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Stockinette equals boring. But first, a hat!

June 20, 2006

I decided to cast on for a baby hat. I bought the pattern a long time ago and have knit it five times. Once for Jerry and four for "the cousins." This will be the sixth time. It is a Fiber Trends pattern called Ear Cozies. I'm using KnitPicks (did you know they are selling needles now??!!) Merino Style yarn that I have leftover from making this blanket. Okay! Enough with the linkages!

Maggie tried it on just a moment ago:
hat-for-jill.JPG

I am using purple, yellow and green. The colors aren't officially called that. They're asparagus and cornflower and something-or-other I can't remember. I'm not loving the colors/sequence, I kind of like it and don't really hate it. We'll see when I get along a little farther. And really, the sequence is being dictated by the leftovers. Although I would love an ultra-purpley hat for the intended little girl, I just don't have but a wee ball of the purple.

One of the main things I like about this pattern is something that's not even there. I think it is so gosh darn adorable to add a teeny i-cord at the top of the hat, about an inch long, of about four stitches. Like here (short row hat), but for a baby. I can't wait to get to the top.
Other items:

I'm still planning for Jerry's boy sweater. I have this thing where I go to my local library and borrow as many knitting books as I can carry. I can get quite a few considering I'm also carrying that humpa-lumpa of a woman pictured above. I get the same books over and over. Sometimes I read them. Sometimes I just flip through. Sometimes I copy the pattern (I mean, not actually copy, since that would be breaking laws, right?). It's a healthy obsession, as long as I return them on time which I usually do. As a new knitter, I used to look for books that had easy, shiny things. Now I borrow absolutely anything that I haven't had before. This morning I saw Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns and snatched it up. While perusing the intro, I read this:

Stockinette stitch is the canvas of the knitting artist. Upon either one of its two surfaces, knit or purl, the creative knitter arranges and displays her designs. Like canvas, it is a universal background for the play of line, shape, color, and texture. Though it may appear in large areas of a garment, it should not be used unrelieved for the entire garment. All-over plain stockinette stitch is dull to look at and boring to work, even for the beginner. Though it may be done entirely by hand, it lacks the inimitable flavor of hand-knitting. A machine can make it very nicely, but the hand-knitter is not a machine and should not try to imitate one.

Point taken. "But it's just a boy sweater," I say. "I don't want it to be fussy and girly." The intro continues…

This being so, there is no reason to spend the time and care of hand-knitting on a garment of stockinette stitch. It is a waste of both. The finished garment, which ought to display the knitter's taste and skill, displays nothing but poverty of invention. There are hundreds of easy pattern stitches with which the beginner can put that essential touch of originality into her garments. The beginner should learn to use some of them right away; this is the only route to real mastery of the subject of knitting. It doesn't take much-just a simple pattern or two, either all over the garment or in panel formation. With just a few lines, provided they are well-chosen and well-placed, the plain canvas becomes a work of art.

Well, Barbara G. Walker, you have me convinced. My quest to master the subject of knitting, while still in its infant stages, has begun. Jerry's boy sweater will have a cable!

The planning in my head continues…cable swatching begins…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 25, 2006 3:56 pm

    I love the colors on the Ear Cozies hat! Very girly, because of that little bit of purple, but funky and fun and bright. And Maggie looks great in it.

    By the way, I found your site through your sister Holly. We all worked together in Denali in 1999. Glad to be able to catch up on what you’re doing these days. The family is lovely.

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