Monday, December 22, 2014

The Problem With Knitting and Crocheting

I just frogged an infinity scarf I was making. In spite of 5 tutorials explaining what an easy pattern this Feather and Fan is, I kept losing a stitch somewhere and having to fudge it by adding a random stitch somewhere, or I'd have the right side rows facing to the backside of the scarf! Ack. So I took the whole thing out. I think I've figured out how not to do it wrong, or maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment because I'm starting again. I'm casting on 88 stitches on size 10 needles. There is an 8 stitch border on each side and I'm starting with 8 knitted rows. I need to keep better track because the pattern is a 4 row repeat and I don't want to end up with the front facing the back again.

And speaking of knitting projects, I joined a knitting group on Facebook. Some of those knitters have already picked out their projects for the entire year of 2015!  Which brings me to another point. A few years ago I decided to cut back on knitting and crochet for 3 reasons. First, people still think of them as granny crafts and aren't willing to buy them for a price that reflects the time spent and the materials involved. And if you decide to sell the pattern instead, people often feel entitled to a free pattern, especially if they are just going to make it once. Second, they are hard on the hands and very time consuming. In the time it takes to knit one scarf out of yarn I could probably sew 10 out of fabric. Third; they create a huge amount of clutter, at least the way I do it. Skeins of yarn are like Tribbles; they end up in every room, drawer, closet and storage space.

The problem is knitting and crochet are both portable. I can take a project to a waiting room or a train ride or a bus station.  Try that with oil painting or mosaics or stained glass or pottery.  So when I just want to surf the Internet or sit in a park, knitting and crocheting are the easiest to keep up with. But because I get so sucked into the knitting and crocheting, I sit too much.  I think I've gotten lazier over the years and just lean towards projects where I can sit in one chair a long time and not get up.  I can't do that with sewing. I have to hop up and iron something every five minutes. I can't do that with clay. And yarn is a clean medium.  It's not messy like casting resin or gluing art journals together. And don't get me started on the cost. Now that I've joined a real knitting group in a real knitting shop, I've never spent so much on yarn in my life.  Even if I choose not to buy the $20. a skein yarn at the shop, I might go buy something similar for $10. a skein at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, when before I stuck to yarns that were under $5. a skein.  And if I spend $100 on yarn, that's $100 I can't spend on paints or chainmail supplies or candle wax. So don't knit, you say.  Knitting is so addicting and there is guilt involved. Every project I don't finish makes me feel guilty. It feeds my imagination and there is always more I want to try.  Socks? Sure. Cowls? Why not.  Slippers? My mom made us slippers when I was little. So there is an emotional connection there.

For some reason if you paint, throw pots, or draw in pen and ink, people call you an artist.  But if you knit, people just think, "Oh that is so cute, deary. My auntie used to make those too." I've given up on trying to change the world's view of knitting. It is what it is. I just can't seem to give it up. I must have yarn in my veins. And no other craft seems to go so well with sitting at a computer. I tried doing beading at my computer and I just kept dropping things on the floor.  I'm sure I'm not the only one with these issues.
An almost finished knitted bunny rabbit.
This will be a crocheted bear.

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