I love sewing: we all do – that’s why we’re here ….the pairing of pattern and fabric, the choice of garments, trying on and (almost perfect) fitting, the construction techniques, the uniqueness. But knitting! I could swear here %***!*&
When I sew something, I try it on halfway through its making. If it’s too loose I sew a wider seam allowance, if it’s too tight I sew a narrower seam allowance. Simple.
But knitting – honestly – you have to get practically to the end for trying on purposes and if it’s not right then there’s only one thing to be done – swear repeatedly and loudly, stick the whole lot in a plastic bag, hide it and go back to sewing. And it takes soooo long to do.
Knitting – it’s a demon. About three years ago my husband asked me to knit him a sweater. I sent him off to hunt around Ravelry and thought that’s the end of that. Ha! However, he found a pattern and ordered wool – expensive stuff like alpaca and silk. I started the sweater five times! I’d knit up about 10cms then lose my way in the K1,P2,YO,K2,P3, K1 (that’s made up BTW) complicated rib; rip it out and start again, and again, and again. Then one day I did the only sensible thing and the whole lot ended up in a plastic bag and hidden from sight.
Kate got us all started on knitting over the summer with Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting without Tears. I remembered the luxurious yarn that was sweating in a plastic bag so I bought the book and the circular needles and got stuck in.
Kate has knitted some stunning jumpers herself and is a real inspiration. See some other sewers whom she has encouraged and enabled to knit and their finished versions here.
The yarn that was purchased many years ago for the doomed jumper is Drops alpaca in indigo with a second yarn of Drops silk in a lighter blue, knitted as one strand. It produces a lovely mottled/marl effect. It really is the softest thing. If I remember correctly it was bought from Purple Sheep Yarns – really quick dispatch and the cheapest, even though this is not cheap yarn.
The pattern is the mock raglan sleeve jumper from EZ book with the only bit of sewing being under the arms.
It’s not for me, it’s for him….
The sleeves are a little long but not too bad. I just left the edges to curl – as per my customer who wanted something loose and relaxed. I didn’t cry. I didn’t swear. The plastic bag is empty. He got a jumper.
My confidence with knitting has risen slightly. EZ has a lovely, friendly way of writing that makes you feel that everything is OK. One extra stitch is not a disaster and I love her instructions for ‘approximately’ 10″ – my kind of rules. Of course, Kate has demonstrated many times that knitting is not the black art that I thought it was and that I Can!
I’ve started my second and this time it is for me.
I’m enjoying shopping for yarns – the colours, the thicknesses, the options……
It still takes me ages and ages to knit but at least now it gets finished and there are no tears, no stuffed plastic bags out of sight, nor swearing!
(Well maybe just a wee bit @*#*!)