Friday, 20 April 2012

Knitter, know thyself!

I have several projects in progress and many on my "would like" to-do list. I though Friday, would be a good day to share them with you. I subscribe to several knitting and fiber magazines (electronic and paper), I have many knitting books and DVDs and many favorite knitting sites that I visit. I sometimes have the feeling that I dream more than I do, but for me, it's all a part of my creative process. Perusing all these different sources helps me learn an amazing amount of information about fiber, yarn and design, and they spark my creativity for color, design and construction of garments.

A part of my collection!
 My studies are mostly creative, but there is also a practical side. The more I learn, the better choices I make. I choose patterns that I know I will enjoy making and that will be flattering for me or the recipient when they are finished. I knit fairly quickly, I think, but the time I have to knit is limited. This also affects my choices. We knit for pleasure. It should not be a stressful experience. That is why knowing what we like and don't like helps to avoid frustration, hence the call,  "knitter know thyself!"

Here is my list of preferences for sweater designs:

1. In the round - You knit and get stocking stitch for free! Elizabeth Zimmerman said that we would enjoy purl just as much as knit, but we don't do it enough. I am sure that she was right. I'm getting faster at purl, but knit is just so easy!

2. Little or no finishing - Remember my unfinished objects that I mentioned last fall? They are still in the bottom of my closet. Shameful, I know, but it seems the longer you put something off, the harder it is to get back to it. I hate finishing!

3. Worsted weight yarn and size 8 to 10 needles. These are big time savers. Speed is important for me when I am making a big garment. Seeing the sweater develop quickly is motivation to continue.

Christina Wall's Greta Vest
Preferences two and three are what led me to want to make this vest the minute I saw it! The Greta Vest by Christina Wall is just about as easy as it gets! She calls it a "mind clearer". You just cast on and knit/purl, instant knitting gratification! It is also a very practical, four season garment. If I sew a skirt with $5 worth of fabric, I don't mind giving it away after a few seasons, but when I invest a good amount of money and time in a sweater, I want it to be a design that will last a long time.

No picking up and knitting at the end!
I knit this vest in Knit Picks City Tweed ( Aran / Heavy Worsted Weight
55% Merino wool, 25% Superfine alpaca, 20% Donegal tweed
164 yards/100 gram ball). It is a lovely, soft yarn and easy to work with. Knit Picks has a large selection of patterns from independent designers, beautiful, reasonably priced yarns and a large assortement of knitting needles.
Still needs blocking!
This was my first "top down" sweater and I loved it! I have found that there are many techniques in knitting that seem mysterious and complicated before you try them, and when you "get your courage up" you realise that it's really not that hard.
Here you can see the fake seam!
So to recap, heavy worsted weight yarn, size 9 needles, no finishing. It was a dream project!

What are your "must haves" when knitting or crocheting for it to be a dream project? Please share them with us!


Taylor Lynn said...

Oh, I know the feeling...sometimes I also think I dream more than I do! But there are times when dreaming can be just for fun, too. :) And it sounds like your dreaming and reading actually comes in pretty useful, so yay to that!

Also, great job on that vest - it looks just like the pattern! And the color is fabulous, very dark and natural-looking. Wonderful work, Laurie! Hugs!

Additionsstyle said...

The vest looks like it was fun to create and it's a great color. I don't know anything about knitting, but I do know about finding inspiration in books while learning something new.
Everyday Inspired

Laurie Fortier said...

Thanks so much to all three of you! It really is fun to share our inspirations!

I'm glad you like the tweed Lynette and Taylor. It makes such a warm comforting fabric!

Sonya Kanelstrand said...

I love trying new techniques when knitting. For example, just to avoid purl I tried once the reversed knit stitch. And no, I don't like purl. As much as I respect EZ I think that I will never like it regardless how often I do it. There is something in me holding the yarn that stops me from enjoying it. Because I taught myself to knit, I am not the most graceful in it and I know I don't many things properly. Purl is one of them. I love knitting top down though, it is so adventurous! And you are right, one cannot knit under stress, it just doesn't come up beautifully.

Laurie Fortier said...

Oh, I know Sonya! I'm getting better at purl, but I will always prefer knit! I also need to learn to "throw" I know I would knit faster and be able to do stranded knitting more easily, but I just don't "get it" yet!

Jane France said...

I'm working on this vest now, and have come to dividing the sleeves and joining the body. I'm puzzled about the cast on. It looks like one cast on will be at the start of the back, and the other cast on will be at the beginning of the last front side. Shouldn't the cast ons both be in the back? or in the front?

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