A Knitting Practice

I've not done much knitting for the last year or so. I have a sweater in progress (a cardigan,) and I have an in progress scarf thing, and that's about it.

Or was.

I enjoy knitting, and find it both relaxing (the rhythm) and stimulating (the meditative aspects, the project planning and design). And I'm pretty good at it. I've been knitting (mostly on) for the last 10 years (or so,) and am very technically competent (I think.)

At the same time I lost a lot of interest in knitting. There were and are other things in my life: learning how to make software became (and is) more challenging than making sweaters and shawls, and then there's singing, a full time (and then some) job, and what not.

I've also burnt out on knitting culture. For a long time, part of knitting involved, blogging about knitting, reading knitting blogs, taking pictures of projects and yarn, shopping for yarn, hanging out on ravelry, working in yarn shops, and while knitting itself is a big part of knitting culture I'm realizing a few things:

  1. I don't really need more sweaters.

    I have a huge pile of sweaters that I never wear in my apartment (where storage is a premium,) and have a huge stack of sweaters in my parents house. While a few exceptions, most of the sweaters that I have (the ones here) aren't particularly wearable in my day to day life. (They're odd, or a bit loud, or more commonly too damn warm.)

    Indeed, I bought this Merino cycling zip-up sweater (from Chrome) and it's basically my new uniform. This has proven a couple of things, first that I can wear wool against my skin without discomfort and second that the more plain and fitted a sweater is the more likely I am to wear it.

  2. The thing that I like the most about knitting is being able to sit down, and let my hands work and let my mind go thinking about the knitting or about something that I'm writing, or nothing at all.

    While I'm good at designing things, and good at doing complicated sweaters, I find that I tend to avoid projects where I end up focusing too much on what needs to happen next, or worry about running out of yarn, or need to follow a pattern.

  3. Knitting is a personal rather than a social act.

    I can knit with other people, but it's not the kind of thing that I want to do when having a conversation, or actively doing something else. I can concentrate on things that are happening around me, but I can't really read and I can't really talk much.

The solution seems pretty clear: don't knit things you don't want to do, and knit in a way that makes sense for your interests. I'll continue to work on the projects that I have in progress, and I'll probably still make sweaters, but I think I'll be oing a lot more plain knitting I think a lot more sock knitting.

Sock Knitting

Historically I've not knit very many socks, I've made a half dozen pairs, some more successful than others, most wearable. I can knit a sock completely off book, and am have a basic sock pattern memorized and don't even really need to do much test knitting.

I finished the pair of socks that I started knitting (probably six months in the running) worsted socks with a wierd ribbing pattern in an evening and then and cast on for a couple of new pairs. Given that I've discovered how awesome wool socks are with a new pair of boots that I have (and that I can wear them on my skin without wanting to die.) I'm even more inspired to knit socks.

The new socks are:

  • a pair of sport weight socks using some striping German sock superwash yarn. 64 stitches, planed 7 inch cuff, 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles, cuff down, 2x2 ribbing.
  • a pair of fingering weight socks (undyed LB 1878) 80 stitches, planed 7 inch cuff, 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles, cuff down, 2x2 ribbing.

The details probably won't change much. My hope is to be able to figure out a handknit sock pattern that's suitable for year round wear.

Knitting Blogging Here

I'll probably continue to write about knitting here, I like writing, and I'm thinking about it, but I'll probably address this space more like I would a software or philosophy blog, rather than the more typical knitting blog format. I hope to see you around!

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