Saturday, 10 January 2009

80 facts about my knitting

How did you learn to knit? From a book? On a course? From your mother or grandmother?
I was taught by my Mom, which means that I am home taught. If your story is similar to mine than you probably have a very good picture of what made me write down this list!

Learning a new virtue is a sort of initiation- an initiation into a club of people from all around the world who love and practice the same craft. We may all be speaking different languages but, move it-squeeze it-fold it , we eventually find the mutual language. The reason -we all know the magic!

But the fact is, the moment we gain that precious knowledge, we instantly start thinking that everyone else is doing everything exactly the same as we do and we are convinced that, if we could only shout loud enough for the whole world to hear us : "make one twisted stitch", at least 45 millions of knitters from around the world would instantly do the same thing - make a twisted stitch and make exactly as we would.
Yet, it  turns out that the things don't work like that at all. Soon enough we learn that some knitters do not hold the yarn the same way you do; that some other knitters finish their work at the point where we usually begin or that knowing to turn the heel does not mean that we can knit every single sock there is.
Finally, sooner or later, we face the ultimate shocking truth-  that our normal knit stitch is considered twisted in almost 50% of all the countries you know of (the less countries you know of, the less you suffer! ). Other knitters knit through the opposite loop all the time and call it normal??? Oh, give me a break! You might have just s well told me that they breathed air and drank water!

But, the truth is - everyone should have their own style- because, like it or not  - what we're dealing with here is not just a craft, it's the ART od knitting.

So, consider this post to be the result of my decision to come out with all the secrets about my knitting or at least with all the facts that I can think of at the moment!

  1. I'm a right handed knitter (that's shocking, i know!)

  2. I knit using the Eastern Uncrossed Style (or Eastern European Style as it is sometimes called) and I always knit into the back of the stitch

  3. I hold the yarn with my left hand and never wrap it around my finger(s) (except when crocheting), instead I hold it between fingers

  4. A twisted stitch (tbl stitch), in my case, means «through the front of the loop»

  5. I always knit bottom to top (I prefer starting from nothing over
    ending there)
  6. I always make swatches

  7. I was fully equiped when I first started knitting because my mother too is a knitter

  8. I inherited most of my needles

  9. I own a very old 1,5mm set of semi-DPNs with a crochet hook on one side
    and a knitting needle on the other  used for old-fashioned sock-knitting. This set belonged to my maternal grandmother

  10. I own only one pair of wooden (circular) needles and I got them as a gift, other needles are all made from stainless steel/INOX

  11. I NEVER use straight needles- they're too heavy (I use circular needles instead)

  12. I own cable needles of all sizes but I barely ever use them (I manage)
  13. I don't use stitch markers

  14. I keep my needles in: vases, mugs and in funny looking peanut cans

  15. I never know where my 4,5mm circular needles are

  16. I think there should be a second pair of 4,5mm circular needles somewhere in the house but no one has ever seen both pairs at the same time- that pair is my Loch Ness monster among needles

  17. My favourite needle size is 4mm

  18. It took me 7 years to start knitting with DPNs and now I can't live without them

  19. All DPN sets I own are 20cm (8' ') long

  20. All women in my familiy oer the past (at least) hundred years were knitters . Most of them knitted only socks.

  21. My late grandmother was a sock knitter. She was also the one who taught my mother how to knit. The only thing my mother never learned from her was- how to knit a pair of socks.

  22. I learned how to knit and crochet from my Mom

  23. I didn't learn how to make socks from my mother because she doesn't know how to make socks

  24. It took me nearly 7 years of serious knitting to start working on my
    first pair of socks and I had to search for explanations in a book

  25. No one in my family learns how to knit from a book- we inherit it

  26. I use only one cast on method (though I'm familiar with quite a few methods) - it  has been used in my family for decades

  27. The cast on method I use is similar to Long tail only mine has got an additional step which causes the stithes to appear in pairs

  28. The cast on method I use does not alow me to start working on most
    patterns right away because, once the stitches are cast on, I'm facing the wrong side of the work

  29. I always use the same cast off method (with knitting needles)

  30. I love making cable patterns

  31. I enjoy working with fuchsia and red yarns

  32. I love earth shades 

  33. I love the "hairy" touch of mohair on my fingers

  34. I can knit with a crochet hook

  35. I like knitting free style

  36. I barely ever copy-paste the whole project from a magazine onto my needles

  37. The only thing I'd rather buy than knit is stranded colourwork

  38. I usually get all tangled up in yarn when I try to work with more than one colour

  39. I don't wear hats but I like making hats! So,  I make them for other people

  40. I can successfully chase down a drifting dropped stitch for more than 20 rows
  41. I find unraveling patterns a lot more interesting than Suddoku

  42. I like making patterns

  43. I like adding crochet edgings to my knitted pieces

  44. I like 2k,2p ribbing better than 1p,1k

  45. I measure the tension of my fabric with a small ruler with cartoon characters on it (It's serious business!)
  46. I love crochet but, from a phase of fascination with that craft I somehow slipped into another, completely opposite phase: now I would like to knit everything that is commonly made with a crochet hook
  47. I decorate my crochet hooks and needle holders with nail polish (that's the artist in me!)

  48. I never break the yarn with scisors- instead I use a lighter (i like the smell of burning yarn. I like open fire! I'm not a dangerous person!)

  49. I tend to learn as much as I can about different knitting techniques but I generaly only use one

  50. I love to read about the history of knitting
  51. I find ethnic clothing very inspiring
  52. I adore Slavic embroidery, weaving, ornamental knitting and lacing

  53. I'm in love with Russian shawls from Orenburg

  54. I want to own one of them

  55. I also intend to make (at least) one

  56. I own an enormous collection of knitting magazines and books published within the past 30+ years

  57. Some of these magazines are older than me

  58. Some of the babies in my magazines are probably of the same age as my parents
  59. I have found a picture of a baby from one of my old magazines printed in the early '80. again in 2006. He was still only 3 months old.

  60. The magazines I own are in 6 different languages

  61. I can, basically, knit in 6 languages

  62. When I was a kid I used to "decorate" the ladies in knitting magazines with a pen. None of them has ever left my hands without at least one black tooth

  63. I still buy knitting and crochet magazines

  64. My favourite magazine is Verena in German although I don't understand a single word in it

  65. My grandmother loved sharing her pattern charts with her neighbours. At the same time- she didn't like sharing patterns with them. So she cheated! Her philosophy was simple - always make a chart when they ask you to! Then add a few mistakes. When they come back to complain, just say- OH, my, how could have I missed that?! Then write down another pattern with new mistakes.

  66. I think most editors cheat – I have to make a correction in every third chart (my grandmother has had a lot of influence on them)

  67. One year I ruined the shade on one of my IKEA lamps and had to make a new one. I decided to knit it. The very next year IKEA decided to steal my idea!

  68. I don't knit in public- drug addicts never consume ilegal substances in public

  69. I don't mind asking strange people to show me their sweater

  70. Sometimes, when I run out of wool wash I use shampoo to wash my sweaters and shawls but I have never washed my hair with a liquid wool wash (yet!)

  71. I usually straighten my recycled yarn under a hot shower

  72. When I knit- I knit! No distractions, please!

  73. I used to make pocket money from knitting when I was a student

  74. I hate it when people tell me- «Lucky you- you can make yourself a sweater!» Well, why don't you learn how to do it?!  It's not as if I was born that way!

  75. I sometimes make buttons and decorative needles for my projects
  76. I want to become a spinner

  77. I'm searching for wool rowing (or sheep, whichever)

  78. Each time I ask someone if there is a sheep farm in our county,  I'm given a phone number of a goat farm!

  79. Each time I say "These are goats, not sheep", I get the same answer: "Is it such a big difference, they're hairy too, aren't they?"

  80. I want to knit a sweater with the wool of a black sheep. I would name it after ME!

Could be continued...


  1. Wow, a fascinating read! I truly enjoyed it :) I only hope you don't turn it into a meme 'coz I'd have a really difficult time trying to list 80 facts about my knitting!

    The bit about liquid wool wash reminded me of how during the hyperinflation of the 90s a friend of mine used fabric softener (Bohor, to be precise) as hair conditioner. She swears it's the same thing! (My humble contribution to modern folklore)

  2. Zaista sam uživala čitajući tvoj post, i moram da priznam da mi nikada ne bi toliko stvari o pletenju palo na pamet. Divno!

  3. I'm glad you liked it! I wasn't really preparing this list or anything (not did I know in advance how many facts I'll actually be able to think of)- it just came as an idea yesterday and, once I started, the facts kept popping out one by one.
    And, don't worry, misha, you won't have to fill in a questionary the next time you visit my blog! ;-)

    Hvala, bensedin art, drago mi je! ;D

  4. Aaaand, as for the softener- I did it once myself! :) I run out of hair conditioner and I was in a hurry because I had an important exam that day (I was still a student)- so I gave it a shot! :)) Oh, my!!! It really does soften the hair. Only the hair starts growing towards the sky! :) Static electricity, i gues!

    ("Good old days of crisis- there's always softener on the shelves in supermarkets but there's no hair conditioner. No plain milk but you can always find fresh chocolate milk! :) )

  5. Wow, that's a nice list. It's really interesting to see what other knitters do that I myself don't. And while we're completely different about some things, there are some quirks that we both share. It's actually comforting ;-)

  6. Hehe,yap, it's always good to know you're not the only weirdo out there! :D

  7. Fascinirana sam tvojom listom. Pogotovo, jer na nekim mjestima bila bi identična mojoj listi - prosto nevjerovatno. I ja držim nit u lijevoj ruci medju prstima (nisma dosada nikog srela sa tom tehnikom!), i takodjer imam te igle za pletneje čarapa (sa kukicom/kvačicom na jednoj strani). Moj tata jednom je napravio mojoj mami igle (sa kvačicom) od starog kišobrana :) I naravno - nikad još nisam oplela čarape... Čini mi se veoma komplikovano.
    Hvala, baš sam uživala u ovom postu!

  8. Hvala, cashmerecafe, drago mi je! (Od kišobrana??? Odddlična fora!)
    Što se držanja niti i sličnih stvarčica tiče- mislim da to ima dosta veze s istočnjačkim načinom pletenja (koje je najučestalije u ovim krajevima) jer je autentično polazište za pletenje (a ist. pletenje je sačuvalo izvorni pristup) da klupko mora stajati na podu kako bi gravitacija pomagala da se nit vuče ravno- uplitanje oko prsta bi stvorilu drugačiju tenziju. Nit pod tenzijom je u skladu s načinom izrade očuca u ist. pletenju (ne-uvrnutih u odnosu na zapadnjačke načine). Ja sam počela još jesenas malo da njuškam po tim razlikama nadajući se da ću napraviti kakav post o tome a, ispostavilo se da sam se uplela u pravo malo istraživanje razlika. Da bi sve imalo smisla, treba napraviti dosta sličica (odnosno isplesti dosta uzoraka) i istestirati razlike u bodovima (dve pletene zajedno ne daju iste rezultate u oba načina pa treba naći alternaciju i sl.

    Kad malo saberem bar osnovne razlike- postaviću par postova na blog.

    A čarape- prosto k'o pasulj! :)) Samo treba probati.

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  10. WOW, very fascinating indeed!! even though i did not understand 70% of the "professional" terms i did enjoy the post! i have found for you wool, we just need to find way how to transport it 1000 km from me to you :)))

  11. give that sheep a map and send it to me. i'll shear it. and make sure to make her a few sandwiches


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