5.13.2011

Progression of a Craft

 

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Knitters usually have a favorite item to knit. Shawls, socks, dishcloths, toys, to name a few. Mine is sweaters. A strange item for a women who is plagued by hot flashes that scare my co workers. But if you are a knitter you will understand, when the knitting muse calls, you just answer it, no questions asked.

My first big success into knitting sweaters was when I discovered Elizabeth Zimmerman, and, suddenly, after years of odd sweaters, or frogged sweaters, I had a “sweater that actually fit”! This was the beginning of my long love affair with sweaters.

I think of my knitting phases as;

1-My FLAT period; scarves, afghans, dishcloths, basically anything flat and mindless. I was into loving the knitting, just for the knitting. Then I heard the siren of the sweater, I knitted quite a few flat, funny sweaters, that got frogged, given to anyone resembling the resulting size, and just generally huge “gauge” issues.

2-Sweater; In the round, bottom up, Yay! I discovered Elizabeth Zimmerman! I quickly finished my first sweater, which I still have and put on in the cold winter. It turned out to be a big  oversized “boyfriend” sweater, at the time I wore it over leggings. (what decade was that?? LOL) I was so excited to have a sweater that fit that I remember wearing it and sweating! It fit, I made it and I was wearing it, no matter what. (Schoolhouse Press is still in business), also her books are available at most yarn shops and of course Amazon.This period consisted of many Elizabeth Zimmerman sweaters,

3-Socks-Well say no more, who hasn’t gotten caught up in socks.  Turn your first heel and it is magikal! Fast, easy to carry, simple to lacy, cable, ribs, you name it, and you can find it on a sock, somewhere. I tired knitting them on dpns, magic loop, two at a time on one circular, and my current socks on the needle are my favorite technique, one at a time on two circulars, see Silver’s Sock Class, all free with excellent instructions for knitting socks just about any way you want!

4-Lace/Shawl period, well I guess this is more of a ambition. I have so many lace patterns and yarn for them. I tend to pick out complicated patterns and I don’t seem to have to attention span to knit them. I’m constantly making errors and frogging. If anyone has tips, let me know!!! (Short of medication) LOL, maybe someday.

5-Sweaters, I discover top down in the round sweaters! I love them! For my first one I used some of my kool aid dyed yarn, and the Incredible, custom knit Raglan Sweater pattern from By Pamela Costello, this is an excellent pattern! There are many other versions of this idea, but this is the one I came across and it really got me going! I love the seamless idea. The fact that I can try it on as I knit solves an ongoing gauge problem, I can tweak the pattern “live on the needles”.

This resulted in a quest to see who else was making patterns this way. I found these top down sweater books on amazon. I think the best ones are written in the Elizabeth Zimmerman way of percentages, or knit until you are (under the arms for example) One of my favorites is Knitting from the Top by Barbara G. Walker

What do you love to knit??

5 comments:

  1. I can't be the only knitter who has never knit a sock - not ever. I just don't get it. You have to knit on tiny double pointed needles. And when you're done, you put them on your feet. I'm hard on my socks; can't keep a pair in tack longer than a few months. Nope. I'll stick to homey stuff, like blankets and to little girl clothes.

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  2. You're the one who turned me on to the joys of raglan, thanks.

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  3. I like socks and sweaters, too, but I haven't been too inspired by Elizabeth Zimmerman's style of writing. I'd love to make that little mitered baby sweater, but haven't been motivated to purchase her book that has that pattern in it.

    Right now, I'm doing toys. I put the name of the book that has Spud the Sheep patterns in it on my blog. The book is simply called "Spud and Chloe at the farm."

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  4. Dear Vicki,
    (*I know nothing about knitting.) Your post amazed me so much. Wow, it's a history and your growing as a knitter. In addition, I love the male knitting at the cover of "Knitting from the Top." Hey, men and boys, come&knit!
    Cheers, Sadami

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  5. I know what you mean. I enjoy sweaters, but right now I think I am in my sock phase, more instant gratification with the pattern. LOL!

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