The more I knit Garter Stitch (which is really often), the more I like it. I like to think that Elizabeth Zimmermann is nodding knowingly as she sees me, and hundreds of like-minded knitters, realize the immense beauty and satisfaction of just knitting, row after row.
I know many knitters who credit EZ as the inspiration for becoming "thinking knitters" and learning to look at their knitting instead of looking at directions. I'm not one of those! I found Meg Swansen before I'd ever even read one of EZ's books, so I guess I'm part of the next generation of thinkers. I was taking a Community Ed knitting class in Rochester, MN from Ann Swanson and Katie Nagorney (Two Old Bags, which seems a silly name because they are two, but will never seem old, and nobody who met them would ever refer to them as "bags"). Anyway, they were a great teaching team, but apparently, I asked a great many (perhaps too many?) technical questions, and they said "you really need to go to Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp" - foisting me off on an unsuspecting Meg. Obedient student that I am, I applied that summer and went. I've been going ever since, but because I get to be there for 4 sessions every summer, I'm on my 55th camp now (just a guess).
One of the suggested pre-reqs to attending camp was to have "read and digested" at least one of EZ's books. I guess I'm not that obedient, because I didn't do the homework! Once I got to camp and fell in love with Meg, I decided to read one quickly (didn't want her to be disappointed in me), but who can stop at one? Within a week of coming home from camp, I'd read the 4 that were in print. It took me a few years to ball up the courage to try to get to know Meg, because I was so in awe of her, but I did, and the rest is history. I dare her to try and have a camp without me now!
Back to Garter Stitch - here's the line-up:
1. Baby Surprise Jacket - certainly not my first, but I teach it as a class pretty often, and always want to have one on the needles. In my most recent class, one of my lovely students has a suspicious bump on her front-side, and I liked her quite a lot. So, I'm going to finish up this BS and give it to Rachel, assuming the bump will someday need clothing!
I'm using Classic Elite Waterlily in Lake with stripes of Lily Pad. This yarn is delicious to knit with and to look at. I used some left-over yarn for the Provisional Cast-On just to show my students that the cast-on edge does not remain in a straight line for very long.
2. Adult Surprise Jacket - This is the most fun I've had on my couch in quite some time. It's just sitting there like a lump, waiting for me to knit, and knit, and knit. No thinking required (as long as you remember to do your 2 double-decreases on each front-side row). Well, now I'm to the double-increase part, but "remembering" is not so taxing as "thinking". Of course, the end result is that I'll get done too quickly. Such is life!
For this, I'm using Jaeger Matchmaker Merino Aran from my stash! What a virtuous knitter I am. I bought the yarn in England probably 6 or 7 years ago, and I bought lots. It's just as spongy and wonderful as the Waterlily, which is why I decided to sneak some in. The stripes are Lake, Leaf, and Azalea. I was going to add some Goldfish for zing, but didn't get back to the yarn shop to pick it up before time to knit the 4th stripe, so ... no fishes for me!
Again, I used the Provisional Cast-On, this time in relatively garish teal. It makes me want to knit faster to get that edge off the sweater! Any inspiration in a storm, I say.
3. Pi Are Square Shawl - Kathy D from our retreat a few weeks ago was starting one, just as Amy A gave me a skein of Malibrigo Laceweight in Violetas. A sign from above that I was supposed to cast on immeditaely. It would be tacky to say "oh, that's beautiful, thank you!" and not cast right on! That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it!
First things first, I had to call The Sow's Ear (one of my local shops) and tell them to send 1 more skein of Malibrigo home with Randy, who was going to pick up coffee beans that day. When Randy got there, he and Liz decided that 1 more skein wouldn't be enough so he bought 3. What a well-trained man (and a well-trained Yarn Shop Employee)! So, I have something like 1800 yards of this super-fine yummy stuff, it's going to be one hell of a shawl!
Now that the post is written, I need to (clean off the dining room table and) photograph the projects! Knit on.
P.S. Randy loves that I have a blog... the dining room table gets uncluttered almost weekly because of this!