Friday, April 18, 2014

In praise of simple knitting: tips and pics

One bonus of simplifying one's knitting life is that you can really hammer out a ton of finished projects.

As you may have noticed, ahem.  (and, I might add, just wait till you see Monday's post.)

Here's the thing: simple knitting - I mean just straight, on and on knit stitch - moves pretty fast.  And beating the boredom factor is not nearly as tough as you might expect.

A few ideas

1/ multitask: listen to an audiobook or podcast, or watch a program while you knit

2/ use stripey yarn - the arrival of the next colour will jolt you awake again

3/ take it to knit night, or just to visit a friend, because conversation cures most ills

4/ read a book: apparently this is possible, because I very comfortably read a whole novel on my iPhone while knitting socks last week.  It was SO WEIRD! and so much fun too!  Can't wait to find another sufficiently fluffy tome so I can do it all over again.

There's another perk of simplification, and that is the whole 'divide and conquer' thing.  Yes, I'm talking about stash busting. 

I knew this was happening to me really but when I sat down and thought about it as I made my Knitting Planner over the Christmas break I was shocked to realize how much knitting time I lose to mistakes and ripping back, or to failed projects generally.  Those things do not take you through your yarn supply in anything remotely resembling 'a timely manner'.  Especially if you have yarn club yarn turning up at your door every month.

By knitting no-fail projects, you are guaranteed to maximize your knitting time for yarn consumption.  And I am here to tell you: that is gratifying.

Also gratifying: having that yarn transformed into functional knitted objects you can keep or give away but in any case, use.

If your simple knitting project is small enough to be portable, it allows you to meet people.  I know this sounds implausible but it is true.  See, if the knitting is simple, you don't have to look at it while you do it.  And if the knitting is colourful, to keep you from going crazy doing so much simple knitting, other people will want to ask you about it.

Next thing you know, you're chatting with people you might otherwise never have spoken to.

For example: the other day on the subway I was working on some socks not pictured here, and the lady next to me asked me which stop she should get off at for the mall.  We talked that over and then - of course! - she asked what I was knitting.

She got to telling me that she had knit when she was younger, but only ever on straight needles, and when she started to not quite believe my socks would be for me and not a child - I guess they looked small, at the cuff? - the lady standing in front of us joined in.  Her hobby is sports, and one of her teammates knits sweaters.

The three of us chattered away for another five stops.  It was awesome.

 Simple knitting: it's fast, it's portable, it's conversation-starting, and apparently also affordable.  Yes yes, go ahead and laugh - I did! But according to the sporty girl on the subway, it really is.   She says she spends $60 a month to get beat up on a playing field by a bunch of other people.  Compare that to two skeins of really nice sock yarn a month and it's a wash.  Plus, she says, she had just spent another $75 on a jersey.

Say what you will about the expenses associated with knitting and the tools to do same - we don't have to wear anything special to do it.

And that's me for this week!  I know that at least one regular Hugs reader is not going to be having a good weekend at all, so let's the rest of us do our best to have more nice times than usual and send the extra goodness into the ether for her (and any of the rest of us who run into Yuck.)

See you Monday!

Oh - were you wondering about these socks?

I'm guessing many of you are so sick of seeing socks here you don't care any more, but for those who aren't: they are Vespers, colourway "Abracadabra" from last fall's club collection, and they are supposed to be matchy with one of my new scarves and therefore perfect for spring holiday travel packing.

Assuming I figure out something sock-showy-offy to pack.


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