Monday, August 22, 2005

Ah... A Knitting Blog.

I thought this was the ideal way to log my current obsession. Hopefully I can keep track - and on top of! - my wool* stash, and not start too many works in progess!

I have suddenly become obsessed with knitting. Every few years since the age of six or so I've picked up needles for a while, but quickly tire of knitting without a purpose. All I could do was rectangles in garter stitch, knit incredibly slowly, incredibly tightly, with very wobbly edges... A dear friend has been knitting for some time, and then a month or so ago, on the day of Live 8, Mr Bee finally let me go to Hobby Craft. Within those hallowed walls I was like a kid in a sweetshop. At first I managed to limit myself to a couple of packs of buttons, but then my eyes set upon the mezzanine floor... the knitting floor.

I decided upon an electric blue ball, and a dove blue Sirdar snowflake ball. I got the cheapest needles there - children's 4mm Pony needles, one red one yellow - with smiley faces on the ends. We went home and watched the concerts, and I began to knit an electric blue rectangle, knitting little ghost shaped buttons into it. I decided that this wasn't knitting without a purpose, this would be the front panel of a skirt.

When I finished this panel I moved onto the snowflake wool. Another rectangle... this would become an armwarmer. Unfortunately I ran out of wool before I finished the second armwarmer. On a hunt for more wool I found a giant cone of 'twizzle' wool for only 99p in blue hues. I thought the funnest thing to do with this wool would be to knit it on big needles, so I picked up a pair of 10mm. I began knitting another rectangle: this would be the front panel of a jumper - big, holey and webby from the thick needles and thin wool.

I finished this rectangle and made a further 3 - a back panel and sleeves. Currently they're hanging up awaiting seaming - the loose gauge means there's a lot of stretch and sag in the rectangles, so they need to hang fully before they're stitched together.

Then my friend visited and showed me how to purl, and her Stitch'n'Bitch book. I discovered that I do actually knit right-handed after all - as a lefty I've often turned down the help of others thinking that they can't help me properly. I was quite upset to discover I was knitting right-handed all this time. But I was thrilled to learn how to knit properly. I bought my own copy of S'n'B, and due to a mix up ended up with Stitch'n'Bitch Nation as well. Both books have nice patterns I hope to try soon.

I've bought more wool since. Two more cones of the blue hued twizzle (partly because it's cheap but partly as I'd like to make a blanket), a skein of Wendy shimmer in a similar colour combination to the twizzle, and some blue and grey Wendy Pampas along with my first pair of bamboo needles.

Then there was the holiday to a German Goth festival... The festival and band t-shirts were so expensive I decided to spend my money on... yeah, you guessed it! I did buy some actual wool this time. I was surprised to find out the 'wool' I'd bought from Hobby Craft was either 100% polyester or acrylic. In Germany I was surprised at how cheap the wool was - as cheap as cheapy acrylic in the UK. I bought 4 balls (actual balls) of beautiful pearlescent turquoise yarn - about 55% Merino wool, the rest is synthetic. I also picked out a ball of white/grey/black-hued pure Merino from the bargain bin. I have to say, I much prefer the feel of the mix, it's so soft.

My friend thought I was bonkers when I went back and bought a further 6 balls of the turquoise... But I wanted to make sure I definitely had enough to finish a project. All in all I spent 20EURO/ £14 on 11 balls of wool that would cost me about £33 in the UK.

I've also pulled out everything I've knit in the past and balled it up. This wool doesn't amount to much, but can be used for accenting - at the moment I'm using it to practise on. I have all the needles from my grandmothers - though I do need to get a needle gauge and sort out what I have and haven't got.

I knit when I travel. I knit when I watch TV... I guess this may all have been triggered by the need to procrastinate, but ultimately I do enjoy it, and I have a feeling that this time, I won't be putting those needles down any time soon...

* Yeah. I'm English. I mean yarn.
** Yes, I mean skein.

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