Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Experienced

Previously, on ellaluna: babies babies babies!

Well, just the first part is about babies. After I posted the bit about designing my own patterns, and Miriam commented, (and later sent me a very helpful and informative email) I started panicking.

Do I really have the audacity to lump myself into the same category as the amazingly talented Miriam L. Felton? Do I even have the talent to do such a thing? And how dare I enter a field where so many much more talented and much more experienced designers have gone before? I've only been knitting for three years, what makes me think I have ANYTHING to offer the varied and abundant world of knitting patterns? At BEST, I've only just come over the cusp of novice. I mean I've never even knit a REAL sweater, for hecks sake! Lace makes me dizzy! My mind is still not able to fully comprehend the magic of turning a heel, and now I think I have the expertise to DESIGN a SWEATER? I must be smoking crack.

The baby argyle sweater goes into hibernation.



But I need something to do now. The yarn for the flutter scarf (coincidentally, a Miriam pattern!) has not arrived yet, and I can't find my gorgeous size 5 Lantern Moon needles to cast on for the Clapotis scarf that I am knitting for ME out of the luscious ella rae Lace Merino that I received from my "spoiler" as part of the Winter Yarn Swap on Ravelry.

So I pick up Ann Budd's "Better than Booties" baby socks pattern. Baby socks are easy, right?

I look over the three different patterns. Hmm, the Ruffle Rib socks are cute, but that's almost an entire page of knitting instructions. I wanted something easy. The Cable Rib are also nice, but since this is for a baby girl, I decide on the Chevron Lace. Only one paragraph of instructions, plus they'll look adorable in the Trekking XXL that I have left over from the Simple Trekking Socks (oh, look, another Miriam pattern!) I made for my mom last year. The colorway is heavenly and perfect for this baby, whose mother is NOT fond of the traditional soft pinks for her baby girl.

I start easily enough, and before I know it, I've done a folded picot edge. Wow. This is a TOTALLY new thing for me, and I just love the way it looks. I admire it for a few minutes before diving in to the lace pattern.

Crap. The lace pattern doesn't come with instructions, only a chart. I've never knitted from a chart before. Oh well, it's a very short chart, I'm sure I can figure it out. I start in on it, and it makes perfect sense. Ok, cool. Wow! Before long I've memorized the pattern and I'm knitting merrily along.

Oops. Forgot something. The Trekking likes to split. A LOT. Especially with lace patterns. And I'm knitting such a tight gauge that it gets especially splitty when I'm doing the SSK (sorry, non-knitters, I know I'm using a lot of completely foreign terms today!) It's while negotiating the "K" part of an SSK that my needle breaks in half. This has never happened to me before.

After staring in horror for a few seconds (that seem like minutes) at the two halves of my needle, I pick up my nail file and file the broken edges into a point. I soon find that these little needle stubs are actually PERFECT for the little lace patterns.

I eventually get to the heel, and see this:

Heel: Work as for Ruffle Rib socks.

Hm, okay. I turn the page back, and there is the page of instructions I was avoiding. At this point I can only laugh. I'm too far along to go back now.

It takes a little while, but I get the hang of it, and it's actually starting to LOOK like something. People walking by my little low-walled cubby (oh, did I mention that I'm doing this in between calls at work?) are actually stopping in their tracks and heaping praise on my meager efforts. Quite frankly, I'm kind of thrilled.


When I get to the toe, and read that I need to go back to the instructions for the heel and do the same thing, I'm completely unfazed. I blithely flip back to the page where the instructions begin. It is then, and only then, that I glance up and see three tiny words:

SKILL LEVEL: Experienced

4 comments:

Nancy said...

Congrats! I think the difference between you and a regular "novice" knitter is the artist part. See, we can figure out things way beyond said skill level simply because we can visualize them and the big picture. Go YOU! Why aren't you worthy to put your own patterns out there?

Kim said...

It looks great! I think although you've only been knitting three years, you've really been doing it about 12 because you spend HOURS and HOURS per day. I am sure it has added up. SO congrats - you're an expert!

Nancy said...

Tagged you on my blog!

Julie said...

That's gorgeous! Maybe you just needed to challenge yourself ;) Like all those kids who do poorly in school because they aren't 'challenged.' Not that you do poorly in the other things you knit, those are all gorgeous too... Um.... Funny story!