Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Out with the old!

And I don't mean throwing out the old either... I'm finding (and remembering) knitting projects that I made a few years ago and adding them to Ravelry. Some of the things I have added recently were made about 15 years ago. I have even surprised myself at how many things I made back then, when I wasn't as "in" to knitting as I am now.
I have had a kind of love/hate relationship with a lot of my knitted items - loving the idea of knitting things for myself and hating the results (quite often).. as a result - a handful or so of garments that I'd devoted a fair bit of time to often ended up at the charity shop or (horror!!) thrown away in disgust!! In most cases, I wouldn't even try to reclaim the yarn - I just wanted it out of my sight.
WHY - I hear you ask - well, mostly because I would use the wrong yarn or my tension/gauge was off (I have only ever made ONE swatch in my whole life) or the design I had chosen just didn't look any good (on me, anyway - the models in the pictures always looked fine enough). This kind of frustrating output did not sit well with the hoped-for knitting-karma effect.
So I started to buy patterns and the recommended yarn to match... this gave better results and as a consequence, some of those items are still in my wardrobe now!
I also had better results when I started with a yarn I loved and had an idea of how to use it in a design of my own, although this has only been in the last few years as I have felt more proficient in my knitting techniques (and attending a workshop with designer Debbie Abrahams on how to design your own knits helped too!!).
It was around the time of that workshop that I came up with the design for this hot water bottle cover. I wanted to make something for my mum and using a more "classy" yarn and I didn't want it to look too "homemade"... hopefully I acheived this.
Sadly, this is something that all knitters face when making things for other people - the prospect of the recipient's thinly disguised contempt at having received something so, so, "HOMEMADE"!! Years ago, I secretly made a pact with myself that I would NEVER make anything for anyone else that looked "like my grandma made it" - sorry grandma (god bless your soul) - but her yarn budget and choice of patterns meant that ill-fitting acrylic sweaters were the order of the day and they would pill/bobble like mad and change shape with every wash....
Thankfully, there is a far greater selection of yarn available now for every pocket and every situation. This means I can make pretty gloves for my neice in a soft (but machine-washable) inexpensive, variegated wool yarn. I certainly couldn't afford a lot of the "very posh" yarns (for that read: exotic animal/vegetable/mineral, hand-painted etc., etc... - and lets face it - there would be far too much hand-washing of finished articles involved too!!) but now that I have access to thousands of cross-referenced, fully-searchable by any attribute, free (or relatively inexpensive) patterns for a multitude of types of project, I know that if I DO "treat" myself to a single skein of that scrumptious shade in that fancy yarn, I will always be able to find something lovely to turn it into - hurrah for Ravelry!!!

Sanity check: Kids in bed by 7pm + DH out for the evening = 9/10
Stash +/- : +9 balls (only 3 of which have intended use already - erk!)
Projects: +3 (2 old ones and one original design, still WIP)

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