Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One More Piece of the Puzzle

I finally finished the back of the Hepburn Cardi. Yay! Now I’m quickly casting on for the fronts. I worked the shoulders as short rows instead of binding them off in stair steps. Now they’re on holders from my Denise needle set. So easy to get on and off with the needle tips and I can use them to do a 3-needle bind-off when I get the fronts done. I bound off the neck edge in pattern because if you just pick up live stitches the neck can stretch out. The bind-off edge gives it some stability. This yarn and the lace and cable pattern together are very sproingy and stretchy so stability is a very good thing to have. And the 3-needle bind-off on the shoulders works the same way to provide some stability so the shoulders don’t droop. When I first started knitting sweaters I thought it was very cool to graft the straight shoulders that were very popular then on live stitches so that there was no seam. Silly me. They were already drop shoulders and they ended up somewhere down around my elbow by the time they were finished stretching out! I already have short arms and the sleeves were long enough for a gorilla. Just because you can do all those elegant techniques means that you need to be able to choose the right one for the circumstance. Amen.

I’m also winding the Sea ‘n’ Sky yarn up into balls so I can start on the socks for my niece that I promised her back in January. Teal greens are her favourite colour so I hope she likes this lighter version. I plan to use the Synesthesia Socks pattern by Sarah Fama. It’s the right number of stitches and doesn’t seem to be complicated enough to stop me from working on it fairly obliviously. The yarn is pretty plain so it kind of needs a bit of stitch excitement. I’m kind of tired of plain socks but I like knitting them. Here I’m attempting to find a compromise. More anon.

OK, I’ve taken up too much time today messing around. I was carrying on this debate on a spinning group I’m on and it became very time-consuming. I need to go out to get some fresh air before this sunshine disappears again.

Questions To Ponder

Why are there so many beginner craft books and so few advanced ones? Do too many people get stuck at beginner levels or quit entirely? What makes the rest of us want to learn more? I know we want to encourage the newbies. I’m just a bit annoyed that the really brain-bending books usually go out of print much too quickly due to lack of interest while the “how to do a knit stitch” and “wool comes from sheep” books are legion. I’m sure publishers don’t want to take a chance on advanced stuff in case they don’t sell enough copies. And they’re probably right if the audience for the advanced level is so much smaller. Have I just argued myself around in a circle?

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