Thursday, November 18, 2004

Whys and wherefores

I was bopping around in blogworld a few days ago and, on a blog I cannot remember, I read something about knitalongs to the extent that this person was not much interested because she wanted to knit things for her own reasons whether than because other people were doing them. Its' an interesting point and she was in no way saying anything bad about KALs, it was more like I feel about mohair. It's just not something I'm nuts about. Nothing wrong with it. Just not for me ;>

At any rate, it got me thinking about how I choose projects. Before I discovered the online world of knitting, I picked things I knew I would wear or that I knew the recipient would like. Projects that I could learn a few techniques from or that were guaranteed to be relaxing and mindless. I don't feel that my projects wants have changed that much, but I think that the online knitting world has expanded my projects and increased my interest.

Some of the projects are KALs: Clapotis, Lara and Butterfly. I doubt I would have attempted Clapotis had someone on the Knitty boards not mentioned that Soy Silk Phoenix would be a good substitute for Lion and Lamb. And I actually had the requisite amount of Soy Silk in my stash! So, while the pattern repeats intimidated me (limited attention span), I jumped right in. And could not stop. Until I realized that I loathed the colorway of the Soy Silk. So, I bought some new yarn and am happy as a clam with the finished project and I had a blast knitting it.

Lara and Butterfly I wouldn't have knitted without seeing pictures of real people (as opposed to Debbie Bliss or Rowan people) wearing said sweaters and looking nice in them. I love the chevron pattern in Butterfly and am having a ball with Lara. I have learned how to cast on in the middle of a project.

On the other hand, Rowan Summer Tweed doesn't appear to have a huge blog following but it's really appropriate for Texas weather. I chose Plum from Debbie Bliss Seven the second I saw the magazine because I want to learn short rows and come on, it's Cashmerino! Not to mention that every project I work on these days uses 8US needles and I wanted something big and chunky.

I feel like the KALs are a great thing. They provide encouragement because there are people to ask about projects. I'm the only person I know at my LYS knitting Butterfly, Clapotis and maybe Lara. Sure, there may be a few other people, but it seems like I don't know anyone personally who is working on these projects. It's nice to have internet friends from whom I can glean helpful hints.

Lara is progressing. I'm through with the back and have started the eternal ribbing on the left front.