Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bring It On

So, the lever knitting isn't going as well as I had hoped it would.

I've been practicing. I've been trying to only use lever knitting in the hopes that it would force me to learn more quickly, make the change, and get it over with. I knit dishcloths. Four dishcloths to be exact. Two are green, two are blue. I used straight needles. I like the needles I was using. They're Brittany Birch and I use Brittany needles very frequently for socks. But, I am a big fan (think every size I've used, and duplicates of some, though I've been a bit inhibited by budget issues) of Addi Turbo needles. They're amazing and I love them dearly. I had knit with this yarn before (Knit Picks Cotlin) and I think it's great for dishcloths, but that's all I've used it for, and that's all I probably will use it for and I had only knit one dishcloth before this. In other words, while I was acquainted with this yarn, I hadn't used it a lot. But, I figured that since I was practicing and didn't want to use any of my "good stuff" I would work with this yarn and those needles.

Then someone on a Ravelry board group for lever knitting said he had switched to a different project and it made the lever knitting so much easier once he was working on something he liked. And, it stands to reason that the flexibility of wool might make it more forgiving than the cotton/linen blend I had been using. So, I thought I would try out some other stuff.

I had put the dishcloths aside for a few days while gearing up for school, but figured I should finish those up first. In the class Stephanie said that if you learned on the straight needles it would make it easier to transfer the muscle memory and technique to circulars and dpns. So, once that last dishcloth was done (there was much rejoicing) I thought for a while about what I should knit.

I only have one size straight needles and no projects planned that use straight needles. I mostly knit in the round or on projects big enough to make circulars a better option. And, I didn't want to knit on throw away projects any more. I wanted to actually knit something I wanted to knit.

Most people learn better when they have a context and a reason for learning whatever skill or knowledge it is. And that motivation is even more important when you can't understand why you ever thought that it would be a good idea to change what's been working for you for most of your knitting life and you feel comfortable doing in public and you don't look like a spastic freak trying to figure out. (It really doesn't help that I've discovered my mouth hanging open at times.) Oh, and purling for some reason isn't working out. It kind of makes my hand go stupid. It suddenly loses the connection with the rest of my body and starts doing crazy loopy, yarn grabbing, things. Then when I tell it to stop it starts curling its fingers in on itself like it's feelings are hurt. Sensitive little jerk that it is.

So, in the face of adversity I did the only reasonable thing and picked out a sweater pattern. An adult-sized cardigan to be exact. One that will call for equal parts knitting and purling, on circular needles, and (for the fun of it, and it was the only yarn I had) I'm going to do it in stripes. And those color changing rows will be seed stitch so as to make the colors blend together a bit more. (I got that idea from the tulip sweater I knit Bobby.)

It's going to be a casual sweater, scrappy and comfortable looking. Partly because that's the best use of the yarn and the pattern, and mostly because I don't want the added pressure of needing something to wear to a formal dinner when I'm done. This is something I'll wear at home (where they'll love me no matter what quirky thing I'm wearing) and among friends (see previous note).

I'm starting a new sweater and by golly that whole sweater will be lever knit. If at the end of this sweater it still isn't happening for me then I'll take it as a sign that lever knitting and I just aren't meant to be. I'm hoping though that the sweater will be more like a long engagement before the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

No comments: