Tuesday, June 24, 2008

399 knitting terms on the wall..

I'm glad I finally got the terminology online. After all the work I did putting it together, I would have wept bitterly if something happened to the spreadsheet. I don't have a lot of formatting options for a chart and it would have been nice to have gridlines, but at least it's saved somewhere besides just my hard drive. Now I can translate German patterns to my little heart's content. I have three books and a lovely pamphlet waiting for me and they're full of stitches I haven't done before.

It's funny, because I first taught myself to knit way back in high school. I mucked around with it for a little while and never really made anything. I blame the ancient needlework book I was using - there weren't any inspiring patterns listed so I never saw the potential. Now I've learned to knit again and it bears no resemblance to my high school attempt. It's full of math and repeated motifs and texture and fibers and my nerdy little heart has so much to keep it entertained. Gardening is the same way for me. I love balancing different textures, blending colors and plotting how to arrange plants so they bloom evenly all over the garden and all season long. I'm so fond of lists and journals and I have notebooks full of plants I've bought, garden maps and photos to prove it.

Now I'm torn between lace and Baby Surprise Jackets. I just don't get it. Lace is painting pictures with yarn and it's so much fun to see how a new combination of stitches gives surprising results. How do I knit a diamond? How is mesh made? How can I make the central motif swirl instead of expanding like the spokes of a wheel? It's mathematical and magic and every new pattern is a challenge that I want to knit once and never repeat.

Baby Surprise Jackets are lowly garter stitch. Nothing but knit stitches for days, with the periodic increase or decrease thrown in to create the shape. I'm working on my third and already have the yarn for a fourth. I don't even know that many babies, but these rotten things are like potato chips. I'm using variegated yarn right now and each stitch is a different color. I'm endlessly entertained by the different colors slipping over my needles. My brain keeps up a running commentary as I knit. "Ooh, here's some orange! It's lining up over deep purple on the previous row. Look at the contrast! Oops, here's a little patch of pink on two consecutive rows. Wow the dye is so dark here it's almost black." Ever see the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine is clapping as the tires go around? That's me with this yarn. I am so easily amused..

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