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This is a knitting post

Ravelry is a fantastic internet resource, and I spend inordinate amounts of time there, but it lacks the space to ruminate on knitting in general. So excuse me, non-crafters, while I do that here.

I learned to sew when I was very young. So when I finally came to knitting in my late 20s, the idea of knitting flat, shaped garment pieces and then stitching them together made perfect sense to me. All the commercial knitting patterns in France in the 80s, where I learned to knit, were presented this way. You knit a back, two fronts, and two sleeves, then you sew them together into a cardigan.

I did a lot of that.

When I found out about knitting whole sweaters in the round, shaping as you go, knitting the sleeves right onto the body, it struck me that this was purer knitting, the Real Thing. Since then, I've favored seamless, top-down or bottom-up, one-piece knitting.

At least, in theory, I have. The trouble is, I'm not a good enough knitter to get just what I want through seamless knitting.

The other trouble is that I cannot resist inventing my own patterns. Commercial patterns are never quite right. Then, because I lack the technical skills to make my ideas a reality, a whole lot of yarn languishes in unfinished (sometimes entirely un-begun) projects.

So I have a little plan: I'm gonna get the technical skills!

I've already started. I'm about a third of the way into a top-down Aran cardigan, and I'm actually mostly kind of following the directions and hardly improvising at all--well, not very much. Through this project I've learned saddle shoulders, a new sleeve shaping technique, and two good planning and charting methods.

I've learned several new cast-ons, one really clever and brilliant bind-off, and several useful new all-over stitches for texture and interest.

And I've figured out that if I go slowly and carefully, I actually can transpose right-handed illustrations and directions into left-handed.

I've accepted that making a large test swatch is necessary at the start of every project. I've almost got the hang of good-looking increases and decreases. Next up: short row shaping for the boobalicious gal.

My favorite new resource for this skill-building effort is TechKnitting ("Techniques to turn home-made knitting into hand-made knitting") which, apart from being resolutely right-handed, is right up my alley.

I also borrow lots of ideas from Knitting Fool, where inventing your own patterns is the main order of business

And finally, I use Evernote (for which I cannot adequately express my love) to take notes and store patterns and photos and links and drawings, all accessible from my tablet, which fits in my knitting bag.

In short, I'm happily geeking out. Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments. | Comment at Dreamwidth.



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