins of worsted weight Alpaca has been lifted from my soul. I started when Debbie opened the Knit N Needle. I figured that if the wife was going to run a yarn shop, I needed to learn as much as I could about the business so I could be of greater assistance to her. Not only did I need to learn about yarns and needles, I needed to understand the nature of knitting. SO, I had her teach me. Well, being the craftsman that I am, (leather crafter, decoupage, macramé, tea cup night light maker, ceramic setter, silk painter), I knew I could master the art of knitting easily. And I did, at first. I got the long tail cast on, the knit stitch and the Purl (nasty little bugger), all easily. My first real project was a scarf, all knitting that Debbie hung in the shop as a display. All the ladies that saw it just marveled over it, “Joe did that, WOW!” She kept it in the class room so the beginners would see it and get inspiration from it. The second project was a knitted watch hat; all went well until the double points came into play (more nasty little buggers). Somehow I got the dad gum thing turned inside out, upside down, backward or something cause I ended up with a knob on the top. Debbie said it was wrong (I thought it added some style to the thing), she said I had to tink back and redo it. WELL, if there is one thing I detest is backtracking. I do not undo very well. She insisted; I said if she wanted it undone, to do it. I spent all that time getting to the end, and I for sure was not going to undo and redo, (we had one of those family disagreements), the resolution is pending. Now to the reason I am blogging. I was knitting a blanket for myself, practicing to improve my skills. After many rows, I got a little bored with just straight knitting. I began to purl every other row, I can stocking knit, how about that! Well, that got boring also, so I began trying to do some patterns along the way and was doing fairly well, but you guessed it…..Bored again. (Patience is not one of my virtues). Then the mail lady arrived with the Spring issued of Interweave Knits magazine. Looking though it I found this really cool pattern. The Clementine Shawlette, a beginner pattern. I can do this I boldly announced, and of course my darling wife who thinks I can do anything (got her fooled but don’t tell her), says yes you can. So, she got me some yarn and a set of #4 circulars like the pattern called for. Off I go following this chart thing. Knit, purl, YO, even some animal called sl 2 as if to k2tog, k1, p2sso, thank God I live with a pro knitter, or the whole thing might have ended right there. Now this is where it gets to the point where she said I had to start blogging. First the needles were too small, (I kept telling her that), then I had a whole row of purl stitches that absolutely would not cooperate (kept slipping off, could not get the needle under the stitch, kept forgetting to go in the back door, (like that idea, but that is another blog topic), and finally the golf words started flying. And not the nice ones like par, putt, birdie, the Sailor ones, (most of which I learned while I was one). I am sitting there madder than a jackass with out a briar patch, and my loving, darling wife is laughing her head off. Well, she had to put down her knitting to come help me, or she more than likely would have had a set of broken circulars #4 in size. She of course thought it was just me knitting too tight or missing the pattern or something. She got some yarn and did some rows, and guess what, THE NEEDLES WERE TOO SMALL, she got me some 10.5 CP straights and lo and behold things got better. Well better at least for a while. Now the other problem. The darn pattern just does not make sense to me as charted. There is all this k on RS; p on WR, and P on RS; k on WS, blocks in the chart. Well to make a very long story short, after 9 (and I hate the word), FROGGING episodes, and many attempts at TINKING, (like I said, I hate backing up and redoing), I figured out the pattern is written all wrong for a beginner. (Sorry Interweave Press, but I got an easier way to chart this one, give me a call if interested.) Any way, I have it figured out now, and I think I might get going on this one and actually finish it. Time will tell and I will let you know the outcome. I do want to make mention that this is a lace pattern, (how about that for a beginner!), Debbie mentioned it to her friends, she tells them everything, well not EVERYTHING, like what I told her on her cell last night at her Knit Night out with the girls. And her friend Jutta, who is a whiz at knitting and had just finished this beautiful lace shawl, gave Debbie some wonderful red lace weight mohair from Germany for me to use. That was so generous of her, but that will have to wait until my skills improve. It has about 100 strands of this very fine yarn, my level of patience is nowhere near where it will have to be for me to attempt anything with that stuff, I have enough trouble keeping my needle from getting between the strands on what I am using now, no way would I keep control of that stuff. BUT, one day, so, Thank You Jutta.


Sandy & John said...

Dear Out of the Yarn Closet Joe,

I think you're a natural -- at writing, if not at knitting and purling. You should have a column in one of the knitting magazines. It would be a hit!

John thinks you need a job. Says call him if you're interested, ha!

Sandy said...

PS How do I place an order for one of your tea cup night lights? Really. :o)

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

My ex-husband used to express a desire to fool around with my Bond knitting machine--but I'd never let him near it. Now I wish that I'd let him try it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Joe, you just keep on writing, I enjoy hearing about your life's journey as a knitter.. Makes a new knitter feel they are not along in frustations. Keep on knitting with your wife,the common interest makes life worth it all.. Wish my hubby would try a stitch or two.
dlp gillisknitter