I've decided to take up Grumperina's challege. Here are 10 knitterly things you might not know about me.
1. My mother and paternal grandmother taught me to knit when I was a young child (I'm not really sure how old I was- definitely not older than 8). One Christmas, I was given a pair of wooden size 10 needles, a ball of Brown Sheep worsted weight yarn that were packaged in a blue corduroy bag. I still have the first project I made. One of my current WIPs is using those needles,
and I always have a project in that little blue bag.
2. Until I went to college, knitting was not the only needlework I did. Knitting had to compete with cross stitch, needlepoint and sewing/quilting for time. Back then, I was a one-project-at-a-time kind of person. While I always had some sort of needlework going, it wasn't always knitting. Sometime in college I realized that my knitting projects were more useful than my other needlework projects so now knitting gets most of the time.
3. I made my first sweater when I was 13. I started with a bad pattern and bad yarn, and then altered the pattern in a way that probably didn't make it any better. That sweater has never been worn out of the house. It is still in a closet at my parents' house.
4. My first knitting book was Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Without Tears. I read it cover-to-cover, and then decided that I wanted to make mittens. All I knew how to do was knit and purl, but I managed to follow her directions and end up with a pair of wearable mittens. I still use those mittens when we go hiking in cold weather.
5. I've never liked following patterns. It's not that I don't like the way the projects look in the pictures, but rather that I find it too tedious to go through the step-by-step directions. I'd rather just look at the picture, decide what I like about it, and then make it in whatever yarn I happen to have. Besides, whenever I knit from a pattern I mess it all up. Like this one, where I reversed the shoulder shaping. It's still waiting to become a pillow.
6. I love knitting out of my stash. I love buying yarn, too, but mainly so that I will have it in my stash for later. I almost never buy yarn with a specific project in mind, and then use it to knit that project. I have yarn that I've bought for mittens, yarn that I've bought for sweaters, etc., but that's about as specific as I get.
7. When I go to start a new project, I usually have a type of garment in mind. Then I look at all the yarn that is the right weight/amount for such a project, and think about how it might be used. Every time I look at a batch of yarn, I have a different idea for how to use it. It becomes whatever project I think of when I'm ready to cast on.
8. I almost never swatch properly. When I do swatch, it is usually about 1 inch x 1 inch square. I've found that I have to start over just as often when I have swatched properly as when I've swatched the quick way.
9. I don't mind rough wools, but I hate knitting with synthetics. Yes, I'm a bit of a wool snob. But I really like alpaca, angora and cashmere too.
10. I'm not afraid to try any new knitting technique. The worst thing that can happen is that I rip it all out and use the yarn for something else. But that rarely ends up happening. If I spend enough hours trying to figure something out, I usually get it close enough to right.