Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Introduction to Molly's Knits

I began learning how to knit when I was in grade school, but it was a long time before I actually produced a finished product. I'm not sure, but I think that the first item was a baby planked for my oldest daughter. And after that I made a couple of simple sweaters for her. However,  I didn't really get started knitting until we were living in Hong Kong.  At church I saw so many beautiful sweaters on the children in the creche (that's British for nursery) that I wanted to know where they came from.   I soon  realized that most of the sweaters were made for the children by their grandmothers back in England. And soon after that realization I discovered a terrific yarn shop on Li Yeun street in Central. Then I found some great British knitting books in the South China Morning Post shop down by Star Ferry. I then began my long journey of learning how to really knit.

I began with little projects, like a simple baby vest, then a sock. It was quite a while before I could manage to make two matching socks. But my first truly major project was a school sweater for my oldest daughter.
She was attending a British school and needed a grey uniform cardigan. By then I had bought what was to become one of my most favourite knitting books and of course I selected a pattern from that book. It was to be in grey of course. I had chosen a 100% DK wool by Patons called Clansman and by the time I had finished the back I realized that I did not have enough wool.   Three days after I had purchased the wool at Mui Tong, where the wool had just come in that day, they were all out of my dye lot.  So I just got two more balls and decided that I would use the different dye lot on the main body of the fronts (not the plackets or ribbing) and that I would make it patterned somehow. This way I figured no one would notice the difference. And that was the case. I was very proud of the sweater and Heidi wore it for two years to school.

By this time I was beginning to collect British and French and German knitting books. The British ones were the most often used, but I loved the French designs. I made Corey a red Aran sweater from a French book. Corey could never understand why I made her a sweater with holes in it. The holes were caused by the blackberry pattern (or the trinity pattern as the Irish would call it). I also made for Corey a terrific button through cardigan in red with two cables up the front. She loved that one.

Over the years I've gotten to where I can knit without a pattern. Not everything, mind you, but quite a lot of things. But the problem is getting what I've done recorded. So what I want to do is try and record the directions for the things that I make up on my own. Also I need to record the patterns that are take-offs from other designs. One thing that I find so frustrating about blogs on knitting is that they only show you what they did, and say nothing about how they did it. Could you imagine if cooking sites only showed pictures of the food they made. Now I realize that it can be much harder to give accurate knitting instructions than it is to give accurate cooking instructions, but they're not so far apart in difficulty.

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