Silver Threads

a knitting blog with occasional side trips

Your knitting and crochet time

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And here we are at the last day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011.

Day seven: 3rd April. Your knitting and crochet time.

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

Tips: Last year we had a topic asking about the actual location of where you knit or craft, this is similar but not the same. Try and concentrate on all of the little aspects that make up your knitting time. Maybe you always head for for your Flaming Lips CD when taking on simple knitting but prefer a bit of Brahms when tackling more intricate work, or maybe you enjoy knitting with audiobooks or complete silence. Perhaps your crochet time is never complete without a cuddle from Tiddles the cat.

I’d say there are roughly four sets of circumstances in which I knit or crochet. (I do crochet. There’s just no evidence of it on this blog yet.)

  1. First thing in the morning, before going to work. I have never taken well to rolling out of bed, racing through the morning preparations, gulping down breakfast, and flinging myself out the door to the bus. Really, there should be time each morning for your brain and body to come to terms with being awake. For that purpose, I wake up earlier than I actually need to in order to fit some knitting time in. I usually can’t manage more than a row or two in the time I have, but it suffices. Since my knitting pretty much lives permanently on the sofa, all I need do is move from bedroom to living room, and there it is, waiting for me and ready to go. It’s just me and the knitting: no TV, no radio, no music. The drawback, of course, is that knitting is addictive. I tend to tell myself I can squeeze in just one more row before getting ready for work. So what happens is that I peacefully knit too long, then race, gulp, and fling.
  1. With friends. I figure, crafting people, regardless of the specific crafts involved, attract each other. At least in my case, if my friends were gathered together, and each had brought her preferred craft, probably no one would be standing off to the side with empty hands. So not surprisingly, I end up knitting and crocheting in the company of friends a lot. When we’re together at my place, it’s very cozy. Fit two people on the sofa (it’s a loveseat with delusions of sofa-hood: I’m not squeezing a third person on it), put one in the glider, and after that, it’s a challenge to figure out what chairs will be suitable for prolonged sitting and crafting. Of course there’s food involved. I like to bake (crafting with ingredients!), so this is an opportunity to try new recipes out without having to eat sixteen servings of whatever I make myself. Others bring whatever catches their eye at the grocery store. General good feelings prevail. I’d count knitting gatherings here too. My LYS hosts a Knit Night twice a month, and I go more often than not. Pack up the knitting, head down the street, knit and converse for a couple of hours surrounded by yarn (!), and head home: there are certainly worse ways to spend a Friday night.In both these cases, simple to medium-difficulty knitting is a must. If I ever tackle that Fair Isle sweater I described yesterday, it is unlikely to make an appearance at either of these gatherings save to show off my progress.
  1. During conferences and webinars. Really, how can you get through these things without something to keep your hands busy? And I’m not a doodler, so yarn it is. Depending on the conference, there may be several other knitters present and it’s a natural lead-in for networking (“What are you working on?”). As for webinars, well, on the Internet, no one can tell you’re knitting if there’s no webcam involved. Again, simple knitting is a must.
  1. While watching TV. Grad school has pretty much eliminated #4 for the time being, although I do occasionally squeeze in a DVD and knit while watching it. This is like first-thing-in-the-morning knitting, except, obviously, with the TV going. It just doesn’t work with subtitled programs; I end up having to replay scenes because I start looking at the knitting too much and miss entire passages of dialogue.

A time I will not knit: while on the bus. For the amount of time I spend on the bus, I’d love to knit there, but it hasn’t worked out for me. I now have an incomplete set of DPNs because a severely bouncing bus caused me to break one when I was knitting a sock. Plus, I loathe stopping in the middle of a row. So I either have to do so anyway when I reach my stop (bleah) or gauge how long it takes me to do a row and quit knitting when there isn’t enough time before my stop to complete one, leaving me possibly with blocks of ride and nothing to do (eek!). In winter, most of my coats have Velcro at the wrists and down the front. I leave it to your imaginations to picture just what happens when I try to knit while wearing one of these coats.

Oddly, crochet works pretty well on the bus. I don’t have nearly the same middle-of-row anxiety with crochet that I do with knitting, probably because it’s lots harder to drop stitches. Crochet hooks are more durable than fine DPNs. It still can’t be exposed to Velcro any more than knitting can, but it works for summer projects.

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