Saturday, February 21

Knitting Love

Goodness, how time has flown. There has been a lot more going on for me than usual in these past few weeks. Anyway, I'm back.

Alongside all the action, I've been falling in love with knitting. It started with the long awaited arrival of the BagSmith project bag, which allows me to keep my yarn, knitting supplies, and ongoing knitting projects all in one place; and then I can easily carry it all from the living room chair to the bed and back. It makes a big difference to have my knitting and supplies handy at all times. I suppose that technically, it's more of a caddy than a bag. By the way, if you're a knitter looking to keep your supplies safe from pets, check out Lantern Moon's drawstring baskets.

Another boost came from Ravelry. Oh, Ravelry, how I love thee. Thanks to this well designed website, I can know look at a simple chart to see if I have the knitting needles I need--I don't have to go through all of them, checking their sizes and lengths. I can also search through thousands of patterns, a vast number of them free. And then I can check photos (and comments) of other people's finished projects made using that pattern--a great way to get warnings about problems, tips for modifications to make it even better, an idea of what body shapes the pattern looks best on, and what types of yarn work best for the pattern. And then there's a queue in which you can save all these patterns you find, in the order in which you want to use them. There's far more than this in Ravelry, but I think it would take me forever to describe all the good things held therein.

I recently finished this cowl, my first time attempting cables. I also learned how to do the Norwegian purl, and figured out the two color brioche stitch. I've also registered for a class at my local yarn store, where an instructor helps you with whatever you're working on--so I can get help with the brioche stitch cowl pattern, and starting my first vest. I'm also finishing up a hat for Gordan.

Knitting is a wonderful hobby to have any time one is laid low, since it's not very physical. It can be quite meditative, and it's also a great source of mental stimulation, if you look for patterns and stitches that stretch your current skills. I'm trying to keep two projects going at any given time (though preferably not many more than that); one that is easy and monotonous, for knitting when I'm tired or distracted or there's low light; and a challenging creative project, for daytime knitting when I'm free to concentrate.

Shall I divulge more of my recent knitting-related shopping? Well, I got some row counters: these dangly kinds, and an abacus bracelet. Of course by the time they arrived I was no longer working on a project that required row counting, but there will be another one eventually. And I got a beautiful lamp with an extra dim lightbulb for the bedroom, for knitting at night. I'm also coveting these slightly ridiculous sheep tape measurers--it won't be long before I have one, I'm pretty sure.