Call Me Crazy, Part II
Hmm – it seems to be a recurring theme, doesn’t it? I think a lot of my non-knitting friends (and maybe even a few of the knitting ones) have considered me a little crazy because I really do like to knit with teeny tiny yarn on itty bitty needles. But I’m pretty sure many will think I’ve finally jumped the shark. On a whim (scary, how that happens), I have enrolled in the Master Hand Knitting Program with the Knitting Guild Association. This is in three levels, with Level I allowing one year for completion, Level 2, eighteen months and Level 3, a full two years. So why, you may ask, do I want to do this?
Other than the obvious “personal satisfaction” answer, there are several reasons. One is that I want to prove to myself that I can continue to do something hard. At this time of life, it’s easy to just settle back and coast, but I don’t want to do that. Another reason is to become a better knitter. Now, I know, I am constantly told by people that I’m the best knitter they know and I have a whole box of blue ribbons to prove it. But I’m realizing that after over 50 years of knitting, I can still improve and I can still learn things. One of the candidates for the program related that she received her first Level back with several items that she had to do over and resubmit. She was so angry she shoved it in a closet for a month. She fumed because she was one of those “best knitters”, had won all sorts of ribbons at fairs and who did these people think they where? But then she realized they were right. She was resting on her laurels and expecting to get by on reputation alone – and she had gotten sloppy.
Level I really goes back to the basics and already I’m learning better ways of doing things. There is a ton of book work on this – it’s not all knitting. You basically have to write a short term paper (with citations) on blocking and every technique you show has to have at least two references.
Here are my beginning swatches:
One of the first things I learned in the program was how to properly measure gauge. Ah, gauge – the knitter’s nemesis. I’ve heard all the reasons behind not doing a gauge or skimping by with a small one, including the statement, “Gauge lies.” Well, I’m learning why it lies and it’s because knitters aren’t taking the time to do a large enough swatch, block and then even wait a few days to let the swatch settle in a little. I’m doing a knit-along for a sweater and it really is a little frustrating to have days worth of work before you can even start the sweater. But I also know that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I have a stack of sweaters that I don’t wear because I don’t like the fit, so I’m willing to give it a shot. We will basically be designing our own sweater and not following a pattern. Here is my yarn:
And here are my gauge swatches:
I know – wordy post and not a lot of pictures, but my knitting nerd friends will probably enjoy it. For the rest of you – hubby and I celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary on Sunday. We went out for a nice dinner at Callen’s by the Port Townsend ferry dock. So much fun to sit and watch the sunset and the ferry come in. And the food is outstanding! I highly recommend it to all locals.