Speak Out: The Geeky Knitter Speaks

WhiteRabite September 16, 2011 1 Comment »

Hello everyone, I’m WhiteRabite and I’m here to round out our week of Speak Out with my geeky passion, knitting!  Yes, knitting!  I know, what’s my problem?  Knitting doesn’t have a great reputation, even in the wider geeky circles.  It’s become more trendy in the last five years, but the popular image of knitting is still seen as something ladies in classic literature do while waiting for the more interesting people to arrive, or as grandmas creating deeply hideous jumpers to give to their grandkids.  So what’s knitting’s attraction to me?

It’s all about creation!  The urge to create is a pretty deep one in humans.  We want to leave our mark on the world around us and the people around us (hopefully in a positive way), and there are few things more satisfying than taking a raw material and creating something new from it.  There are few things more satisfying than being able to say “I’m made this.”

Sure, socks and gloves may not seem that glamorous at first, but before humans ever asked themselves “What’s out there?  Why I am here?”  they were asking themselves “Why am I so cold?  How do I keep my toes warm?” THEN they asked themselves “Can I make a cuddly dalek?”

Yup

Is knitting a cheap and easy hobby?

Protip: Don't own yarn and cats

Well, what you get out of any hobby is equal to what you put into it.  Some people never go beyond using a size 7 needle and worsted yarn from Hobby Lobby to make scarves and that’s fine!  There’s no finish line to knitting and you’re allowed to dabble.  However, if you really want to push yourself, than no, knitting isn’t any cheaper or easier than any other hobby.  Want needles to go below size 5?  Want sport or DK-size yarn?  Want to know what those words even mean?  Then you’re going to need to start checking out local knitting stores, taking lessons and talking to other knitters.  I’ll be honest, knitting definitely has a learning curve.  Lace knitting laughs at your pain.  Enterlac will defy reason the first time you pick it up.  And one tangled skein can ruin an hour’s work

Shawls made for grandmas = 2x amazing

But the nice thing is that there’s always something to learn and something new to master and someone new to talk to you about mastering it.  All those things I just named?  Some other knitter picked them up in a second and is scrabbling at the keyboard, eager to tell me how to do them in an easier, more approachable manner (Hi Lauren!). Just like I love helping people figure out Fair Isle knitting.  If you’re willing to do the work, you can make something pretty amazing!

 

So knitting has a community?
Yup, just like any other geeky community, knitters love other knitters.  Stitch and bitches are common across the country and it’s not hard to find one at a local library, coffee shop or knitting shop.  Some groups create projects for charity, some are all about sharing techniques (and wine) and others are about such diverse projects as yarn-bombing or The Happiness Project.  If you’re looking for conversation and company, knitting is a great hobby to pick up.  Just a word of advice though, most stores sell tutoring lessons.  So if your project is truly fubar, or if you’re visiting during business hours and not open-knit hours… well, don’t be the guy at the party forcing the medical student to look at his rash.

From the book "Creepy Cute Crochet" by Christen Haden

What about crochet, you jerk?
Hey,don’t get me wrong!  I love crochet.  I’m just not that good at it yet and probably shouldn’t be making any broad statements about it.  That doesn’t mean I don’t realize the awesome geeky power of it!

How do I get started?
If you’ve never knitted, I recommend checking out your local knitting stores.  Most offer classes and give discounts on class supplies.  A few of my favorite websites are:
www.ravelry.com (A humongous community of knitters and crocheters  Need free patterns?  Need advice?  Need to brag on something you made?  Rav’s got it all)
http://knittinghelp.com (a website with a very friendly forum and a ton of video references for the inexperienced knitter)
knitty.com (lovely free patterns to inspire you)
craftzine.com (a creative blog, showcasing professional artists, tutorials and all sorts of ideas that anyone can do)

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One Comment

  1. CeramicatNo Gravatar February 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    I’ve been knitting since I was in High School. I taught myself how to knit with a “How to knit” book, now I’m making intarsia and faire isle knits. But I’ve had 30 years to practice!

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