Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Handknits a plenty...but now what?

Once upon a time all knitters were "beginners". We first learned knitting, purling, casting on and binding off. We made large wobbly rectangles and called them scarves. We made potholders for everyone we knew! And through patient practice we learned how to control our tension, test our gauge, work with different needle sizes and read patterns. We became honest to goodness KNITTERS!

As you know by now, I learned to knit back in the mid-90s. In the first year I made a couple basic items and even graduated to SWEATERS (possibly 3 or 4). But then I battled carpal tunnel - a combo of knitting TOO tight (beginners mark) and using the computer at work in a way that did not agree with me (THANK YOU, HUMAN SCALE, for helping me - love them - highly recommend).

When my family was heading to Martha's Vineyard in August 2006 I decided to bring some yarn and needles and make my daughter, then 9 months old, a sweater. After all, what else is there to do when everyone else is out fishing? Little did I know that I would knit every single day thereafter. Ok, not EVERY day...but pretty close.

In the past 3 years I've learned SO much about patterns, sizing, designing and adjusting fit. In 2008 I started making samples for a LYS and test knitting for some designers I've met along the way. I've traveled near and far for my craft. I've gone out of my way to find yarn shops while on vacation...instead of a souvenir t-shirt, I buy yarn. I've knit for charity. I've enhanced my stash (ten fold?) and I've tried to help others with questions and techniques. I am a happy and fulfilled knitter.

There are still a couple of tricky things I'd like to learn: steeking for one. Yikes it scares me a bit. But I'll get there...I have a pattern, I have the yarn, I just need the "free" time (the biggest challenge) and courage to conquer it once and for all.

What's really eating at me this week is: Now what do I do with ALL the things I knit? I have Knitty's Bobbilicious sitting at the bottom of a storage tub. I wore it every Fall weekend possible in 2006. But I've moved on to more practical sweaters - things I can wear on an every day basis...and mostly to work. Do I frog it and make something else in it's place? Is that what you do? Do you say, "We had our good times, but I'm someone different so lets make you into something different too?". Then there's my beloved Capecho that was knit with no attention to gauge (clearly) and which I made several modifications to along the way. It sits. In a bin. Lonely. Last one to note is my turquoise vest. I admit, I knit this when I was fresh back on the knitting scene. I'll also admit, like an addict, that I knit the top portion of this wrong...all the knit stitches were through the back loop because I had forgotten the right way and was too lazy to REFRESH MY MEMORY. Dumb. End result: I wore this vest once, maybe twice, and I hate it. It reminds me of my idiocy. It reminds me that I made something less than perfect. Should I keep it as a reminder - or frog it and move on.

What do y'all do? Has anyone else found themselves at a similar crossroads?


Anonymous said...

I often end up thrifting stuff that I know I'm never going to wear again. Like the big hooded sweater I made from Lion Brand Chenille Thick and Quick. Couldn't have frogged that one anyway. I have a boucle poncho that I doubt I will wear again but it's not really a froggable yarn, or one I particularly want to knit with again.
I say, give them away and let someone else get some use out of them.

Kim said...

Bobbilicious! I knit that too and boy was it not practical. I couldn't do a thing wearing that giant heavy monstrosity. Then there is the poncho that I knit because I could. And the crap sweater. I put all my "ughs" in the Good Will bin. Bye bye