21 November, 2005

Stick To It....

Twelve years ago I was hit head-on by a semi on I-40 West. I braked to miss a driver changing lines, hit a patch of black ice and spun around, ending up back to front. The driver of the semi had slowed down enough that the impact didn't kill me. Actually, it didn't even hurt that much, thanks to seat belts and really large boobs. God's air bags, I like to call 'em. Anyway, since I figured this qualified as a near-death experience I decided to do something I had always wanted to do. We were broke and owed money so backpacking through Europe was out. So I taught myself to knit.
I started off small--stockinette stitch scarves that curled upon themselves like thirsty plants. There's really not much to a scarf, other than the therapeutic forth and back of the stitches. Shame I live in Tennessee where the demand for scarves is scarce. Thankfully I was related to a lot of teachers in Indiana who had Recess Duty. Lucky them, with clunky homemade scarves. I bit off a lot to chew and decided to knit sweaters. God help the poor people who were recipients of those bulky, shapeless creations. Come to think of it, my poor sister has been the victim of a lot of knitting generosity. Knitting a sweater can be like surviving a Russian Winter, though. It's a long hard slog to the end, which is never as warm and pleasant as you dreamed. So, I came down off the sweater kick with the most addicting knitting known to man. Socks. There is nothing more habit forming that sock knitting. Nothing like the thrill of turning the heel and binding off the toe. But now I'm back to afghans. They're just larger scarves, really. A lot of forth and back, lost in the pattern. It's got a certain zen. Knitting has been shown to have health benefits similar to yoga. I do swear that it calms me down, centers me and brings me a nice bit of inner peace.
Yesterday I saw someone in the NiT aggregator use the term UFO. Another knitter! I'm thrilled because through her I'm finding bunches of people who knit and blog. I don't know what I'll do now that I can combine knitting with writing. If my fingers don't fall off I'll be lucky.

Let's just pray that my yarn addiction doesn't rear its ugly head again.


At 11:35 PM, November 21, 2005, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

I always wanted to learn to knit, but I have such issues with crocheting, I'm kind of scared to try to learn.

Mystery Lady X is a supreme crocheter. She makes very beautiful stuff, and has attempted to teach me to crochet, but I get lost counting all those stitches.

Is there a whole lot of counting stitches in knitting? Why would Mystery Lady X say knitting is very boring compared to crocheting?

At 12:05 AM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I actually learned to crochet after I learned to knit. They're really two totally different things, and require two different kinds of movement. Generally people prefer one over the other. Aunt B. is a crocheter, I think.

Without getting too technical the type of knitting or crocheting you do really determines how boring it can be.

In both there are about three different levels:

1. Basic
Simple stitches, straightforward and in a row. Not much to it.

2. Simple Patterns
Combining different types of stitches for simple patterns. Knit 1, Purl 2 for a rib stitch, for instance.

3. Complex Patterns
Laces, Cables and Intarsia in knitting, Laces and shapework in crochet. Neither of these are boring, and they require a LOT of attention. And counting.

Personally, I like to vary what I do. When I don't feel like paying close attention I'll do a simple pattern for a scarf or a washcloth. When I don't want to be bored I'll do a cable or lace pattern. My last afghan (just finished! Hallelujah!) was a Celtic Cable, and a heck of a lot of fun. This one is a scalloped lace baby blanket. I think my next project will be an Aran (multiple cable) afghan on commission for my brother.

At 12:41 AM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Casey said...

Yet another batch of dissapointed guys who've googled "really large boobs".

At 1:34 AM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

What can I say? I live to be a killjoy.

At 8:55 AM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Hmmm. It sounds like I could do it, except maybe the complex patterns bit. My trouble when I'm crocheting is, I'm sitting there stitching, and then something catastrophic happens, like the kids start fighting, or the dog steals someone's lunch, or something, and I have to stop and I lose count all the time.

Did you learn through books, or a video, or online? We oughta start a Nashville Blogger Knitting/Crocheting group, so I can come and watch everyone knit. ;)

At 8:58 AM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Oh, and I get people doing searches on stuff like, "hot ass cars" and "pimped out lexus", or more recently "how to keep a man from being jealous" and "how not to be jealous"- which for some reason, on MSN search I'm #1 on "how not to be jealous". They are all disappointed, haha.

At 8:59 AM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Jeffrey said...

ha ha--funny Casey.

This knitting thing seems to be taking over the women of America--two of my wife and I's lady friends have taken it up in the past 2 weeks!

At 9:08 AM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

It kind of chaps me that Knitting is so popular now. When I first started people would look at me strangly, mock me and call me "Granny".

Now they all want to do it--knit, that is. They still mock me, but for other things.

Ivy, you'd be surprised at how basic knitting is. And it is MUCH easier to stop "in the middle" than crochet, IMO.

I learned to knit from a book I got at Michaels for $5.00.

I think there is a midtenn blog knit Yahoo group. I haven't signed up yet, though. I always have to fight the shyness...

At 12:56 AM, November 23, 2005, Blogger Justin Kreutzmann said...

'god's airbags"...a little, er,ah, big gift from heaven..that you weren't hurt that is.

At 1:21 PM, November 23, 2005, Anonymous Muffy said...

I crochet but I've been itching to learn how to knit. Where should I start? Should I get one of those "knit this" kits?

At 1:33 PM, November 23, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Personally, I think those "Knit This" kits are overpriced, when you could buy each of the components seperately. But they do have a fun sense of the gadget about them, so I have a hard time resisting. I saw one the other day that looked so fun I almost bought it.

If you don't want to teach yourself from one of the books they sell at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc, I'd suggest going to a class at Angel Hair Yarn Co. Personally, I think the classes are fun just because of the variety of people you meet, but I haven't been to one in years. They are good for picking up the basics, though.

A word of warning: Angel Hair Yarn Co. is dangerous. It is the dealer for my yarn addiction. I can't even begin to add up the hundreds of dollars I've spent there.


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