Monday, March 14, 2011

Feeding My Knitty Passions

I'm a firm believer in doing whatever makes you happy so long as it doesn’t involve hurting people, animals or Mother Nature (just sayin’).

My passions have always involved textile crafts such as embroidery, quilting, crochet and knitting.  I also have a passion for books, reading them and now, of course, writing them.  The focus for this post will be my latest textile obsession – knitting.

When I was a little girl, I used to watch my mom crochet.  I used to watch, fascinated, as she pulled loops through other loops to make something pretty.  At the time, my mother wouldn’t let me hold her steel crochet hook (the size used for lace work) because, well, she thought I would poke my eye out or worse.  So I improvised.  I took a pencil and some yarn and played around until I could mimic my mother’s movements and pretend I was “making something”.  And it looked like this …

I would cast-on until I ran out of yarn then pull it all off.  I did this over and over again until eventually, I got tired of it since it never actually "became" anything.  What I didn’t know, at the time, was that I was performing a technique called a Backward Loop Cast-on!  What this is, for all you non-knitters, is the method you use to create the base stitches of a knitting project.  I guess you could say I was born to knit but I didn’t actually LEARN how to knit until five or so years ago.

Flash forward to middle age (yikes!) – I taught myself how to knit using those kits you can buy from Micheal’s.  I practiced the basics and churned out a bunch of scarves, a pair of socks, hats, a couple of baby sweaters, a baby blanket, pencil cases and fingerless gloves.  I did knit a couple of sweaters for myself and both ended up completely unwearable.  The first of which was an aqua spring top, a size too small and the second, a charcoal colored cardigan a size to big (I looked like King Kong when I put that monstrosity on!)  I loved making all these things but if I had to choose a favorite, it would be – fingerless gloves (FGs).

There is something so comfortable and cozy about these knitted projects.  I guess I like them because, not only are they quick to make, they are also very useful.  I made some FGs for my awesome critique group last Christmas because, as everyone knows, warm hands are necessary for writing!  These were made with Malabrigo Rios yarn, a luscious, hand-dyed, superwash merino wool (yummy yarn!)  I ordered online.  Nothing’s too good for my girls!  Here are their nice, toasty hands ...

Well, now that it’s Spring time, my fingers are itching for another project.  I saw a really cute top in Interweave Knits Spring 2011 issue.


Cute, right?  It’s called a Ruched Yoke Tee.  I know, I know, I’m risking yarn and time and may end up with another disaster (another monster sweater?)  but I think I can pull this one off because, for one, it has no sleeves (yayy! Less work!) and two, well, I have to make one because it's just too darn cute!  The trouble with this pattern, though, is that the recommended yarn is a bit out of my price range so I’ve had to substitute it with something more affordable.  In order to recalculate the pattern to suit my yarn, I had to consult this …

It taught me how to do this …

Looks nasty, huh?  Sorry, it's a little hard to see.  It isn't complicated at all.  You just do a little math and viola!  You have a customized pattern!  BTW, this book and The Knitter’s Handbook by Debbie Stoller are a must have for both beginning and experienced knitters.

So, my new knitting journey begins …

This is how I feed my passion for knitting.  With beautiful yarn and exciting projects!  Next post will be about feeding my writing and book passion.  I’ll also share my progress on my knitting project.

Till next time. 


  1. Great post, Marie! It's interesting how we improvise or experiment with our learning, and without knowing it, we end up teaching ourselves some very useful skills. Thanks again for the FGs!

  2. Glad you enjoyed the post and the FGs, Steph! :)