Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Confessions of a Lazy Knitter

I blocked my Lady Londonderry shawl this past weekend.  I love this Classic Elite Sanibel yarn.  
     
     Sometimes it’s easy to let oneself lapse into complacency.  When it feels as if there are so many other areas of one’s life where taxing learning is involved (such as ongoing and sometimes tear-inducing technology training sessions at my school), voluntarily making oneself sit down to study or learn techniques loses its appeal.  The copy of The Hobbit in French that I bought last summer, the one with a bookmark a few pages into the first chapter, attests to that fact, as does my failure to brush up on anything related to French except for the occasional restaurant menu or wine list.  So, after my spate of complaining about completing my renewal of my National Boards (for teaching high school English), it may be as surprising to those who know me as it is to myself that I’ve signed on for a Master Knitting Program that requires meticulous attention to detail and extensive research and writing. 

     My older and wiser friend Cindy always says, “Don’t do anything else!” during our morning phone conversations where I, (hyper and chit-chatty from two morning cups of coffee) invariably go on and on about my latest activities or aspirations.  When I mentioned the Master Knitting Program at the knitting group at Cottage Yarn last night I also aroused an immediate reaction, one that included an account by one knitter of how nine of her samples from level one (“Nine!”) were returned to her with little pieces of thread attached to them here and there along with written suggestions that corresponded to the threads.  The woman who recounted this experience is quite a perfectionist, so her tale didn’t inspire much confidence in me.  But it didn’t discourage me, either.  I’m a bit of a competitive person! 



A student took this picture for me at school.  
  


     I also realized this past weekend that completing this program will force me to learn techniques that will actually be useful (ones I've been lazy about exploring--a sort of avoidance, really).  I’m currently working on a baby sweater.   The instructions for the sleeves say to work rows that include two increases under the arm.  Since I am now armed with several large used knitting reference books and have been reading up on increasing stitches for the Master Program, I actually used a new technique—a twisted increase—to make certain that my increases were mirror images.  After reading up on blocking, I also took particular care to block my Londonderry Shawl (shown above).

   
This is my current relaxing evening knitting:  the pattern is called Highland Fling.  The vibrant Malabrigo yarn is named "Ravelry Red."  


      Of course, in the evenings, after a day of teaching at the end of the school year, my brain isn’t primed for absorbing and applying any new information.  And I haven’t wanted to buckle down for much serious study on the weekends, although this past Saturday I did go to my public library to look at some TKGA Master Program projects posted on Ravelry--on a computer that was much faster than mine at home (one with a network burdened from sharing bandwidth to stream my sons' movies and video games).  

     I also knit three swatches last week, none of which was well-executed enough to serve as appropriate TKGA Master Program samples.  But, for now, until final exams are graded and I’ve cleaned up my classroom and locked its door for the summer, I don’t anticipate I’ll be getting much swatch knitting done.  In the evenings, a glass of wine coupled with none-too-taxing knitting is about all I can handle. 

3 comments:

  1. you blocked your shawl beautifully, Liz ~ gracious, I think it's gorgeous!!!!!

    completely blown away at how lovely it bloomed ~ the yarn is perfect and it looks amazing on you (I LOVE that photo!!)

    Melissa

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  2. What a beautiful shawl! I don't think anyone in their right mind could call you a lazy knitter though! the Master Knitting Program sounds downright scary to me and the tale of those swatches makes me feel nervous thousands of miles away! I have a streak of perfectionism myself, ok, ok more than a streak! and have frogged a row in my latest project 7 times before getting it to my satisfaction but there are limits, I feel! I'm tempted to echo Cindy but may be vary it a little to say don't stick with anything that becomes too tyrannical and makes you feel you should do more or better. Can't think of anyone who could do more or better than you! Dip a toe into the Master Program but run for the hills if the swatch story looks set to repeat itself! Looking forward to hearing how it goes! E x

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  3. That shawl is beautifully finished and really suits you - I always look at those sorts of shawls and wonder how you wear them or what you wear them with, and I must say that you've managed to make it look trendy and practical. I am so impressed by your signing up with the 'Master Knitter' program - it sounds very very demanding, but I'm sure that you will cope admirably with it. Don't be disheartened by criticism - as I often tell students (and I'm sure you do too), mistakes are a good thing, they're how we learn to improve. So look on those tags as pointers rather than complaints. Can't wait to see what you do on the course. Judy.

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