a knitting meme!

Sure, I’ll play along, Laura! My first real meme!
1. What is your all-time favorite yarn to knit with?

It’s funny, I don’t know that I ever really thought about loving yarn before. I’ve certainly hated yarn–some Debbie Bliss contraption that split with every stitch. But yarn love? Hmmm. Debbie Bliss Cashmerino? That stuff is nice on the hands. For a long time I mostly knit with worsted weight wools–I was a hat aficionado. And I’d pick up yarn based on the color, or weight, or something. Then I decided to only knit with yarn that feels good to the touch. No more scratchiness! Hence, the Cashmerino and 100% Merinos.

2. Favorite needles?

Like Laura, I always go with circs. I don’t like the weird balancing that straights requires–plus I have a tendency to clutch the needles really tightly, and straights are much more hard on my hands. Addi Turbos are my dream–though it’s not like I’ve tried any other metal needles, in order to compare. I love the swish swish. I have some plastic circs that are okay in a pinch, but if your hand sweats even a little, the yarn doesn’t slide as easily. I’ve not been very happy with bamboos, but if the LYS is out of Addis and I’m in need of a needle immediately, I’ll go with bamboo.

3. What’s the worst thing you ever knit?

I can’t think of any unmitigated disaster in my history.

Oh wait. Oh my. I had totally blocked it out. A friend wanted me to knit her a hat. I had her look through Barbara Walker’s Treasury 1. She picked Elongated-Stitch Waves (p. 81).

Elongated-Stitch Weave

If you look at the pattern, it doesn’t look so bad. But oh boy. That pattern looked awful in a hat. It blumped out all oddly, and she had wanted a curled edge on the bottom so it had this . . . I don’t even know how to describe it. Mushroom quality? I think it was in purple and white–I honestly don’t remember. Oh, how I hated that hat. I finished it, brought it to her, and demanded that she let me make her something else. She raved over the hat, but I was still unconvinced. And she really did wear it that season, much to my chagrin. To each her own, I suppose. I have no pictures of it. And I’m fine with that.

4. Favorite knit pattern?

I have my own basic hat pattern and it’s so no frills, all logic, totally easy. I make little tweaks, play with stitches (see above), but the hats are easy, consistent, and allow me the flexibility and space to exercise my creative brain, without worrying about any of the other details. Otherwise, I’ve always loved going through the Treasury of Knitting Patterns books and playing around. My friend Dix and I used to spend whole evenings playing around with laces, cables, and the like. “Kay two tog, yo” was one of my favorite things to say.

5. Most valuable knitting technique?

Gotta be, hands-down, the “magic join” method. That is, the felted join (scroll down to middle of the page). I get a little lift every time I think about it. (Seriously. I’m a little warped.) I explained it to Kbob today, and he’s so psyched to try it. I will be spreading the gospel of Magic Join until everyone knows about it.

6. Best knit book or magazine?

I’m a sucker for pretty pictures, so Debbie Bliss, Rowan, and the like always rate highly. My experience with magazines is limited, but I’m really happy with Interweave Knits so far, and think I’ll ask for it for a birthday present. My personal style is very very simple and basic–lace or shawls or, god forbid, shrugs are not my thing at all. So I’ll pick up a book or a magazine only when there’s a higher proportion of clean lines to interesting stuff. Of course, what usually happens is I look at something, say, “but I could make that up! why should I buy the pattern!” and then I don’t make anything.

7. Favorite knitalong?

The Ribbon X-Back knitalong was my first, and I learned a lot from everyone’s experience (especially because substituting other ribbon yarns proved disastrous for some people). I’m a big knitalong fan now.

8. Favorite knitblogs?

I really like Eunny‘s blog–I love her photographs and her writing style. Lately I look at her blog when I want some knitting inspiration. Same goes for Whispering Pine. Laura over at Stream of Consciousness and Rachel at Lickety Knit are ones that I look forward to updates from. And I’ve gotta give a plug for my real-life friend Jaax, who was the one to convince me I needed my own knitblog.

9. Favorite knitwear designer?

I guess Debbie Bliss. Even though all her stuff is the same, her patterns have the clean lines that I like so much. And seed stitch is also my favorite stitch. I wish there were actual diagrams of the finished pieces in her books, though–I have all the parts of a sheep knit but I do NOT know how to attach its head to its body, and the only photos are pretty, soft-focus ones that don’t show you a damn thing.

10. The knit item that you wear the most?

Unfortunately, it’s this hat that I hate,

I hate this hat

and these mittens that are falling apart.

The mittens

I’ve made too many hats as gifts for people over the years, and when I go to make one for myself, I get all distracted–thinking up variations, other things, etc., but I never really follow through. So I end up with something I’m not satisfied with, but which covers my head and keeps me warm. (There are matching gloves that I made to go with this hat.)
The mittens are a better story: I found this pattern in Homespun, Handknit. I wasn’t sure the size would work (I think it says “women’s adult medium,” whatever that means), and figured I’d just do a test pair to see. I had only two skeins–two cream, one green–of this silk-cotton blend I’d used to do a double knitted tessellation baby blanket. So even though these were just meant to be a throwaway pair, I figured I’d do them systematically, where I knit with cream until I ran out of one skein then finish with green, that way they’d match.

Well, they came out really cute, fit perfectly, and I’ve been using them for two or three years running. I get all sorts of compliments, and even though the ends are starting to pop through (and I’m too lazy to fix them), I still wear them. I always plan on knitting a new pair, but they keep my hands warm, thanks to the double knitting, and so I end up wearing them. Here’s a shot where you can see the double knitting for yourself.

Mittens

Hmm . . . who to tag? I’m going to go with Eunny, Jaax, and Weaselrina. (I would have tagged Laura and Rachel, but they’re accounted for with this meme.) I look forward to reading your answers!

4 Responses to a knitting meme!

  1. Laura says:

    ooh! I’m a favorite!!

    I agree on Debbie Bliss. Lovely stuff, but very similar. However, the things she designs for other publications (such as Interweave knits) are different.

  2. Rachel says:

    Okay, first of all, could someone tell me what the hell size, say, a “women’s child medium” would be?

    Second, those doubleknit mittens look awesome! Were they hard to make?

    I need to get going on this meme…I don’t understand why they’re such sticklers about my doing work at work.

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