Stitching, Bitching, Love

2014-09-24 20.32.56  I am, for the most part, a very happy introvert. I stay in my little nest doing my own thing, and it brings me much contentment.

But of course, all humans need actual, in person interaction. So to get that fix, I go to a local Stitch ‘n Bitch group once ever other week. I have to say, every two weeks is the perfect amount of time apart for me. Every week would be too much and make me feel guilty about bailing on the husband and kids, while once a month would be so infrequent that I’d likely forget to go, or make excuses not to.

It’s been a really good thing for me. I didn’t find the group until I’d been living five years, and that is a looong time to go without having a local hangout/friend group. From what I understand from the other ladies there, it’s a pretty special group on the whole with a great vibe. I wouldn’t personally know comparatively, but I do know that I like the group, and it has enriched my life since I discovered it.

IMG_2521When I started going, I could only crochet. And, with that, I couldn’t actually really do patterns. For my sins (okay, not sins… awesomeness), I am left-handed, and gifted with a rather hefty dose of anxiety. These things do not making acquiring new skills an easy thing. By that point, I’d been trying off and on to figure out how even to start with knitting for something like nine years. While the group doesn’t get credit for teaching me, being around them does get credit for making me want to buckle down and see what it was all about. It’s been about a year and a half, and once I hit the ground, I’ve been running ever since.


Knitting patterns make more sense. Seriously.

And, if I’m honest, I’ve crocheted a lot since then. There’s nothing against it per se… outside of the patterns. Between my handedness (which means I’m working them backwards-ish), I just find crochet patterns to be really freaking hard to follow along. On the other hand, knit patterns make sense. You knit or you purl, and you just sort of bop along. Yes, I know there’s more than that, and I have done more than that, but it’s simpler at the heart.

The last month has seen two more big knitted breakthroughs that were scaring me — knitting in the round, and cabling. The latter was surprisingly easy when I finally gave it a go on a swatch. I’ve been reliably informed that I will have to work them opposite directions on patterns for it to come out the right way around, so we’ll see when I do a pattern that requires them.The former i made harder for myself by insisting on figuring out the Magic Loop technique first. Yes, brilliant me, let’s start with the hardest thing first! But I *did* figure it out, and now knitting in the round of any size is lacking in its prior intimidating status.

Right now, I’m doing a shirt for Lilbit (my 4 year old) in the round. I’ve already done the pattern once in a smaller size for Littlerbit (the baby). I’ve learned a bit from it, like needing to do the colourwork sections more loosely, so we’ll see how it comes out this time around. If you’re interested in a fairly simple and enjoyable pattern, it’s free on Ravelry:

Scrap Sweater for the Small Ones

It also knits up fairly quickly, all told. I did the one for Littlerbit over a few days. This one is taking longer, but I’ve also not been quite as knitty lately. I’m determined to buckle down and get to the colourwork section tonight though, so we’ll see how it goes.



    • Dee on September 25, 2014 at 8:13 pm
    • Reply

    I still haven’t figured out the magic loop technique, and every time I’ve tried it’s just ended in frustration and frogging. DPNs, however, I took to like a fish to water, so I figured I’m probably not missing out too much, thank goodness.

    I’m just starting to get to grips with cabling, and despite it looking really intimidating, it’s actually kinda… not hard, which I was pleasantly surprised by. I think it’s one of those things that you see and it looks impressive, and maybe you just automatically assume it’s hard because it’s so pretty? Although, I’ll admit, I’m still impressed with really fancy cable work like this: (even though I know it’s totally within my skill-set, if not my patience threshold).

    Did going to the stitch and bitch help you pick up new techniques, or give you more interesting ideas for projects? There’s a small group in Surbiton that I’ve been thinking about going to, but anxiety is making it super hard to actually get myself out of the door. I’m sure you know what that feels like 🙂

    1. The link I included was like, the one thing that made magic loop make sense. But yeah, if you’re happy with dpns, then it’s not like you need to be able to do it. All those little ends and me having a tight tension… anxiety ahoy!

      There aren’t any left-handed knitters in my group, but I’m at a point in my own proficiency where if I did need help with a technique, I think someone could show me. But really, it’s more about companionship. It’s nice to sit round the pub with my netbook and wool chatting (and chatting), and everyone in our group does their own little thing. I’ve heard some groups have a more non-stop charity theme and all work the same, which wouldn’t be that fun to me. I was WAY anxious the first time I went, but everyone is so warm and friendly that I keep coming back. It’s pretty much exactly my sort of socialization (except for the diet talk that springs up in any group of women, but nevermind that).

      And yeah, cabling looks all intimidating and magical. I feel perversely happy that this magic is within my grasp. 😀

      [[radio edit]] — ALSO. If you ever do want to learn magic loop, I can always try to show you on Skype. <3 There's probably better videos than that out there though, if I'm honest, but I figured I'd make the offer.

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