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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This, That and Books

I still have not gone back to quilting. The quilt on the machine which needs its binding has not been bound. That is going to be strange because on Monday the local contractor will show up and one of his minor jobs is to put up two curtain rods, and one of them is for that quilt. It won't be the only quilt that ever goes up there. I am putting up display places because I intend to change out the quilts that are up. I needed places to put the quilts because I knew that one of the reasons I wasn't quilting was that I could not figure out what I was going to do with them if I made them.

I have been knitting however. One of the things I learned from the whole sock project was what I did not know. I needed to go back, all the way to being a beginner so I could fill in the holes in my knowledge and make a sock that would actually fit. I had to get quite stern about gauge. Close enough was not good enough. I had to learn new cast on methods. It turned out making a toe or turning the heel wasn't that hard. I've conquered two kinds of toes and two kinds of heels in the process. It was other things. Details like negative ease that were part of my problem.

It took two Craftsy classes. I didn't finish either of them because they were both way beyond my knitting level. One additional online class that was excellent, but which didn't quite work for me for a bunch of reasons. And three books. There is nothing wrong with any of these teachers or authors. But the last book really was a book that a beginner could use and that an intermediate knitter could continue to use. That book is SOCKS FROM THE TOE UP by Wendy D. Johnson. And what she had, in addition to explaining negative ease very well, and how to pick a sock size very well, was THREE plain vanilla socks. Two kinds of toes (I learned one of hers) and three kinds of heels (again I learned one of them). Once you get past the beginning section there are wonderful socks with patterns and lace. And who knows. I might try one or two of them. But one thing I've figured out. Most of the people who's blogs I read love interesting yarn, and if you have interesting yarn, you probably aren't going to do an interesting pattern in it.

Plain vanilla is a good thing.

I've just reviewed the book at Amazon.

The next knitting project is to relearn how to knit lace. I've done some easy patterns, but most of the things I've seen online or in books are way to hard for me to do right now. I've decided to be a bit more careful about how I go about doing this. I've found some YouTube tutorials and I've watched some of them. And I bought a book called CHARTS MADE SIMPLE by JC Briar. It is about reading lace and other knitting charts. Once again it is ORGANIZED. It isn't that I didn't know the easier things in the book, because I did know them. What makes it worth reading, and reading it slowly and carefully, are the little things that are buried inside all the stuff I already know. So I'm going slow so I see those other things. And I've already learned quite a bit and I'm only on page 35.

I've also ordered the lace book by Wendy D. Johnson, and a second book that just might be more like the charts book than the Johnson book. More about technique than about actual projects. In fact the projects did not get a great review at Amazon when I ordered the book this morning. It is THE VERY EASY GUIDE TO LACE KNITTING by Lynne Watterson. She is promising "step by step" "easy to follow projects and patterns". Here is hoping she is right.

Take care all.


  1. Stella,
    You can always give your quilts to charitable organizations. In our area our guild supplies 25-35 agencies. There is always a need for quilts. Police and Sheriffs carry them in their cars for kids. People who have had a fire would welcome them. I have made many tops for our guild and they have a group that layer and tie them. When the flood hit Cedar Rapids, in '08 our guild gave out over 1200 quilts and many came from other place to share.

  2. Hi Stella! Can't wait to see the finished socks. I think knitting lace will be wonderful--how much fun.