I realise anyone reading this is probably all-to-familiar with the wealth (and dearth) of stuff there is out there but bloody hell there’s a lot of information online. In the last two days, I have – with the help of the internet – managed to learn two different cast on methods, understand where I was going wrong with the bind off (far too tight), order needles and yarn in all different shapes and sizes and read umpteen excellent knitting blogs and guides. And I’ve barely even scratched the surface.
I shouldn’t really be surprised. After all, I work in digital communications and technology and am reasonably tech-savvy. But still, the thought that the internet would prove to be quite such an epic source of knitting information had never really occurred to me.
Of all of my discoveries, Ravelry was by far the greatest revelation. If ever I am asked to name a site that exemplifies a social networking community, I’ll be there in seconds and damn the knitting-revelation consequences. In fact, it’ll probably already be open in a Firefox browser in the background, hiding behind my work and whispering sweet yarny nothings to me when no one’s looking. It’s astonishing. For anyone still unaware, imagine an online forum with tens of thousands of members, all able to befriend and talk to each other across multiple boards, topics and specialist groups. Then add a library with tens of thousands of patterns, many of which are free and posted by individuals willing to share hints and tips to anyone who gets stuck. To that add a yarn search engine worthy of Google-like godliness that allows you to match up a yarn with a pattern and watch me melt into a happy puddle of social media serendipity. And on that note… *sigh*
Much as I’d like to have chosen a less obvious and clichéd post title, it does sort of sum up where I am at the moment. I have started to knit. Literally in the last week.
After a weekend spent clearing up the spare room that we’ve somehow managed to turn into a chaotic lair of boxes in the two months that we’ve been here, I picked up my Stitch ‘n Bitch book (by Debbie Stoller – awesome) from under a pile of coats and started to flick through it. Then last week I stopped off at iKnit in Waterloo on my not-so-direct way home from work to buy some needles (uh, wood) and yarn (ummm, it’s blue?) before plonking myself down onto the sofa. According to my other half, I then spent the next three hours muttering to myself while flicking through various pages of my book and stabbing at the aforementioned blue wool with the aforementioned wooden needles. All while wearing what he likes to call my ‘angry-concentratey face’.
All very valid points. To my mind though, I was learning how to cast on and cope with some simple knit stitches, back and forth along the needles and slowly but surely creating a small blue swatch. All before buggering it up somewhat with a dodgy bind off, but that’s beside the point. I had created something; it was little and it was blue and decidedly lumpy in places, but it was an achievement.
Since then, I’ve become mildly obsessed. I now have five small, blue swatches, each in a different type of stitch: garter, stockinette, 2×2 rib, purl with a colour change (also blue, I’m afraid) and even an attempt at the heart patterned swatch from my book. It’s amazing (I mean The Knit; the swatches are far from amazing). I can make something from wool and sticks. Surely world domination is only a few more swatches away?