Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Color Me Coordinated!

While it wasn't planned when I ordered the yarn, the Knit Picks Gloss in Sea Spray coordinates beautifully with the Knit Picks Chroma in Mesa! Behold:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Always, Always Learning

A little less than two years ago, I produced my first extremely irregular square of stockinette stitch in baby blue Super Saver, probably on size 10 needles, although now I couldn't tell you for sure. It's still sitting in a drawer somewhere in my craft room; it's boring, it's uneven, and it's made of the crappiest acrylic known to knitter-kind, but I can't bring myself to do away with it. After months of only being comfortable with a crochet hook and one or two failed attempts at having a friend teach me to knit, I finally, one day, just picked up those shiny, chunky Boye straights and made myself swear that I wasn't going to put them down until I had figured this knitting thing out.

Cause, you know, I can do anything!

And eventually, I did. Of course, I used the cheapest yarn I could find, intending to waste plenty of it in the pursuit of this elusive skill. It didn't take me an entire skein to get the hang of it, but given what I've accomplished as a knitter since that determined day, I think it's safe to say I got my money's worth.

The primary reason I learned to knit, in the beginning, was because I loved crochet, and was producing some pretty snazzy pieces with the hooks, but I was irritated that there was this whole other method that I couldn't do. And not being able to do things kind of pisses me off. Naturally, I have to admire the finished project to want to learn the craft - quilting and embroidery just don't appeal to me, and sewing only vaguely. I am firmly convinced that scrapbooking was invented by some evil genius to destroy all the trees on the planet while convincing crafters they're making something attractive and not at all hideously tacky. But knitting! I was seeing so many fabulous patterns and projects on Ravelry only to be let down when I saw that it was knit and I couldn't get one for myself.

Since conquering the basic knit and purl stitches, I have been utterly fascinated by the wealth of techniques available to knitters. Colorwork, cables, lace, ribbing, twisted stitches, slipped stitches, brioche stitches, entrelac! It was this last one that I had seen often in yarn shops, advertising a particular yarn, or an entrelac class. It looked so complicated and difficult, I was sure that it was something I would only be confident in tackling once I was a very experienced knitter. And then I forgot about it.

But entrelac popped back into my awareness with the introduction of Knit Picks new self-striping yarn "Chroma." Its vibrant colors and long repeats were perfect for an entrelac project, and you know what? I'm a very experienced knitter! Bring it on!

I found a free scarf pattern, chose needles for a slightly looser gauge, and went to town! I made some mods along the way - I abandoned the author's garter stitch selvedge and used a different increase method, but overall, I was thrilled with the pattern. And even more thrilled with the result:

I have been getting compliments everywhere I wear this scarf, and it just makes me want to learn more and more intricate techniques. And I will. Cause, you know, I can do anything!

PS: Entrelac? Not that hard. :P