dusktreader knits

April 2, 2010

A little bit of Knistory*

Sorry about the bad play on words, but I’m a feminist, and if there’s one thing feminists like, it’s portmanteaus made from the word history.**  My seafoam scarf.

Lately I’ve been working on my Deep in the Forest mittens. I finished the first one and am about halfway through the second one. It’s slow-going, on small needles, constantly consulting the chart and mixing up which row I’m on. It’s great that I’m working toward one of my 2010 goals–at this rate I’ll be able to wear them in the fall!–but it does not make for compelling knit-blogging.

So I’m going to tell you a little bit of my own personal knitting history. To the left is a picture of one of my favorite knitted objects: my seafoam scarf. It’s made using seafoam stitch in a blue hemp yarn. I’ve worn it for years and it still looks good. But it’s my favorite because it took me so long to figure out the stitch pattern.

From the minute I first saw the seafoam stitch, my first year of knitting, I knew I wanted to make a blue scarf using it. I’d just moved to Vancouver and fallen in love with living by the ocean, and I loved the dropped stitch effect. I bought some navy blue 100% wool and tried to learn the pattern. But I was new, and I didn’t understand the yarn over. For some reason I thought that making a yarn over included making a knit stitch right after. So every time I saw yo k1 in a pattern, I would move the yarn forward, knit a stitch, and then knit another stitch. It didn’t work out so well, and I was getting frustrated, so I put it aside and worked on something else for a few months. When I finally figured out the mechanics of a yarn over (the knit stitch is not included! Only make a knit stitch after a yarn over when the pattern instructs you to) I decided to try again. But I hadn’t figured out how to make multiple yarn overs in a row. I had to put it aside again. I eventually used the yarn to make a fishtail scarf which is actually still in process several years later. (Every now and then I knit a few rows on it when I’m not feeling inspired by anything else, but I’m not very excited about the scarf itself.)

I didn’t buy the hemp yarn intending to make the seafoam scarf with it: I bought it because hemp yarn was fairly new back then and I wanted to try it out. (I love it, by the way: it’s very light, and it’s smoothness is good for making lacy projects look fancy and elegant. I have a skinny black scarf made from hemp that I used to wear with a black dress if I was going out somewhere nice. And it wears well, getting softer as it gets used.) I forget when exactly I figured out that you can make multiple yarnovers by wrapping the yarn around the needle instead of just bringing the yarn to the front of the work before knitting the next stitch. But almost as soon as I did, I knew that I could finally make my scarf. And I knew that I could figure out anything in knitting if I had enough patience and time. I’ve said it before, but one thing I really like about knitting is that there’s always something new to learn when you’re ready.


*Note the difference between kn-(h)istory, and knit-story; the former is a play on history, the latter on story. This post has nothing to do with the Knitstory link I posted a few weeks ago.

**We also like gender equity.


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