I do still knit... although most of the time it is washcloths and dishtowels - just because they are easy and always useful. Then there was that pair of gloves last year that have still proved extremely useful,Esme's sweater jacket, my knitted wool vest, both of our scarves and hats, a pair of slippers for me (one for her she never liked) and half of a pair of knee-high socks for me (still working on the other one bit by bit). It does feel nice to have things that are 'mine' through and through - I made them and I use them etc.
I was just out and about the internet looking for other things that could be similarly useful. It is getting hard to get excited about any of the patterns -- mostly because I don't follow them. I only use them for inspiration and rewrite what I actually knit into 'pseudocode' like the crochet hat below. I really love wool as a working material, but use more of the items made of acrylic and cotton... There was a belt I made on a doorframe back in Fargo way back when - of Norway Svale and wool over a base of cotton warp (weaving) - and I am still wearing that belt once in a while now. I wonder if there is any stitch I could knit and out of what material that would be as durable.
Saw these patterns out there that are quite inspiring:
- Apis Dorsata at Knitty 'Deep Fall' 2011 .. nice texture on an otherwise simple and functional shape.
- Potter craft hooded scarf, too much texture but the shape might be useful. The hooded scarf I made last year had one drawback - it is made of wool and needs to be washed now. And, I hate to wash the wool. I should have used superwash! Oh well.
- really cute octopus toy, ok it isn't 'useful' but it is darn cute.
- Amanda Lilley designs : very nice knee high pattern and a few others, too.
- Yarnigans toy patterns: I love the Marisol the mouse pattern, and Esme does, too. She asked me: 'You will build me a mouse?'
things on the needles still:
- that second knee-high sock
- a garter stitch blanket that is about 5/8 done and in no hurry.. it is a fill time project. I do wish it didn't keep my circular needle hostage, but apparently not enough of a wish to work faster or get another one.
- almost always a washcloth somewhere.. I have one on the needles now that is essentially done, but not tied off
- A scarfy thing in off-white acrylic... I'm playing with a few textures on it but not committed to anything. This is the 'project' that made me wish for something more useful yet not 'complicated and requires a pattern' to work for.
I also picked up a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac at a booksale a while back... paging through it. I identify with her pattern writing style 'pithy instructions' et al...
Knitting Pseudocode: I made up this term back in 2000 or so to describe what I 'think' in knitting that is nothing like how actual knitting patterns are written. It takes knowing a little about how things are structured but doesn't require following anything line for line - where I tend to get lost in the trees and lose the idea of the forest. Hopefully the way my patterns 'skip ahead' assuming the knitter has a 'whole picture' in mind doesn't lose someone else who requires that detail. But, then.. that is what the 'usual' patter system was designed for. My worsted weight gloves pattern (at sovereignit) is a perfect example.
The crocheted skull cap hat in pseudocode : found a sizeable ball of acrylic in my collection and a size K crochet hook. Crocheted a chain of seven and then joined it, crocheted around increasing by crocheting two in one stitch every four to six stitches... really felt my way did not follow any pattern with it at all - made it 'round' to fit the top of my head, then stopped increasing and just crocheted straight around until it came down over my ears. Perfect hat. I've had several people compliment it on the way in and out of work already... it looks simple but useful.