Sunday, October 29, 2006

Swatches are fun, maybe.

I Knit a swatch.

That isn’t really a note worthy feat for most but for me it is a gigantic leap in new direction of knitting.

I have never been one to care much for gauge. Not that I didn’t think it was important, I just didn’t want to be bothered. Up until now I have mainly worked on projects where gauge was not really all that crucial. If that scarf was a little wider or longer, no big deal. If that teddy bear I knit was three times bigger than what the designer intended, all the better for the recipient to hug. I lived in a gauge less world and I was happy.

But today I found myself sketching and really wanting to start on one of the many sweaters I have designed on paper. I have never knit one on real life but I have hundreds in my sketchbooks. Which brought me to the realization that if I wanted to make the sweater actually fit me I was going to have to not only knit a swatch but several swatches of different stitch patterns I wanted to use.

Again to most people that is completely normal, to me it has always seemed like wasted time. I am an impatient person. The only projects that I have successfully finished are ones knit with bulky yarn and large needles and took less than a week to finish. I want results and I want them now. Not the best attitude for a knitter. Today I realized that it wasn’t only about the finish piece it was also about the process and knitting a sweater just seemed to be the most natural thing in the world.

It is going to be a sweater vest, my current obsession of the fall. I bought 3 skeins of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in a dark blue-green with bright green and bright blue flecks through out. I cast on around 2pm, and currently after the swatch I have about 1 inch of the bottom ribbing completed for the front piece and I feel fabulous about it. Normally if I cast on around 2pm I would expect to be about 3/4 finished with whatever I started by time I went to bed. I told you I am an impatient person. I will post pictures of my progress and we will see if I can leave the world of speed knitting behind and get behind this project for the long haul.

Only time will tell=>


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Baby's first blog

I'll start things off with an introduction. My name is Mary. I am a costume designer in NYC ( and I am addicted to all things textile. Like a lot of people I learned to knit and crochet from my Mom and also inherited the exceptional ability to purchase countless quantities of yarn, needles, books and even fiber and still manage not to produce anything tangible from my knitting. Well I guess they could be tangible if you wanted a really short scarf with knitting needles still attached.

I am currently obsessed with Elizabeth Zimmerman. I never thought knitting books could be so entertaining and inspiring. Check out any of her books, I think I have finally managed to buy them all. I also am a big fan of Leigh Radford and Teva Durham.

I tend to not follow patterns so much as use them for inspiration, though with my track record of follow through I'm not sure if it matters. I am currently in the process of designing some patterns of my own, and I am absolutely determined to knit finished products of them even if it kills me.

I will post pictures of my current projects soon, so that I will be shamed into finishing them. Or that is the plan, we will see if it works=>