Leslie (well, I think her name is Leslie) over at one of my favorite personal knitting blogs, A Friend to Knit With, is working on a story about knitting for a local magazine, and she needs our help. Obviously, I’m a strong supporter of sneaking knitting into journalism of any kind. So, ye knitters, go to her blog and answer a few questions!
Ye non-knitters may want to pass this one by.
::how does knitting make you feel?
Well, most of the time it just makes me angry. I used to feel proud and fulfilled when I completed a project, but now finishing a knitting project is kind of like finishing a sandwich. No big deal. Well, unless it’s this sandwich. Anger is that rare standout grape in the waldorf salad of my knitting emotions – you know what I mean? The rest of the salad is made of feelings of tranquility, blitheness, excitement, and some serious self-love. But the anger, like that grape, is what stands out because it’s just so potent!
::is it the start of a project – the execution- or the completed item?
I’m beginning to love the completed item more and more, but I usually hate ending a project. Because once it’s off the needles, it can become just another bit of fabric.
::do most women/men like to knit in groups? or alone?
The majority of my knitting is done alone, followed by knitting among groups of non-knitter (civilian?) friends. I do have a knitting group, and I absolutely love knitting with them. I think that if you talk about knitting to people who know about it while you’re actually knitting something, the project goes much quicker and smoother.
::do most women/men learn from a mother/grandmother, or learn on their own?
I got a crash course in knitting from my sister, and for a couple months after that, I did some extensive study of knitting theory without actually practicing much. So I learned the absolute basics from Jenn, and the tips/techniques/advanced stitches from the internet.
::what are the easiest items to begin with?
If you want your first knitted item to be wearable, I suggest making a garter stitch scarf. However, my first item was a scarf with 20-row blocks of different knit/purl stitch patterns. I basically just made it up as I went along, and it was very helpful. Not to mention hideous. But now, when I teach people to knit, I always start out with a garter stitch scarf, followed by a stockinette stitch flat-knitted fingerless mitt with ribbing at the wrist and the knuckles. Some people say it’s cruel to give students a project that needs seaming on their second go, but I disagree. I think it’s necessary to seriously screw up on a few seams before you get it right.
::do you knit all year round, or just when it is cold out?
All year round. When it’s cold I’m actually more prone to machine knitting and weaving.
::do you always knit from a pattern or do you tend to make your own up?
I would say it’s about fifty-fifty.
::how long does it take you to knit a pair of socks? a sweater? a scarf?
It might be impossible for me to knit a pair of socks. I’ve got serious second-sock-syndrome. For a sweater, it would take about a week by machine and about a month by hand, depending on how busy my real-world schedule is. A scarf will take anywhere from a day to two weeks, the time frame is decided by the complexity of the pattern and the weight of the yarn.
::do you think it is expensive?
Not at all. I recycle most of my yarn from sweaters I buy at the thrift store, so I can make 5 small projects or one large one with about $6 worth of yarn. Every once in a while I yearn for a project made of very luxurious yarn, but I try to space those out.
::what has to do with the resurgence?
I’m definitely one of those knitters. I fit right into the demographic of the resurgence – high school/college aged hipsters and hipster-variations who knit for pleasure, spouting about it’s environmental soundness.
::who is the coolest knitter you know? (ha. kidding)
I’m still going to answer. Vivienne Westwood! Her knitwear designs are consistently astounding.