Friday, October 19, 2012

Target has these for $19

The Value of Not Planning

Some people like to plan their work, others don't. The learning theory is that the planners are sometimes called "left brained" and logically the others are "right brained". When I attended a talk at Madrona Fiber event given by Betsy Hershberg the main speaker, with a wonderful power point presentation. Betsy started with this graphic showing how the "left brained" people are so very organized and the "right brained" people, well more creative "knit by the seat of their pants" than those organized pattern following folks.

I definitely belong to the the "right brained" side but often take a visit over to the "left". I like to organize my tools and stash and can get obsessive with all that but when it comes to creating a garment I am for sure a right brained approach. I often take the "what would happen if....." approach.

With this philosophy, I teach others to let go following a knitting pattern as if you were painting by numbers. Don't take me wrong there is nothing wrong with painting by numbers, I've done it and loved the end result. As they say it's all good.

I often have to give "permission" to students that they do not have to follow my patterns exactly. I actually encourage making changes, the more changes the better. But you may say at the end it will not look like your pattern. All the better it will be YOURS!

Having said all that, my current project is called "Nether Garment" by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I love her approach, it's not a line by line instruction but the outline of how the garment is constructed. She too encourages the knitter to make changes, customize till it fits.

I call the project Long John's or to some it may be leggings. They are a long stocking without feet and at the hip joined to make them pants. I'm knitting them out of some good strong sock yarn from Germany. So far the knit has been fun and rather surprisingly fast.

The details: size 3 needle, 56 sts. cast on. Ribbing k2, p2 for 2" then another 2.5 inches of stockinette. Calf increases are what EZ calls Make 1 but it's not what I learned as M1 but simply looping the yarn over the needle. First with the index finger and k2 "anchor stitcher" then with the thumb. This makes a very nice right & left leaning increase. Easy Breezy just as I like.

As I go about my everyday life and often knit in public, the question I'm always asked is what are you knitting? My answer is long john's! A lot of the times I get that look, "But why"? When you can go to Target and buy one already made? Have you ever had fresh home baked bread? The smell the taste vs. that packed stale old bread you get in a plastic bag. 

I did buy the fair isle style colorful leggings and yes from a distance they look really good but they do not feel the same as my hand knit wool ones. Oh and for sure they do not fit the same way either. Just like the home baked fresh bread vs. the plastic bag of stale old store bought bread.

And there is another benefit my state of mind and the relaxation of the act of knitting. I've read that they have done studies that spinning wool lowers your blood pressure. I think knitting lowers my blood pressure also. Go ahead bake some bread and while it's "resting" keep on knitting. But in case you are in a hurry Target has these for $19 dollars.

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