Knitting Community

We're going to be updating our poll on the front page of the knitting community once a month. I've been nominated to be poll master, so if you have any ideas for polls you'd like to see, send 'em my way.

The new poll, "Why do you knit", presented a particular challege for me because there are sooooooooo many reasons that people knit that it was tough narrowing it down to just 5 (and 5 is the max the magical poll making machine can handle). Everyone I quizzed here in the office had a different reason for knitting (and very few of those reasons could be summed up in 30 characters or less which is another one of the poll making machine's nonsensical rules).

When I rocked the vote an hour or so ago, I voted for "It fills my downtime", but really that's only part of the reason I knit. I mean, I also fill my downtime baking vegan cupcakes, roller skating, watching House on DVD, and reading the book of the month for my book club.

I've got plenty of other options in the downtime filling department. I think I knit for the challenge and because I like learning something new.

As the most novice knitter on the Knit Picks staff, I've been knitting for less than 6 months. My most recent personal challenge involved knitting in the round.

First a friend taught me how to use DPN's (Thank you JJ!). I can't believe we sacrificed Grover to make this monstrocity. I've been telling myself it's a killer attack amoeba toy for the Bus (my cat), but even after I marinated it in catnip overnight, he wouldn't touch it.

I forged on, taking up the DPN's unsupervised, determined to make a pair of legwarmers. This is as far as I got. (By the way, those are a friend's needles, not mine. My nickel plated DPN's hadn't arrived yet. We have to order stuff from the warehouse just like you!)

I turned to Tina for advise. There had to be an easier way. Of course there was. Tina introduced me to the wonderful world of circulars. Now that I've got my size 8 16" fixed harmony circulars, knitting these up as been a breeze.

Ok, ok. There were some moments where things were a little touch and go. It still blows my mind that if you just keep knitting in the round, you never have to purl, but it's still stockinette. How is that possible? But I accepted my minor setback with what I like to think of as dignity and grace, embracing my mistakes because I refused to frog these babies, steadfast in my belief that nobody will look that closely at my ankles. And now, finally, I have finished one legwarmer. That's right I'm halfway done with the set.

I think what I'm trying to say is that I've gotten more than just one lone, slightly hole-y legwarmer out of the experience. I rose to the challenge of knitting things that are more advanced than flat, long rectangles. And I did pretty okay. I learned something new. And that probably wouldn't have happened with any of my other downtime pursuits. Except maybe House. But I probably (hopefully!) won't be drilling holes into the skulls of critically ill strangers with mysterious diseases anytime soon. And I will be knitting another legwarmer. In fact, I've already cast on.

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Comment by Angela on April 3, 2008 at 12:24pm
Thanks for the kind words of encouragement Katy!
Comment by islander on April 3, 2008 at 4:59am
why do I knit? to copy a famous poem 'let me count the ways': to express my creative side, to make something useful and needed for myself or others, to enjoy the feeling of wonderful yarn slipping through my fingers, to put colors together, etc
I have been knitting for so many years, it gives me pleasure to see how many knitters there are out there!
knit on and on and on

Comment by madamadmiral on April 2, 2008 at 7:46pm
Hi Angela: I think you are doing really well! I knit because it centers me, I can learn something new and gives me some private time. I'm using 4 dpn for my hat right now, waiting for Law and Order to start so I can knit in peace. I see more and more knitters are using the circulars instead of the dp's - they're a bit unmanageable. Keep practicing you're doing great as a "newbie". - Katy
Comment by Kerin on April 2, 2008 at 10:50am
Alas, poor Grover. I knew him well.


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