Knitting on the Brink

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Unventing a Hat October 28, 2007

Filed under: babies,hats,Knitting — reichenbachfalls @ 2:35 am

Big Head Baby

Originally uploaded by marcelory

I never tire of quoting the Stephen Sondheim song “Finishing the Hat.”

“Starting on a hat.
Finishing the hat.
Look, I made a hat
Where there never was a hat.”

No, it wasn’t about knitting per se. But it’s definitely about creating, and last weekend I created a hat.

Last Sunday, I discovered that it is possible to “doodle” with yarn. I knit up a little sample hat for the Pie’s baby doll, then cast on 60 stitches of Lamb’s Pride Bulky and set to work, forcibly trying it on his head periodically until it seemed done, then decreasing in a great hurry to make a point at the end.

I figured out that I like to rib and I like to cable without a cable needle, so I worked out in my head a 10-stitch cable and rib pattern that I repeated 6 times a round.

It was so satisfying, caught as I am in the thrall of the endless rows of garter stitch that make up the Warm Shawl, to conceive of and finish something. I didn’t realize that, once I got the hang of this knitting thing, I could just sorta make whatever I wanted. I made a hat for my big headed baby that actually fits him, with no pattern.

The Princess says he looks like a Pecan Elf. “You know, one of those elves who eats pecans.” Does she mean Keebler Elves? I’m clueless here.


Look, I made a scarf October 14, 2007

Filed under: Knitting,mission complida — reichenbachfalls @ 5:23 pm

Braid Scarf

Originally uploaded by marcelory

Where there never was a scarf.

(Note: I also made the little hand in the bottom right corner of the photo. But I had help.)

Thanks to Elizabeth Zimmermann — who, like Tolkien, I’m liking a lot better on the second read — I’m starting to really understand that I can knit what I want. For example, I can say “I’d like a scarf made out of Twinkle Soft Chunky that is entirely composed of a braided cable” and then, well, make it.

It’s pretty exciting, especially because I’m turning to knitting after a brief and intense scrapbooking phase. I could never figure out how to invent my own layouts, and they always looked like crap because I have poor graphic design skills.

But, here, I had an image of a scarf in my mind, and then knit a scarf that looked just like what I wanted. Can the Birthday Sweater (Code Name: A Sweater for Smeagol) be far behind?

I’ve been steadily working on Veronik Avery’s Warm Shawl, specifically the endless sport-weight black silk alpaca garter stitch part. After nearly having a nervous breakdown I started taking the weekends off for scarves. It’s been great! I have two new scarves, one of which is my Soft Chunky Braid. The current one is Grumperina’s Shifting Sands Scarf. Thanks to her excellent tutorial, I am now cabling without a cable needle, which makes me feel like a frickin’ knitting superstar.