Monday, January 06, 2014

Frustrated but resolute

I started a second pair of socks for my granddaughter, with the intent of knitting them in reverse stockinette so I could get some practice with lever knitting (a.k.a Irish cottage knitting) while purling. The first pair of practice socks, while perfectly OK, did not lead to any kind of proficiency, so I thought maybe I should take another look at the videos.

One of my problems is I am still "picking" stitches with the right needle instead of holding it stationary. So I decided to change to a worsted weight project on US7 straights, to learn to hold that right needle still. A "mistake rib" scarf seemed like just the ticket.

I spent most of yesterday knitting a few rows, then watching the video, identifying something *else* I was doing wrong, knitting a few more rows, then laying it all aside. Making mistakes in the mistake rib stitch did not help, nor does the difficulty I have keeping the right needle from sliding through my armpit, but by the end of the day, I had a few inches satisfactorily completed.

Despite all the frustration, I persevere because:
  1. lever knitting is easier on my hands, as I don't have a death grip on the needles;
  2. lever knitting is easier on my shoulders because I am not making micro movements with them as I knit; and
  3. the result is so much better than my usual knitting.
Ever since I returned to knitting and, in the process, switched from throwing to picking, I have been less than satisfied with the outcome of all that knitting. Even though I hit gauge, there is something wrong, like each stitch has too much space embedded in it. Purl stitches are particularly bothersome. With lever knitting, just looking at the sample above, I can see vast improvement. The stitches are more even, more nestled together without being tight, more in touch with the concepts of horizontal and vertical. So, while I'll never be as fast as the Yarn Harlot, I'll keep at it.


elns said...

Ah yes, the frustration knit. I literally felt my shoulders scrunching up when I read your post. Been there, but you're right, sometimes we gotta set it down and come back later not just for our hands' sake, but our sanity! You are probably being extra hard on yourself, and the rib looks greaT!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Wow - I don't think i could ever learn to "re-knit" - it's too embedded! Good for you!

kathy b said...

WEll I knit both throwing and picking but mostly throwing. Picking is so much faster though…maybe I'll switch again.