Sunday, December 24, 2006

Knitting hurts

I've reached the sad conclusion that my frozen shoulder may have been triggered by doing too much knitting, and is certainly exacerbated by it. So I've had to be very self disciplined and knit only in short bursts. I'm also trying to remember to do some stretches before and after I knit - sounds crazy I know but it's better than lying awake in agony for several hours. When I started knitting last new year I bought "Knitting for Dummies" - highly recommended for beginners, but I wish I hadn't ignored the chapter on unkinking exercises. I suppose it's not surprising that if you suddenly start spending several hours a day crouched over the needles concentrating hard on very small movements, your body is likely to protest.
I did manage to knit a few hats for Christmas presents though - including Woolly Wormhead's Whirly Rib Cap. It's a good pattern, very enjoyable to knit. Though I do recommend treating the advice to use a stitch marker after each repeat as an instruction rather than suggestion. I had to rip back a few rows because I got muddled after failing to do this.

We went to Wales with Rose and Ellen this week for a few days to visit various friends and relatives. It was a lovely trip - we were very lucky with the weather as it's been horribly wet there recently. Did plenty of walking on the beach, in Borth near Aberystwyth and in further north. My step mother Jean who is a very experienced spinner, dyer and knitter, donated lots of oddments of her handspun and dyed wool to Rose. Rose also started knitting this year and is still at the scarf stage - and living in York, she needs them. On the way home on Friday we came along the A458 from Dolgellau to Welshpool hoping to visit Colinette. I didn't have the address though - only a memory of where it was from the website. Couldn't find it so got the phone number from directory inquiries but no reply so presumably they had closed for Christmas already. Disappointing but perhaps just as well as I'm not exactly short of yarn.
Thanks for the kind support with my daughters' court case. They went to court just before Christmas and both got a conditional discharge. Hooray.

I hope you all have a great Christmas. xxx


Friday, December 01, 2006

Horses for courses

I've been thinking about why different people are attracted to knitting different sorts of things. It doesn't seem to be just to do with skill, or with what you like to wear. For example I don't really understand why socks attract so many people. For one thing, you have to knit two of them. For another, they take a long time because they have to be knitted in such fine yarn on skinny needles.
And - I may be wrong here - but can hand-knitted socks really be more comfortable to wear than Marks and Spencers stretchy cotton jobs?
Anyway this is a digression from my main point which is the obvious one that what you knit reflects your personality. I am an impatient person, and in my brief (not yet a year) knitting career I have discovered that I don't have much perseverence and do get bored quickly. I love beautiful stitchwork, and would love to have a garment like the one on the front of the Winter issue of Interweave Knits. But I don't think I have it in me to make such a big investment of time and effort - even if I had the skills, which I don't. And I really honour and admire people who do. I have made some jumpers and a cardigan, but they were all with chunky wool so grew rapidly. Three were in Colinette Graffiti, which was exciting to knit because of the interplay of the colours - you didn't know what it was going to look like until it rolled off the needles. Poor TC's jumper is still languishing in a bag upstairs. I haven't even finished the back, and have now negotiated with him to make it sleeveless... Even though I love him to bits, it's just too dull to do more than a few rows at a time of the same old stitch pattern in this dark colour on 4.5 needles.

Having finished eight squares of Lizard Ridge I've copped out and decided to make two big cushion covers instead of the throw (which will take 16 squares instead of 24, leaving me with quite a nice leftover stash of Noro Kureyon).
This isn't pure laziness as we actually do need cushions more than a blanket. But it is partly that I know I am going to get bored with it, and I've been itching to get on with other things.
To keep myself amused I have made a few more hats, some for Christmas presents. I love hats, both because I love wearing them, and because they are so quick to make! I had an inspiring encounter with Woolly Wormhead and several dozen of her hats at a local craft fair, and I'm now making her Whirly Rib Cap.