Crafts are my passion, Cats are my obsession

My crafting adventures, my cats, my dogs, my opinons - I never did keep a diary as a child, but I'm doing it now!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Education

I was thinking about my posts the other day.... I know I had a thought while I was writing one of the paragraphs, but it left my brain before I could get it down...

It came to me later. It was about one of the things I'd said some years back - about the differences in the way my sister and I do our cast on. Even though we were both taught to knit by our mother, she uses a long tail cast on, and I use a knitted on cast on.

Well, I've had to learn other cast on methods... In order to accomplish some of the great lace shawls that I've fallen in love with, I've had to learn to do a provisional cast on. Not so hard, once you know what the purpose is, and why you have to - seems to make the understanding of the construct of the thing easier. In other words, I had some problems the first time I did it, but with practice and repeated use, I've gotten rather good at recovering the live stitches from a provisional cast on. The same principle works for sock toe grafting - now that I've done it, and paid attention to what I'm doing, I am having a much easier time of it.

For some shawls, the directions are for a center start. This can be awkward to do the "conventional" way (four or five dpns) and might leave a small hole in the center (may not really look good for the overall design, might be incorporated in the overall design). However, there is a center start that is suggested, often called "Ocker" or some such (Emily Ocker?) Anyway - I "got it" right away, because it uses the same principal as some crocheted doily starts. I'd had practice and experience with those, and understood the principle.

I've also found that I need to learn more cast on methods, especially since getting a job at a yarn store. My knitted on cast on, which has served me well for 45 some years, isn't always the best method. And, customers come in asking for assistance with projects which specify other cast on methods for various reasons. At one time, if I would have come upon these sorts of patterns, I would read to see if I could get away with substituting another cast on, or I would just not do that project. Now, though - I found myself learning new techniques.

I can now do a cable cast on (not much different than the knitted on cast on) as well as the long tail cast on. I will often use one of these other methods just to keep them in practice.

I also didn't bother to go into long lists of WIP's and UFO's... Suffice it to say, that I still haven't gotten a cure for my problem - I still have a short attention span, I still get all excited about new projects and patterns and books and yarn. I'm still able to resist buying yarn until I have a project in mind for it. With few exceptions - sock yarn, after all, can always be knit into a sock... whether a "plain vanilla" basic sock, or one of the many free sock patterns I've been amassing, or one of the sock designs that are roaming around in my head waiting to be put on needles and/or paper... There are a few yarns that I walk by at work, that call out to me, but never say what they want to be. So they just sit and wait.... Some of them finally go home with someone else. The odd one does manage to convince me - but very few. VERY VERY few.

I have made a couple of dishcloths lately. And I made some wrist warmers. I must say, I used to think these were silly - pointless. But I've been converted - yes, this still relates to education, lol.... I've learned that they really do make a difference to stiff hands. They really will work to keep the backs of my hands warm while typing. And they are comfortable. And warm. And they look nice, too :) I've only just finished my first pair the other day, and wore them to work yesterday. I wore them on Sunday, too... My hands did feel better all day. I think I'll make another pair or two... (plus a couple as gifts)

Well, my next post will cover my next month of historic posts... :)

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