Tuesday, February 28, 2006

retreating and repairing

I got so little knitting done this weekend, it's not even funny.

Okay, it wasn't actually all that bad. I got some done, but it's just that I had these wild fantasies about ridiculous things like finishing 2 more sweater pattern repeats, and the such. I ended up doing hardly any knitting on Saturday, as I spent my afternoon downtime catching up on Olympics (sweaty, not knitty) viewing, and then spent my evening downtime watching Crash.

Sunday was supposed to be the day of epic knitting progress, as there was an all day knitting retreat. In other words, a bunch of women from the knitting group getting together in a cozy locale, to do nothing but knit, eat, and gab for 8 hours. Focus should be on eating and gabbing, because both activities certainly took precedence over actual knitting. I think I knit about 3 rounds on the sweater, and then retired to the sofa with a sock, so I could be less antisocial and participate in actual conversation. A retreat is supposed to be about sitting on cushy things with your legs up, not slouching over a chart in a hard folding chair, right? I think so, anyway. I also got to swap some leftover sock yarn (scrap socks, here I come!), go for a pleasant little walk (brightened up by watching the comical scene that is a runaway beagle tromping through snow as high as its legs, while being chased by its exasperated owner), and act as a human swift for some very yummy Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn.

So a real progress picture will wait a couple of days. In the meantime, I caught a repair in progress. I knit about a dozen stitches in the wrong color (caught as I was knitting the next round), and used the trick of dropping stitches and picking up floats to correct it. It's such an easy repair, and much better than ripping back an entire row to re-knit a few stitches.

VS - fixing an incorrect stitch

If you click on that, you'll be brought to the Flickr photo, where you can see notes I made on the picture. Nothing too exciting, but maybe it will be informative if you've never done this type of repair before. I was going to do a whole picture series on it, but it was hard to get non-blurry photos. This one captures the essence of the process, anyway.

On a completely different note, someone in the LiveJournal knitting community just posted about a challenge she's undertaken, to complete 72 projects in the next year. (That's an average of about 5 days a project.) My very first reaction that it's a really silly idea. What a random number, and who could stand spending a whole year knitting only little things? Of course, I'm probably outside of the norm in my preference for huge scale projects. (This is a theme in my life. I tended to bite off almost more than I could chew in school, when choosing paper topics. I like large scale, big picture stuff a lot.) But I have to admit that from time to time I have thought about dedicating an entire year to something kind of like her challenge.

For example, what would it be like to only knit socks for a whole year? First of all, I'd end up with tons of hand knit socks, which would be beyond awesome. It would also be an excuse to really try out all sorts of sock construction. I could try different heels and toes, and learn all sorts of fun elastic castons and bindoffs. And of course I'd still have a chance to play with color and texture, just on a smaller scale than sweaters. I'm not sure if this is the sort of thing I'd ever commit to doing for an entire year, but maybe I'll decide to spend an entire summer doing it, eventually. Of course, my year is booked up with mostly Large scale projects. (Yes, that's "Large" scale with a capital "L".) Two colorwork sweaters, a lace stole, an aran sweater, another colorwork sweater, and a bunch of socks and mittens interspersed throughout. Will the summer of 2007 be the Summer of Socks? We'll see...

Another idea I had for what kinds of projects to knit, if limited to small and quick things for a whole year, is that it would be the perfect opportunity to swatch to my heart's content. First, I think I'd gather up all the patterns on my to-do wishlist, buy a skein or two of various brands of yarn that may work with the patterns, and swatch for all of the projects in all of the yarns, to see which combinations I liked best. And then there's colorwork. I'd order the Palette sampler from Knitpicks. I'd order a whole bunch of colors of J&S and Harrisville, perhaps putting out feelers for people who were looking to swap or sell their leftover odds and ends. Think of how much I could learn about designing colorwork patterns if I spent months and months doing nothing but dreaming up colorway/pattern combos, and swatching. I'd certainly come out the other end a better knitter.

I'm certainly not committing to a whole year, or even several months of this type of knitting. At least not any time soon. But maybe someday. It could be similar to doing the Master Knitter program, except I could focus on the things that interest me the most, and not have to pay a stranger a whole lot of money to critique things I can probably critique even more harshly on my own.


Blogger Landstown Poultry said...

I am sooo glad I read your blog today. I nearly frogged several rows from my sweater to fix three stitches several rows below. I don't know that I will have to do that...though the pattern would still be shifted a bit. **ponders** It's something to consider, anyway. :-)

Also - I love the idea of swatching away. It would be so wonderful to have notebook upon notebook of swatches showing various yarns and various patterns used on various needle sizes to have as a handy reference for when you want to make something. Lorday, the time it would take...but wow - it would be something you could find so amazingly handy. Makes me wish I'd kept all those swatches I've ripped out to "reclaim" the yarn for the project they were swatched for.

2/28/2006 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have often thought of dedicating a whole year to a particular type of project, like "all stash" or "all socks" or "all gifts." It's such a tempting idea, but I'm like most people: I'd get pretty tired of it after a few months. Also, what about all the fun knitalongs that pop up? Hmm, maybe "all knitalongs"!

sockpal :)

3/07/2006 10:02 PM  

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