Sunday, May 6, 2012

Knitting Tips

One of the greatest knitting tips I give to anyone is "YouTube is your friend".  Pretty much any knitting stumble or mind freeze one has can be found on YouTube. 

The next best is Knitting Groups.  I have been going to the same group for almost seven years now.  We have a core group of people that I consider to be friends, and there seem to be new people wandering in and out all the time.  Now besides the usual socialization that one would expect in a group of like-minded folks, groups like this can be a real place to learn about food habits of the depraved, social habits of the depraved (this includes real people as well as not-so-real people), and certainly political discussions are more interesting than t.v.  This includes any discussions that are well lubricated with wine and goodies around the table. I think most people would blush if they were a mouse sitting in the corner.  We know there are no mice because Sasha lives there- the ever vigilant kitty around the shop.

Then there is the LYS.  This is the local yarn shop, but around here we have three and a half.  Where our group meets is my closest one.  These are wondrous places to go, but one must be extremely cautious.  Feeding one's stash addictions is like going to a crack house for a fix. 

This brings us to that ugly slogan "Life is too short for cheap yarn."  Really, as a spinner, knitter, etc., I agree wholeheartedly.  But my weakness is wool, wool, wool and some of the other protein fibers.  I likes me some alpaca, bison, yak, and some of the other goodie stuff like silk.  But give me a wondrous wool creation, and I smile and love it and rub it on my face and sniff it.

There is also no excuse-ask for help.  I go to my knitting group, and I usually get an answer I can live with.  I ask for help with colors, technique, boo-boos, and other miscellaneous stuff.  I seldom go to classes.  If there is a technique I get stuck on, I ask for help.  Or I go to YouTube.

Classes are wondrous things.  Learning new techniques is the greatest gift to give oneself.  I remember taking a class on cast-on techniques, and I had one of those DUH! moments.  It was difficult to not slap my forehead and say "Why didn't I think of that?"  There is a reason to train, train, train, and train some more.  It is the way to become a better knitter.

Then there is the knitting space in your home.  Make a nest somewhere.  If you have to live with other people (you know what I mean) grab a corner somewhere, place a comfy chair and good lighting, and set up a place for your knitting.  I always said that I would live in my studio some day.  I have achieved that now.  I have designated rooms in my house for my obsessions.  And my cat and dog do not care.  They like all the "stuff".  It is not so easy for others, but it works for me.

And lastly, find some friends that are knitters and stick with them.  They will understand when you call and go on and on and on about that wonderful sock yarn you found, or that you just can't get gauge.  I have wonderful friends outside of my knitting circle, but I don't know how to talk to them any more.  After all the "catching up" is completed, what does one talk about?  I remember going to a wake of a friend's mother.  After the initial chatting with the mourners, I found myself sitting in a spot away from everyone and yearning for the sock in my purse.  When I realized that no one was approaching me and talking any more, I slipped my hand into the bag and rubbed the sock like it was "my precious".   It sounds a little bit obsessive, but heck! I just didn't want to look like Madame LaFarge sitting there knitting my sock while others dab at their eyes with tissues.

Well-enought blathering!  Time to spin some more yarn.  Sunday is my spinning day, and I listen to books on tape or NPR.

Oh-one more thing before I go.  Join Ravelry if you haven't done so.  It is a blessing in disguise. 


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