Let’s talk about knitting…well, I am going to talk about knitting. You can read or if knitting isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to move on. You won’t hurt my feelings.
I did not knit this sweater, but it is one of my favorites.
I learned to knit the summer between my junior and senior years of college by a girl who was my friend Rebecca’s roommate during her junior year abroad. I took to it immediately. No scarf knitting here – I just jumped right in and knit a sweater. So, it wasn’t the best, but I felt hugely accomplished and kept at it. I then started knitting in hats in the round – I was so so at this (see Fatty’s first hat here – I think I had been knitting for about 18 months when I met him). Back to the sweaters. I even knit one for myself. I knit a Dale of Norway one for Fatty to learn fair isle and to improve my knitting in the round skills. I made Fatty a pair of socks – not fun and complete disaster. Sock knitting is not for me. Then Fatty’s friends started having babies – so baby sweaters it was. For a long time. Then we had kids – I knit them each a sweater and one blanket that didn’t get completed for Jane, so it is Kate’s. And besides a few little projects sprinkled here and there, I didn’t knit much for the few years.
I now have a yarn store that is walking distance from my house. It is also on the way to and from Kate’s school and is one block from her best friend’s house. Danger! Well, only kind of. This winter I have knit a bunch of hats – I counted 18. I know – that is a crazy number! I don’t have any good reasons for this, either, except that small projects are excellent for the carpool line and hats make good gifts. Once I was turned on to the provisional cast-on by Sarah and her flapper hat pattern, I was hooked. I didn’t stretch myself very much – I used the same yarn for most of them, with the same basic pattern using different colors. No gauge swatches necessary – a huge bonus in my mind.
Except now I am done with hats – I really don’t want to knit another one for a good long time. I can’t even make myself take the last one off the needles. And that is okay – it’s March, you know. I started the Clementine Shawlette from the Spring issue of Interweave Knits. Knitting lace is a nice change of pace, but this is going to get big pretty fast and won’t be very portable.
I still need something to do in the carpool line and reading magazines is only good for a day or two. Sarah suggested sock knitting. My immediate reaction was no. My previous experience left a lot to be desired, but that was ten years ago. Ten years. Long enough to forget why exactly I didn’t like knitting socks. I think it was the yarn. And I imagine that sock yarn has come a long way. So I am taking Sarah’s suggestion and knitting little kid-sized socks. Kate-sized socks, to be exact.
I took Kate with me to the local yarn store. She chose the yarn with the most girly colors she could find. I am not a huge fan of variegated yarns. I think they are so attractive and beautiful before they are knit up; I am just never sure if I am going to like them once I start knitting. I gave in, though. Kind of like her all pink apron, she had to have it. And in my mind, it’s not worth fighting with a five year-old girl over something as silly as sock yarn.
So far I am liking it. I did have to rip out about two inches to fix a mistake – I hate that. I thought the size 1 needles would irk me, but they haven’t. And I am pleasantly surprised by the stripes the variegated yarn is pumping out. Now if the socks fit and I can make them the same size, I think I may try a second kid-sized pair. You guessed it, a Jane-sized pair. Does anyone have a good kid-sized sock pattern they want to share?
And the shawl – I had to frog the entire thing after I saw two big mistakes. Oops. But the best thing about knitting is that you can start over without wasting anything but time. Tonight I will cast on again. Here’s to hoping I can keep to the stitch chart this time.