INTERNATIONAL WELCOMES AND IRRATIONAL KNITTING

First, welcome to the new influx of visitors here from Japan. Apparently the Kureopatora Snake Scarf has attracted attention way over there. It’s fun to see it blogged about so far from home, and in a language I can only barely read with Google tools.

Where do visitors to wiseNeedle and String come from? It’s no surprise that they are overwhelmingly from the US and Canada. Japan, Australia, China, the Ukraine, Brazil, and the UK. Germany, France, and Sweden usually are in or not far from my the 10. There’s usually a good sprinkling of people wandering through from non English speaking countries aside from those on the top 10. (I think that most come to use the knitting terms glossary.) I have often been amused to see reports of visitors from some of the less frequently seen countries on my list. Sometimes there’s a small spike from an unlikely place. For example, in addition to the large number of visits from Japan last week (not uncommon at all), I had a small jump up each from Senegal and Mauritius. Whether that represents one person visiting multiple times, or one person sending links to friends, I haven’t a clue. But I do wonder what they’re knitting.

Second, some irrational musings…

There’s a lot of edging to knit when you make something like the Wave scarf. That affords ample time for a mix of boredom and the anticipation of finally finishing to set in. I don’t know about you, but when I knit something interminable I develop irrational likes and dislikes along the way. There are rows I look forward to, and rows I detest. While on some patterns the single row with a particularly awkward stitch combo (like a P2tog-back) can inspire discomfort, even dread of a tricky row, in other patterns the development of my preference makes no sense at all. For example, in this edging some rows have a bit more stockinette, but no row in particular stands out as being harder than the others, and all patterned rows have a semi-awkward K3tog. But I have a clear favorite – row 5, and a clear least favorite – row 9. I will go so far as to either get ready to do my favorite row or “get over the hump” and complete my least favorite row before setting the work down.

I have irrational preferences about other bits of knitting, too. I detest sleeves. I don’t care how large or small they are, whether they’re done first or last, or if I’m working them side by side, or one at a time. I flat out hate ’em. Also buttonhole bands – especially the kind that are cast on with the regular width of the front, then placed on holders to be knit separately using a smaller needle, then sewn to the cardigan body. I know why some designers choose to do this, and I acknowledge that doing it can make neater, less “loving hands at home” looking garments – but I resent doing it.

On the other hand, I don’t mind winding skeins into balls. Some of my knitpals hate that part. While I wouldn’t make wool-winding my only hobby, I don’t mind doing it in the least, and except for the largest skeins of lace weight, usually do it by hand (sometimes assisted by a swift). I rarely haul out the ball winder.

Then there’s the foot part of every sock. The ankle bears a pattern or something of interest. But I don’t like wearing patterned knitting inside my shoes, and invariably knit my foot parts totally unadorned. I hate that part enough that it has shaped the entire way I knit socks. I do toe ups not because I want to avoid grafting, or that I think they fit the best (the fit well enough on me), but because doing so puts the chore before the fun. If I didn’t do those boring feet first, I’d never finish a sock.

And I vastly prefer lacy knitting to lace knitting. It seems I need to decompress with a plain or low-featured row in between more intensively patterned ones. I get annoyed or quickly frustrated by patterns that include massive amounts of increases and decreases on every row.

Collars? Did I mention collars? For me they’ve always been a challenge. I melt with envy when I see something like the bottom right hand picture here. In this case, the dislike is more understandable. We all dread showing our weaknesses.

So. How irrational are you? Do you share my odd likes and dislikes, or are you bound by an entirely different set of your own?


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One response

  1. Jean from Cornwall | Reply

    With you on the button bands, although the knit-as–separate-item ones are even worse. For years I have been knitting them on row for row, using the rib size needles. I suspect that the maths doesn’t really work out, but they seem to block to good, and haven’t got me arrested yet!

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