Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Why knit?

April 26, 2010

I don’t really knit for results, I knit for fun. Much of my knitting is experimental. I own pattern books, but consider these as rough guidelines. (People knit from patterns? What is that?) The penguin sweater I knit was roughly knit from a pattern book of raglan sweaters. The neck was designed for someone with a large head. (I knit it twice the length I wanted, bound off very loosely, folded it over, and sewed it.) The penguin was a photo of Tux taken off the Internet and transferred to graph paper. I put it too low on the sweater, but I can live with that minor problem.

Our local Walmart no longer carries yarn. I don’t blame them; I suspect sales are down. The two other stores where I sometimes buy yarn have reduced their inventories. Sometimes the fun part of knitting is trying new yarns and seeing what will result. Jo-ann fabrics had a great wool blend that was machine washable and very soft. It was expensive, but I knit four lap blankets with it because it was so nice to work with. The last two were knit from yarn bought online. I knew I wouldn’t have a failure with the lap robes, because how hard is it to knit a rectangle?

I like to look at yarn and feel it before I buy it. Unless I want my choice to be very limited, I won’t be able to do that now. I live near an expensive yarn shop, but I don’t shop there, because I have so many failures. I knit for fun, and don’t like to spend a lot of money on it. That’s why I knit.


Knitting Patterns

April 16, 2010

I receive the most favorable comments on my knitting when I wear my math vest to conferences. However, I am pretty pleased with my recent sweater for my grandson.

The penguin is supposedly Tux, the symbol for Linux. My grandson likes that penguin.

Another member of my family described this sweater as “A nicely crafted piece of propaganda!” because some people consider this a statement that Linux is better than Windows.

Do people knit sweaters anymore?

April 11, 2010

I was in the store looking for ideas for my next knitting project and I browsed through the knitting books near the yarn. Very few of the books had patterns for sweaters for adults. Most of the projects for adults were on large needles. To anyone unfamiliar with knitting, this means the project was designed to be done quickly.

I am not seeing the fisherman knit sweaters or the sweaters with complicated and colorful patterns. These sweaters take time to knit, and if not done properly the investment in yarn and time is wasted. Instead I see afghans as the only major project. It is hard to knit an afghan that does not give a usable result.  I am waiting for the “thank you” for my grandson’s sweater, and am worried that it hasn’t come because it does not fit or perhaps only because he doesn’t like it.

Baby sweaters are harder to do wrong. If made too big, they will fit the baby sometime and the investment in yarn and time is not as large as a sweater for an adult. Many of the projects are hats or scarves, which can be done inexpensively.

It has been decades since knitting was a worthwhile art from a genuinely practical point of view. The yarn for socks is more expensive than buying socks. Clothing is relatively cheap and sweat shirts are more popular than sweaters. I knit (and blog) for pleasure, not practicality. But judging by the products in the stores, fewer people are doing that than before.


April 6, 2010

Penguin sweater

I knit as a hobby and I never know if I am going to make something that is actually going to be worn. Because I experiment, sometimes things go wrong. My grandson likes penguins, particularly the Linux penguin. I just finished knitting him a sweater that has what is supposed to be the Linux penguin on it. It isn’t really the Linux penguin, but it is an approximation. It remains to be seen if the sweater actually fits.