Thanks to Vince at the HP Sweater Knit Along
for posting a link to a Quidditch sweater pattern
. I've revised my pattern to make it a bit larger (the ribbing was pulling in a bit too much for my taste. It still would have fit, but been too fitted) and will be starting over. Again. Thank goodness I do this before I've too much invested in it. :)
I've been working quite a bit on Pygmy Puffs. Aside from the cannon purple and pink, I've branched into red, orange, green, blue and black. Hmm. Missing some yellow there. Have to fix that at some point! Most of these will be finding new homes, which is a good thing or they would soon take over mine! Although I'm thinking I might make one for Blaze. That can't be any worse than Fred and George using Ron's Puffskein for bludger practice, right?
I've been reading quite a few posts both in Blogland and on Live Journal about why people knit. It got me thinking about my own reasons, so, here they are. Take notes; there will be a quiz later. ;)
I've always been drawn to the way life was lived before mechanical conveniences. Some of my favorite books as a little girl were about life 100 or more years ago. There was a lot of handcraft in those books. So I pestered my grandmother and mother to teach me to knit. Later, I took up counted cross-stitch and made countless items for gifts. Some of them actually pretty good!
I learned how to make candles, read about herblore, anything really that went back to that time period that so interested me. The time that if you needed a pair of socks, you sat down and made some.
Several years ago I picked up my long-neglected knitting needles. It's been love ever since. Now that I am an adult, I find that I have the patience to make constant revisions and the creativity to try my own things. I seldom look at the experience level of a pattern. If I like it, I try it. I might make mistakes, but I know where to turn for help and I'm not too proud to ask. Sometimes those mistakes lead to something I like even better than the original.
I've taken a fair amount of kidding by people for my chosen craft. They tell me that knitting is an "old woman's thing" and that I'm too young to be cooping myself up with a ball of yarn and sticks. The funny thing is that they are also the first to applaud my finished items. When I finished my Hourglass Sweater and wore it to work for the first time, I received compliments all day. Mind you, I deal with men who are construction workers and landscapers, so to have them say that they liked the sweater (many not realizing I had made it) must have meant it was a pretty nice garment. Another admired a scarf I had made and asked me if I would do one for his daughter.
Handmade items have become a luxury. Those of us who choose to put the time and effort into it shouldn't be criticized for it. Could I find other ways to use my time? Sure. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done that I want to. But this is my way of decompressing. And the result of that is a nice garment, cozy pair of socks or mittens, a warm blanket or cute toy. And the people that I choose to gift these items to are very appreciative. The best reaction I got was a pair of socks I gave to a friend for Christmas. She felt the bag and immediately squealed that I had knit her something. When she pulled out the socks, she was very happy, saying that her feet are never warm enough in the winter and they would be perfect for wearing around the house.
That is what keeps me knitting. And I think probably what ties all of us crafters together, no matter what the medium. It's just something we have to do.