Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Things I Have Learned About Knitting from the Internet

1. You can have more than one project going at a time. No seriously, I had no clue that was legal, and a nice A student like myself--it just seemed somehow illicit to pick up another project when you already had one going.
2. There are better ways to weave in ends than the manic, drunken manner in which I had always woven in my ends. I was weaving in the ends on the first twin sweater when I thought about a comment in Stephanie's first book where she talks about compulsively examining the insides of sweaters to see how well they were assembled. It dawned on me that maybe there was something that someone would have taught me about weaving in ends if I had maybe been at a yarn store or anywhere other than in my own bed at midnight the first time I read the words, "weave in ends." So I googled that. And sure enough . . . I picked up the yarn needle and wove in the rest of the ends in the sweater in the manner of the photograph and ::poof:: the ends were gone.
3. You're supposed to photograph your finished knitting. It's like show and tell when you were in kindergarten, only with a hitcounter. I admit I'm always a little blue if I post a picture now and someone doesn't tell me how cute it is. Lie if you have to, I'll believe you. I love the attention.
4. You're supposed to photograph your finished knitting in a natural environment. I learned this first from Stephanie's site. Here's a good example. I kept photographing my stuff on a blanket under bad lighting until the past month. This is partly because I can't get grass to grow under the 100+ yr-old-oaks in my backyard and partly because it's really cold outside and the light sucked anyway.
5. You're supposed to finish your knitting before the kid outgrows it. Ha! I'm so stinkin' proud of myself for figuring this one out. I haven't finished the "good" stuff for Oliver yet, but I did finish a sweater for him and he's not even BORN yet!! And having Ben fall head-over-heels in love with the sweater I made for him has done magnificent things for my knitting. Every lonely little ball of yarn left in my stash is quivering happily thinking it might be next.
6. I'm not the only one who wonders how much crack the knitting magazines smoke before they assemble some of this stuff. I got mynew Vogue knitting today. I do like the skirt on the cover. And I think maybe two other designs. Problem is that none of the other designs pass my decency meter (which really is very liberal for a Mormon, 'k?)--but really. If I wanted to be nearly naked I wouldn't knit myself ANYTHING AT ALL!
7. Never underestimate the value of a good white table. I am so envious of the quality of this woman's digital camera and the table on which she photographs everything. That and her eye for composition. Scroll all the way down and look at it all. I hope she was in New York last week working out the details of a book publishing contract. I want the coffee table book.
8. Many, many knitters are pee-your-pants funny. Yarn Harlot, Panopticon . . . there are too many to list.
9. The rest are off-the-beaten-path in someway. Either that or there is something about a knitter that helps you remember that most people are basically wonderful. Maybe in knitting some key human character traits are developed. Generosity--from all that giving away. Perseverence--from all that stockinette. An appreciation for beauty--mostly in the form of lusting over something someone else made (She made this up by herself! And so did she!) Problem Solving--from figuring out that there HAS to be a typo in that pattern.
10. I have a long way to go in becoming who I want to be, but if I want to be a knitting fiend, AND a gardner, AND a great mom, AND a loving wife, AND a poodle lover, AND a food storage freak, AND a democrat-voting liberal Mormon--well, I guess I really AM already all those things, but my point is--I will never ever run out of people who could help me figure out how to do it that better. So keep taking pictures people. I love, love, love your show-and-tell--and if you include a .pdf with directions and more pictures, my everlasting gratitude is yours.

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