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*This* is why I like granny squares!

The musings:
I learned how to knit years ago. My grandmother taught me, and I actually made a few things. I recall making slippers and mittens. (Yes, I started on DPNs. Straight needles look strange to me.) It had been years since I had last knitted anything, though, and I wanted to refresh my memory.

Problem. What to knit. I finally realized that dishcloths might work. Fairly small, pretty straightforward, and I could use them to reacquaint myself with the basics. Minor snag. I don't use dishcloths. Talked to my mother. She would be glad to take any orphaned dishcloths off my hands. Problem solved.

I bought cotton in yellow and blue, and started out.

It's been interesting. I knit English style, not continental, but I'm not sure that that's entirely natural for me. (Crocheters apparently have an easier time with continental.) Also, I have yet to figure out how to wrap my thread around the needle. I do it one way, and I need to knit into the back part of the loop. I do it the other, and I knit into the front. I'm not bothered by this very much, since I'm not twisting my stitches, but this is the sort of thing where I should probably choose one way and stick to it, so I can build up speed. Not that I'm so interested in building up speed, but if I'm going to fritter time away, there are better ways to do it than checking each stitch to make sure I'm not twisting it.

It's also interesting in that I don't really remember what I know. Knit and purl, yes. And I must have done increases, although I don't remember them. And decreases too. Cables? Perhaps. I don't recall. Knitting with more than one color? Perhaps. Not sure. I've got some irritating gaps in my memory. For all that I know that I knitted several (relatively complicated) items, I can't recall what techniques I know and don't know. And the diagrams don't help. The diagrams for a simple yarn-over increase (which I'm 99% sure I have done) look as strange as those for bobbles (which I'm 99% sure I haven't). Makes it a bit of an adventure. I have to try things to see if I know how to do them!

Anyway, the reason I like granny squares is because they are just that: square. You make a round, you have a square. You make another round, you have a larger square. This is not to say that tension isn't important, but if you have something that's working up much larger than expected, you simply don't make as many rounds as you had planned.

Not so when you are working in rows. You do your base chain or cast-on, and you're stuck. That's your width. If it works out wider or narrower than you expected, there isn't really a graceful way to recover.

I intend to make more dishcloths eventually, but I won't make them like these. One dishcloth will be on DPNs, knit flat. I don't think I've ever tried that, but I know I've worked with DPNs, so it can't be that hard.

And most of the rest of them will be the classic diagonal garter stitch, with eyelet edge.
This one:
Cast on 4
Row one: knit to end of row
Rows two to halfwaythere: k2, yo, knit to end of row
Repeat this until the side is as long as you want it to be.
Then start decreasing:
Rows halfwaythere to almost done: k1, k2together, yo, k2together, knit to end of row
Repeat this until there are only four stitches left on your needle.
Bind off.

This makes a square (more or less), and it should also provide a decent base for experimentation. I should be able to stick a cable or two in the middle. Or a small lacy pattern. Or a bit of two-color work.

We'll see how this goes. I'll post updates on what I'm learning/remembering about knitting!

In the meantime, though, the crochet hook is calling my name!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Aug. 14th, 2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
Lucky Mum.
My Mum likes getting mine too. :-)
I use them all the time. I love that I can boil them, though of course that's why they end up all being neutrally coloured.
That yellow one - when I first started knitting my own jumpers at 13, I soon got sick of old stocking stitch, so the first 'different' pattern I used (I made up my own I never used a commercial pattern until I was in my twenties)was *that* one, that you used for the yellow dishcloth.
It's a good dishcloth pattern too, because of the 'unevenness'. The little dips capture the dirt.
I've just crotcheted another dishcloth to take a break from the woolly squares, and it's one of those variegated ones.
I love the way the colours combine. Mine looks like yours'. :-)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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