Not just a blog series, people. This one is sure to go on (intermittently) for quite some time. Cuz I have practically closed out WEBS.
More on that to follow, but first let me tell you how I envision this.
My last knitting project didn't go as planned. Oh, I'm still feeling that sting, but it really taught me something about how choosing one's project wisely is half way to success. It gave me a strong sense of why many other projects I've chosen have worked so well, comparatively. I started to see a connection between particular garments and a positive outcome. In this series, I intend to share with you my project choice rationale - the things I need to see (at this early stage of my knitting experience) in order to feel confident I have some reasonable chance of success - and the specific way I go about finding my next undertaking.
One of the things I did enjoy about the Convertible sweater was working with very thin yarn and needles. I've only done this once before. I do enjoy a tiny knit, but it has some obvious detractors. I mean, it took a zillion hours to determine that the project wasn't meant to be my finest. The project I completed just before this was the City Cardigan (my second attempt). I LOVED knitting this. Partly that's cuz I was on vacation (which didn't hurt), but I loved working with a nice worsted. Sure does speed things along, and the outcome has a nice drape. By contrast, I really enjoyed the chunky-weight Glen Haven shawl (I wear this all the time - even over jackets - and people dig it). It occurs to me that different gauges (and different types of garments, of course) bring a sort of tactile dynamism to knitting. It got me thinking about how cool it would be to work my way through a series of garments using different weights of wool. In this series, I'll show you the wool I've purchased in 4 different weights (worsted, DK, sport and fingering) against a variety of potential projects to solicit your input about which one might work best, and why.
Needless to say, this will not make for quick group of articles. I carefully considered how much yarn to buy to ensure I'll have at least enough for each of 4 projects and I'll probably have yarn enough left over to make other, smaller things - Xmas gifts, perhaps. Sometimes you'll hear a lot about this, I imagine, sometimes you'll hear a lot about sewing (which is ramping up and more fun deets as soon as I'm up to finishing some things). But natch, in this series you'll hear about my progress in knitting 4 garments, and my feelings about what's working / challenging - particularly as pertains to the weight and tactile properties of each yarn. Is there an "ideal (yarn) weight"? We'll have to see!
It goes without saying that I am not an advanced knitter. I can't add to the pantheon of technique or tutorials, but I do have a strong ability to organize projects and to get through the (sometimes anxiety-provoking) minutiae. In this series, my goal is to talk about how I manage my knitting projects - how I maintain momentum and optimism despite the fact that I am a novice at this craft and I generally have no idea of what's coming next. People often tell me that they start knitting but it all seems so overwhelming, so they hide a half-finished franken-garment in a closet and run to get their scarf at Club Monaco. (BTW, CM does awesome scarves...)
Let me leave you with one other thought: In my opinion, if I don't wear it, I might as well not have bothered. Of course, I learn massive amounts with each experience so I'm not suggesting it isn't all worth it on many levels. But what I'm saying is that I make things to wear them. I want them to function in my wardrobe as seamlessly as that cashmere sweater I bought at Holt Renfrew or my vintage Ports dress or my jeans. I also make things because it's fun and I'm compulsive and I love to learn and I'm a whore for compliments. I'm complicated.
I've discovered that knitting leads to some very practical garments and some very impractical ones. Sewn items, by comparison, seem more inevitably wearable. Let's get things started by discussing your own personal goals when knitting. Why do you do it? Of course, this inevitably leads to the process vs product knitter discussion, but I'm hoping we can skew the parameters a little. What I mean is: Are you looking for a handmade-seeming item. Is it about using chichi yarns or whatever you can find? Do you just want something to do with your hands? Are you drawn to a certain weight of yarn because you just love to pet it? Do you have secret urge to be a famous sweater-designer?
On the flip side, if you don't knit - if you're one of those people with a dust bunny in the closet - why DON'T you do it? What puts you off?
And pls. let me know if you like this concept - I want to make sure it suits you and to tailor it to reader-needs and desires.