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Knitting
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject: Knitting Reply with quote

I see we have more than a few knitter-wannabes here, myself included. Well, I just bought my first pair of needles, and have started doing a scarf in alternating chunks of garter and stockinette stiches (following an ugly-as-all-get-out cast-on but what the hey, it's only one row).

My real impetus, on which I've mulled for years, is to knit socks for Christmas. Second, perhaps to knit an afghan like the awesome one I bought at a garage sale, all 70's looking with brown zigzags in between random tangerine, royal blue, baby blue, gold and fucia zigzags. Picture it! It's the only time I've ever reverse-haggled: the guy wanted to sell it to me for $2, but I couldn't bear the thought, so made a $10 counter-offer. Sold!

Anyway, are there any knit-knitters out there, or wannabes who'd like to share some inspiration?
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Raven



Joined: 07 Apr 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, indeedy: long-time knitter here, checking in. Here's a nice link:

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring07/index.html

I learned socks in college, watching a dorm neighbor knit them for her boyfriend, and learned Aran fisherman stitches years ago when my then-husband saw an Aran sweater for sale and said to me sweetly, "You could do that, couldn't you?" and of course, so eager to please, I said yes and made him one. Now I can do Aran in my sleep, almost.

Your 70s afghan sounds so awful as to be marvelous! I don't blame you for paying $10. If I had it, I'd frame it and hang it on the wall!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to knit a lot, especially as a young student nurse working night duty. We used to have knitting competitions. Then nursing got all 'professional' and we weren't allowed to do any of that stuff any more. Some places won't even allow any reading unless it's work-related.

I've knitted complicated fair-isle and simple picture jumpers which look fantastic but only ever have 2 colours on the go at once. My mum knitted me a pair of socks 30 years ago and I still have and wear them. You can't beat a pair of hand-knitted socks for warmth.

Kaffe Fassett is one of my favourite knitters. I don't even know if he still knits, but his books are works of art. He was actually an artist until he picked up a pair of knitting needles and dozens of different coloured wools.

I haven't knitted for years. My son won't wear jumpers and I prefer Polartec as it is warm and washes and dries easily.

It's great to see that other people are still knitting, though, and that others are learning.

Socks for Christmas, hey sbj? On 4 needles? With a proper heel? Good for you!

Happy knitting!
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven, thanks for knitty.com. I like that it has a more lively feel to it than some of the standard knitting rags. "Mellow, Tangy, Piquant & Extraspicey" for levels of difficulty...how quaint! Are you working on anything at the moment?

I'm nowhere near ready to start on socks, but it's still a dream. I figure I have to pay my dues and get through one or two really repulsive projects (like the current sky-blue scarf, using my daughter's craft yarn) before I can take on the fun stuff.

I have a friend who wears nothing but her own handmade socks because regular socks don't fit her large-ish feet...she does a few different types of heels, so I'm not sure what's best.

Judy, a knitting competition sounds super-fun. Makes me think there might be a way to create a political event around that...knit for your favorite candidate, then auction off the results. A few years back I put on a political bakesale that raked in more than triple what I expected, and that was only myself baking. But people seemed to respond because it was a cute "grassroots" effort. I bet campaign knitting would really take off.

From what I've read, fair-isle is pretty complicated, no?
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Knitter here! Also quilter, crocheter...Don't you find that many people who love to cook and bake are also creative in other fields?

I've been crocheting for many years and am better at that than at knitting, but I've become almost manic about knitting in recent years. I must admit, however, that my projects are relatively simple. But I've gotten to the point that those simple ventures turn out pretty well -- simple cardigans and jumpers for the grandchildren, for example. Knitting for small people is enjoyable: the projects get finished quickly and it's a good way to work out any kinks in a pattern, etc. Besides, little kids look great in just about anything, so you can't lose. I am nervous about moving on to more complicated projects like multicolor knitting, intarias, etc., but I SHALL. I've made myself a promise. I'm almost entirely self-taught, but (like cooking) I've always figured that if I could read about something and follow instructions, I could probably do it. I haven't knitted a sweater with three arms yet, so I count myself a success.

Next, I'm on to rebuilding automobile engines... Laughing

(By the way, the Lion Brand yarn website has many, many free patterns. I think it's www.lionbrandyarn.com)
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correction: the link I referred to in an earlier post was incorrect. Try

www.lionbrand.com

Sorry...
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't knit, but love love the little 'x's of cross stitching--a simple method to make a picture from colored threads. This is my current project, "The Pumpkin Dealer"--
http://www.duirwaighgallery.com/show_prod_with_artist.php?image_num=1052&section=155&PHPSESSID=809423d4274ed3ab6bd120035becfe94
isn't she cute?
Large pictures like this take forever, but it's almost like meditating--mindless except you've gotta keep your mind on it every second!

Knitting, (three dimensions!)--seems so hard.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gingerpale, my mom is a cross-stitcher extraordinaire. Her best recent efforts: birth record announcements for her three great-grandchildren! Lucky woman, no? She'll be 85 next week, looks 70, and has better eyesight than I have. Perhaps x-stitching is good for one's health?

And your comment about meditating is right on target, except that I was never able to get to that place with x-stitch. All those squares and graphs! Knitting and crocheting, on the other hand, once I'm into the rhythm, are better than therapy and save me a fortune. (Except on yarn, of course...). It's the same sense of well-being I get when I can spend a stress-free day in the kitchen doing whatever I want...

Love your pumpkin lady...
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the Lion Brand site. Use it for knitting and crochet.... although I am only just learning to knit.....

My efforts in knitting are umm, interesting, shall we say... Embarassed I can empathise with the odd sized casting off row.

I love love love to crochet and used to make baby shawls in a night and blankets in a week. Never did do the "squares" though. Way too boring, I used to love the really intricate and fiddly patterns. Even made myself a set of crocheted cotton curtains once!! Shocked Sort of a lace pattern with a picture in it. It took weeks, but looked fabulous. Nowdays, I don't know if I would have the same patience and tranquillity to do those patterns. Laughing

Cross stitching is another hobby which I love but do not have enough time to do as much as I would like to.
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gingerpale, when you mentioned cross stitch, I immediately thought of those simple, sometimes artless design kits you see in craft stores...I had no idea you could cross stitch such beautiful artwork! How long does a piece like that take? How do you transfer the design? Do you use a grid of some sort? I'm in awe.

I too started with crochet, and find it much easier, though I prefer the look of knitting most of the time, with the exception of granny squares, which I ADORE. Debbie, your curtains and lacy designs do sound amazing though. You must have been very patient indeed.

Whenever I'm knitting, I find myself longing for a hook at the end of my needle!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sweetbabyjames, I found that chart at "Heaven and Earth Designs--

http://www.heavenandearthdesigns.com/

they send the charts through email for printing, or regular mail. Don't ask how long it takes!! Easily more than an hour for less than a square inch, and it's easy to make a mistake that must be painstakingly picked out and redone. These gorgeous ones are just LOTS of simple stitches put together. I ususally have 2 or 3 (big & small) going at once.

Debbie--crocheted curtains!--I picture them white, I picture them in MY house!

Georgia--I have been quite nearsighted all my life, works out well for needlework! I hope that your mom's stuff is appreciated--it might take a generation or two for proper respect/admiration/delight with what she is doing and giving.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where is Madame? I'm surprised she hasn't joined in on this thread. She must be busy.

Her house is full of the most exquisite cross stitch and embroidery. If you go to the Joy of Meeting C&Zers face-to-face thread and have a look at the photo of Madame, Debbie and Siegfried, there is a gorgeous framed cross stitch of flowers behind them on the wall. Done by either Madame or Sophie, I think.

And that one's 'easy' compared with some of the others adorning the walls - Madame and Soph incorporate beads and other 'textures' into their artwork as well.

And Sophie's knitting! Incredible.

Yes, Madame must be away. She will tell us more when she returns.
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is so cool - I found instructions for making your own counted cross stitch pattern from photoshop. There's even a link where you can match up your photoshop RGB colors with corresponding embroidery floss colors. Gingerpale, have you ever tried something like this?

All this talk about being crafty (outside the kitchen) made me decide to start teaching my daughter some skills. Plus, reading Stitch 'n Bitch, about the author's great aunt knitting socks after dinner when she was eight put things into perspective a little too (my daughter's eight, and has started expressing a sense of entitlement, a sure sign she's had it too easy).

Together we made a patchwork denim tote bag for her to cross-stitch a squirrel on...but the cross stitching was a no-go. After two days of trying, I let her give up because she couldn't make a single stitch on her own and was becoming so distraught. So I handed her a skein of yarn and a crochet hook and off she went! She's doing single crochets like nobody's business.

Meanwhile, I'm slowly catching on to YO, ssk and k2tog with a lovely lacey hat pattern from Knitty.com, since Debbie put the lace bug in my brain. Smile I'm using a Lion homespun yarn, in hopes that my mistakes won't show too much.

...And the projects keep piling up!
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just waiting to get into the organically dyed, handspun wool that I brought back from Ireland last year. Cannot decide what to make though... such a special wool deserves to be made into something special I think.

Will be starting on something as soon as I have finished the soft furnishings in our new appt. Nearly done. Have made the cushion covers for the lounge, tableclothes, heavy drapes, computer cover... and the big piece is the summer weight bedcover. Only about 20cm of handstitching to go and it is done. PHEW! Am really over stitching black thread in black serge and cream and black toile de joie... each stitch has to be so small that it is taking forever.... next time I say I am doing something like this I need someone to slap me really really hard and tell me to wake up to myself!!! Laughing

My light at the end of the tunnel is the beautiful wool awaiting me.

Gingerpale... they were in off white fine cotton. Absolutely gorgeous, but I will never do that type of thing again. Way way way too much work!!

Sophie and Madame are clever aren't they. Their work is just amazing! Don't look too hard at the hot and flushed face of moi while looking at their magical pieces of work though... might ruin it for you... Laughing
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love embroidery having seen mum's cashmere shawls and also those embroidered works in some of the museum collections I've worked in. If you really want to see how 19th century girls were taught needlework, go to your local museum and look for samplers.

They are often quite charming and usually have religious quotes as well as images of birds, trees and the like. But also they often sign their name, their age and the date the work was finished. Many of them were done by girls as young as 10.

As for knitting... I'd love to learn, but I have to finish other things first... and once they are done... the needles come out!!!
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