Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Favourite Battles

I spent the last couple of days working on making pockets into a sweater for a first time. It was tough, and seemed complicated, almost impossible, while I was doing it, but I've finally got them in, and can carry on working on the body of the sweater. It's been a nice little victory for me, and it's another skill I can tuck under my belt.

Here is one of the pockets. There will be a ribbed edge added to it later, but it looks pretty darn good at the moment, huh?


In case you were wondering, I used the advice from The Sanguine Gryphon for reference.

I love these little battles I have with my knitting. As tough and as frustrating as it is at the time, it is really the best part of knitting for me. Problem-solving is one of my favourite things, really. Thinking about knitting or crochet "challenges" actually helps me to relax before I fall asleep at night. I've been able to get rid of lots of anxiety doing that. Weird, I know, but it's always been soothing for me. I used to fall asleep thinking of necklace designs. It gives me great pleasure to figure out puzzles and problems. Give me a book of Sudoku puzzles, and I'll see you in a few hours!

You should have seen me making the darn pockets. Since I'm knitting the sweater in seed stitch, it's hard to remember which side is the right side. I kept jumping up to find hoodies and sweaters with pockets so that I could make sure I was making the slant lean to the correct side. Every so often, I'd stop, squint, then put my hands on my sides as though I had pockets on to check again. And then, later, I'd take my piece, flip it over and over and over, again and again, to check again.

I must look like a bit of lunatic when I'm working on something, or thinking about how to make something. I'll often stop, mid-stitch, squint at the air, eyes shifting, imagining how to make this sleeve or that cable stitch... I'll draw pictures in the air with my fingers (usually because I'm not organized enough to carry a sketch pad), or start measuring my arms with my hands to make sure I'm not making a sleeve too long. Sometimes, I'll start counting out random numbers to figure out how to decrease properly. They say it's the first sign of madness... or genius...

I'm reading an Elizabeth Zimmermann book right now, Knitting Without Tears. For those who don't know about her, she is knitting royalty. She passed away not long ago, but her knowledge and techniques are revered, re-written, and dare I say, improved upon over and over, but never without strict reference to the lady who told us to be the boss of our knitting. One of my favourite quotes so far is:

Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.

It's a darn good thing, too... because most of the time, I am not the latter!

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