Saturday, December 10, 2005

Actual Knitting Content. (Really.)

Knitting Book Review Corner - because Catherine can't stop wasting money on knitting books.

I am all about easy knitting. I have been knitting forever but I have no problem with books/patterns for the "novice knitter," I love cute and mindless patterns. However, I have a major gripe with Easy Knitted Accessories.

Why, in the name of all that is holy, is everything in this book knitted FLAT??? Gloves. With fingers. Knitted flat and then seamed. Is this supposed to be EASIER than in the round? Because it's SO not. It's confusing and crazy. Let's call this book, "Things that should be knitted in the round done flat to humor nervous knitters who spazz and whine that Double Pointed Needles are TOO HAAAARRRRRDDDDD...." If you are one of those people, hear me now: Knitting a pair of gloves in the mind-bending way suggested in this book is WAAAAAY harder than getting the hang of double points. And you have to seam them when you're done, and how fun will THAT be? Really, truly. Learn to use double points, it's the true lazy knitter's way. Start with something like a baby hat, minimal shaping, and you'll be fine with them by the time the hat is done. It's better than knitting a flat hat and seaming it. I'm lazy as sin and never exert myself more than necessary, so if I say it you can trust me.

I did like the bags, especially the intarsia floral bag, but no way is that a "novice" project. Let me get this straight - you're making the novice knitter knit socks flat and sew seams in them (how comfy and attractive will that be) because DPNs are intimidating, but you throw in an intarsia bag with a lining? Charts and bobbins, just thrown willy-nilly into a book designed for the intimidated knitter? Huh?

And because I love bags, the other book: Bags: a knitter's dozen. Not bad, not great. I bought it for the "Fabulous Felted Backpacks" but really fell in love with "Counterpanes to Go." Quirky and cute. And it has the Market Squares felted bag, which is handy because I'd like to make another one of those bags and I have no idea which issue of Knitters had it. So, not entirely a waste of money.

The KFI Cashmerino scarf for Girlchild is my idea of movie-watching easy knitting - mistake rib, soft, silky, pretty, a monkey can do it but it'll look so J. Crew when done. Now she needs that chocolate brown coat from said J. Crew, and she'd be all set for several years of winters.

So much to do this weekend, I am weary just thinking about it. I don't know where the week went but I know it left my house a mess when it passed. Murphy is so filthy and in dire need of a bath, that has to happen today or else. I have a command performance Christmas party to attend tonight. I really, really don't want to go, but I'll go. Bleh. The weather has been filthy, pouring rain and dark (and this is the dry season). I'd rather deal with snow, honestly, at least it looks nice while making people drive like morons.

Time to get off my butt and do something about this grubby house and the filthy little Yorkie. More later, perhaps.


Anonymous said...

The knitting flat thing has puzzled me forever! It is so not easy. I started knitting with circular needles and Dpns when I first started knitting, and I have always converted them to round. ANd not in any proper way, but I just figure out in my head what I need to do to make it round. Plus, when I am making a hat, I can just put it on my head to see how much further I need to go!

Geogrrl said...

Gah! You've hit on one of my pet peeves--knitting stuff flat when it should be in the round. I even convert some sweater patterns, knitting in the round or picking up stitches or grafting because I HATE seaming and I HATE bulky seams.

The whole knitting flat thing started around WWI. Knitting had fallen out of fashion and women were learning again as part of the war effort. The flat knitting thing was supposed to be easier--also, it allows you to shape and seam a sweater like you would a sewn garment. I've seen sock and mitten patterns from both wars that are knitted flat. As you say, it actually makes it more difficult.

I really don't understand why DPNs give some people the heebie-jeebies. I prefer circulars for most round work myself, mainly because I have a hard time avoiding that stupid laddering.

ChelleC100 said...

Flat knitting, sorry but that's just nuts. Why? And the intarsia in a basic knitting book seems out of place, yep. Chelle

Amie said...

LOL - I have in the past year forced - yes, I mean FORCED - several students to learn DPNs. They ALWAYS put up a fight. They ALWAYS whine "why do I have to do this" and by the fifth row they ALWAYS say "this isn't that hard"

I don't let them on circulars until they've made something on DPNs, and I tell them "if you never work on DPNs again, that's fine, but if I have anything to say about it, that choice will be because you prefer something else, not because you're too scared to try this."

Catherine said...

I learned to knit as soon as my little eyes could focus but I didn't really pick up DPNs until the 90s, because I wanted to make slipper socks. Casting on and arranging the stitches and knitting the first couple of rows is the hard part, if you can get them past that it's so easy. Good for you for pushing them past that hump. It drives me a bit crazy when knitters are so resistant to trying something new. It's not a freaking heart transplant, nobody dies if you screw up, you will not be arrested if you fail, the worst that will happen is that you will decide you hate it and that's okay, because the world at large doesn't give a shit what you're knitting! Embrace that thought! You don't have to do it, like eating lima beans, you can taste a few and vow that they are not for you. I have decided I don't like knitting with laceweight yarns. I can do fingering weight, but laceweight has no knitting satisfaction for me. So what? I don't have to like it!