Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wonderful August in New York

We have been really sweltering in the heat and humidity recently but this week the humidity lessened and the heat is less as well. Nothing worse than needing another shower as soon as you leave your apartment!
I have been knitting some simple hats on circulars and dpns recently. Nothing fancy just trying to get my tension more even and creating something small that I can actually finish quickly.
I rediscovered knitting in December when I picked up a "Learn How to Knit" kit at a Michaels Arts and Crafts store nearer where I used to live. I had heard that knitting helps with stress and I had been curious if I would be able to do better than I had back in High School. Back then I would have holes in my knitting and still have the same number of stitches on the needles. I got frustrated and dropped knitting. Took up crocheting for awhile but got bored.
I had grown up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where at that time there had been several needlecraft/yarn stores scattered in the area. Including as I remember a store called "Bell Yarn" which I thought manufactured yarn. But yarn then was the basic stuff. Nothing as soft and varied as what is available today. I did not have someone to learn how to knit or crochet from so that is probably why I lost interest and got frustrated with it all.
When I picked it up in December I seem to have done alot better right away. After awhile of practicing I finally understood some of the things being described in the books I had gotten.
My tension is still variable but it is not horrible. I knit continental with the yarn in my left hand. I don't know if I would do better "throwing" the yarn from the right hand but I just think that there is too much movement in the "throwing" method. There is so much variation in how each person holds their yarn, how close to the needles, how close the stitches are to the needle points, etc. Plenty of room for experimentation.
Knitting does seem to be relaxing as long as I have an easy pattern and don't have to count too much. Whenever I have to count I always lose track and mess up the pattern of stitches unless I pay attention. I prefer having something I don't have to concentrate on while I am watching a show or movie on television. Then I can be doing something useful at the same time by knitting.
I am part of a group at work that knits and crochets things for different charities. The yarn is donated to us by the company for the charity work. It is a good way of getting experience in creating these items while not spending alot of money. You don't keep what you are creating but someone does enjoy what you have produced. Even with mistakes! :-)

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