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The book of knitting.

August 23, 2014 by sigrid

It have now been more than 20 years since I learned how to knit. And I can barely remember my first knitting experience. I was 5 years old, sitting in my grandparents living room, while my grandmother showed me how to knit garter stitches. My first knitted square was knitted in a white wool yarn, left over from a pair of socks she had made. But it do not remember if I thought it was hard or not to learn.

As you know, if you have read my blog, is that a couple of years ago I switched my knitting technique from continental to lever knitting. In other words, I had to relearn how to knit. A experience I am glad I encountered. Because since it is such a long time ago I learned how to knit, for the first time, it would have been hard to relate to struggling knitting beginners.

I like to view the evolvement of my knitting as a book:

Chapter 1: Learning how to knit. In the first chapter I was taught how to knit. First knit stitches, then purl stitches, and after a while how to cast on/of.

Chapter 2: Colours. In the next chapter I started to explore knitting with more than one colour. No one thought me this, but I had seen that my grandmothers sometimes switched colours or used more than one colour in their projects.

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Chapter 3: Cable knitting. Then I was introduced to cable knitting. This happened during my visit at a school friends house. Here grandmother was also visiting and she showed both of us how to knit cables using a cable needle.

Chapter 4: Written patterns. And then came the chapter of following written patterns. This was a hard one. Suddenly my vocabulary was inadequate.  There were new words I had to learn, and words that I thought I knew that suddenly had a whole new meaning.  Actually I did not try to follow a written pattern before I was around 20 years old. And I had never seen any of my relatives (grandmothers and mother) use patterns while knitting. But a friend of mine had just had a baby girl, and I wanted to make something for the newborn. At the same time I wanted to challenge myself.

Chapter 5:  Written patterns – in foreign languages. There are a lot of knitting patterns written in Norwegian, but the amount can not compare, of course, to the vast amount of patterns written in English. And again I had to learn a lot of new words, in addition to all the acronyms! It almost felt like I had to learn a new language. And I see that my friends and family have the same problems I had when they venture out in the world of written patterns. They often question parts of the written pattern, as do I, but when they encounter an English written pattern you can see the resignation on their faces. I have often translated patterns into Norwegian to make it easier for either myself or a fellow knitter.(By doing this I hope I don’t make anyone angry. I am only doing it to make it easier for the person that bought the pattern to actually enjoy it.) But now that I am fluent in “pattern language”, I am very glad I took the time to learn it. There are so many beautiful patterns by so many talented designers. Also there is a lot to learn from these written patterns.

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Chapter 6: Following charts.  In the beginning I was very sceptical to use charts. They looked terrifying! But it did not take me long to fall in love with them. Now I can not understand that I ever managed without them.

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Chapter 7: Lace. After writing about charts, it is only natural to write about lace. I am very found of lace knitting. It is both beautiful and challenging, which makes it so more pleasing to finish a project.

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Chapter 8: Techniques.  Often in knitting there are more than one way of doing thing. There are different techniques for casting on, for casting of, for cable knitting and much more to explore. You know how to cast on you say, well in how many ways? Are you sure that you technique is the best for your next project?

Chapter 9: The end?  I don’t think there is a knitter in the world that will dare to proclaim that she/he knows all there is to know about knitting. And that is one of the things about knitting I really love. There is always more to learn. Therefor there will never be an end to my book of knitting. I could probably add a chapter or two to this crude sectioning of knowledge, and in a few years, probably even more.


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