Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Getting a Grip, or Rather, Loosening Up

So how goes it with my adventure into the knitting world?  I think it would be safe for me to say that I think rock climbing would be easier for me.  There's something about the elbows going up & down (as they do in the Chicken Dance you see people doing at weddings & such) as I stick my tongue out, holding the needles with a death grip, concentrating on lifting loops, yarning over, and then cursing when it doesn't work out the way it should --  that I just haven't found the joy in knitting yet.  The Art Of Knitting DVDWell, not cursing as one would imagine; I have young children so I use words like dang! Dooph! Eish! and the most vocal & hurtful in my knitting attempts:  "Where's my crochet?!"
I think part of my problem is in figuring out the first step -- casting on.  Wouldn't it be easier, my mind thinks, if I grabbed my Tunisian crochet hook, chained the number of stitches I want, pick up the loops with the Tunisian hook and then slowly work them off with one of the pointed sticks?  That would be surely be cheating, no?  And more importantly, would it be obvious that I cast on that way?  (Note to self: try this! LOL)

So the other day I had Liz of show me how to cast on.  She showed me an entirely new way and within moments I had a few knitted rows done.  She also advised me that I'm a "Continental" knitter -- because my crochet (addiction) influences on how I hold my yarn.  OK, so now I just need to work on not twisting my loops -- geesh!  I don't recall having problems like this with my crochet stitches, but I'll keep trying; I'll keep practicing!  And who knows, maybe one day it will feel comfortable for me to do that "Chicken Dance" movement while loosening up on my death grip with the pointed sticks, er, hooks, er needles.  Yes, they are called needles.  Needles; needles; needles!  (Note to self: stop calling them pointed sticks.)

I want to mention that one of the main reasons I'm pushing myself to accept, no -- wrong word there, to embrace knitting is because there are more and more patterns coming out that are blending the two art forms -- crocheting and knitting together -- to create absolutely beautiful projects!  Just check out the latest Spring issue of Interweave Knit's Crochet magazine and you'll see just what I mean ... WOW!


Anonymous said...

Our dearest Dee -
I took my first official Chicken Dance lesson yesterday afternoon.  Yes, I was clucking right along with the others. I been crocheting since I was 19 years old.  I am now 56 years old.  In sixth grade I learned to knit and purl from a classmate.  I used her sticks for a couple of weeks knitting a straight piece and then forgot about it.  I was over that phase in my life, I suppose.  Yesterday when casting on stitches, my mind automatically went to the crochet mode.  I stopped and thought to myself  "oh I forgot...this is knitting".  I thought my knitting was incredibly slow, but I finished the sole of the clog(knitting a pair of clogs that will be felted).  The instructor thought it was very ambitious that I selected this pattern for my first project.  My homework is to complete the other sole by next week.  I am working with circular needles.  I have been unable to locate a crochet pattern for clogs.  And,  I am left handed.  I crochet left handed, but knit right handed.  That's just the way I learned to knit.  I didn't have a problem at all.

I have subscribed to two crochet magazines you have suggested in your blog.  I can't wait to receive them.  Thank you for your blog.


Anonymous said...

     LOL--how familiar I am with the feelings and frustrations you describe in trying to learn to wield the pointy sticks!  I, too, have been trying to learn, for the ump-teenth time in my life...thought somehow I believe I'll finally GET IT this time.  I'm determined to conquer the challenges of working yarn into fabric using 2 hands with pointy sticks THAT HAVE NO HOOKS (so how's the yarn supposed to move to where you want it to go, through the path that you choose, without falling off the end of the stick?!?  where's the @#$$ hook that, any reasonable person knows, should be on the end of this stick??? and remind me again why I need 2 of these things when one hook works so well?!??).  
    I learned to crochet from women relatives when I was quite young.  Crocheting was the main thing women in my family did with their hands when not otherwise occupied, and we wore it, decorated with it, walked on it, cooked with it....No one knitted, and I don't know why.  In late 2005 I decided to try again to learn to knit, and I actually DID knit 2 scarves!!! After the holidays I thought I'd make sure that I hadn't just had some kind of weird dream in which I could knit as well as fly....(well, in 1988 or so, I did knit a remains a mysterious artifact, an inexpicable item that perhaps evidences a period of alien abduction, inasmuch as I've never been able to do it again).  So I picked up the needles and yarn again, intending to polish those new skills, keep them moving forward, and maybe even become able to make a series of stitches without intense concentration. Alas, it's not quite as if the knitted skinny scarves of 2005 never happened, but my hands don't seem to have any memory whatsoever about how to do that knitting it's relearning and practice, more practice, and reading Dee for moral support  :-)
   Best wishes, and thanks for sharing so much via your blog! &n

Anonymous said...

Actually, some knitting is begun by making a chain with the crochet hook, and then picking up and knitting through each of the loops with knitting needles.  Some use that method to knit socks from the toe up.  So your idea isn't so extraordinary after-all.

Love your Journal!  

I began knitting at the age of 6, taught by my Mother.  But as a young Mother myself, I learned to crochet as well.  I have enjoyed both for many years, and eventually taught myself needle tattle, cro-tat, and other varaitions.  I need to keep my hands busy, and the needle arts are a great way to do that.  Good luck with your knitting.  I'm sure that once you get the hang of it, you will see that both skills have a place in your life and both will provide you with many hours of relaxation and enjoyment.

Sandie in NE PA.