Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hibernation!

I was a Knitter long before I was a Spinner or Weaver.  In fact I learned the basics of knitting when I was 6 years old.  I quickly gave it up because I couldn't make it look right!  (A perfectionist even then!)  When I married, at the ripe old age of 19, I took it up again.  It was the evenings really, sitting and watching the TV, I remembered what my Mom did while watching the boob tube.  She was always doing something with her hands, knitting, crochet, needlepoint or crosstictch.  I decided to take  another look at knitting. 

My first project was a hip length full cabled cardigan, in burnt orange.  (what was I thinking!)  It took me a full evening to remember how to cast on, and I kept at it until I had finished it!  Of course knew nothing of gauge, or fitting the sweater to my measurements, so it was way too narrow.  I don't know what happened to that sweater, but I do know that it was awhile before I did anything else!

10 years ago I took up weaving, this time I read everything I could get my hands on, books from the library, I even took lessons from Carol with the Tuesday Weavers,   at the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center in Norris Tn.  I have learned so much from the other weavers there as well.  We talk about our craft, we share ideas, we encourage, we comfort, we laugh, and we generally have a great time.  I am still weaving and enjoying it too.

Just the other day I was comparing  Knitting and Weaving.  I enjoy them both,  and they have many things in common.  Fiber of course is the basis for both of them, charts are very important for both as well, and you end up with some form of fabric in both crafts.

My main train of thought however was about what you do when things go wrong.   When things go really wrong in knitting, and you just can't stand the piece, (maybe the yarn was just the wrong choice) the only thing to do  is to frog it, (Rip-it, Rip-it).  In weaving, I can just hear one of our dear departed weavers, Grace, saying "just cut it off!"

If you are doing a cabled piece in knitting, and you look down and you find you have done a backwards cable, you drop down just those few stitches, and re-knit them.  In weaving, I have been know to cut carefully up the length of a very tedious lace pattern that just looked terrible, and that would have been difficult to unweave.

If you are working on a lace piece in knitting, and you get to the end row, and you realize that you have an extra stitch, you must carefully Tink backwards, stitch by stitch, until you find your error.  I suppose, in weaving that would be like unweaving.

Then there are those pieces that have to go into Hibernation.  I have seen that in weaving of course, that loom you know that just sits there with a project on it, there is something that is not right, but you are not sure what it is.  In knitting, I have just recently picked up  a project that has been in hibernation for awhile.  It is the Shetland Tea Shawl that I began not last summer, but the summer before!  All I have left to do is the lace border.  It is only 8 rows, and 17 - 21 stitches,  but I just couldn't get it right.  Here let me show you the chart.


It may not say much to you, but it tells me everything I need to know to pull it off.  I was, however continually having to Tink back because my rows were not coming out right!  Out of frustration, into hibernation it went!

I was recently re-listening to the Knit Picks podcast.  In one of them, Kelley Petkin talked about what she did with some of her lace knitting pieces, when the going got rough.  She would take 3x5 cards and put one chart row on a card, stack them up in order and keep them in a ziploc so that they don't get mixed up or anything.  As she knits each row, that card is moved to the back of the pack.  I decided to try it, and you know it really has helped me!  Here let me show you!



And,



I am only knitting with the 17 - 21 stitches on the border you see at the top of the work.  Each time I knit back to the edge stitches I knit 1 stitch together with that last border stitch.  I have now worked my way thru 45 repeats, (out of 112).  I have hardly had to Tink back at all.


I have spread half of the shawl out on the bed for you to see.  The rest is still bunched up on the long cable needle.  I can't wait to to finish it and get it blocked.  Blocking makes all the difference in the world, it will open up the lace holes in the pattern, then you will really see why I love lace knitting so much.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

5 comments:

  1. Wow, beautiful! I am looking forward to seeing the shawl finished and blocked.

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  2. Simply amazing....that is such beautiful knitting!!! I often break down tasks into steps so they don't seem so overwhelming. Getting the little steps done helps get the BIG ones done!

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  3. I love the shawl! I can't wait to see it when it is finished! You are a wonderful knitter!

    I have a rug in hibernation. I just can't seem to get back to it to finish it. Maybe this winter?

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  4. That shawl is beautiful. I love the color. Breaking it down in rows does make it a bit easier.

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  5. I take it you're not watching the boob tube when you're knitting THAT?

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