On the Needles : Basics Basics Basics Lesson 2

In my last post I implied that the real fun started with my TKGA experience with Lesson 2 of the Basics Basics Basics correspondence course. 

Partly, this is because I am a huge nerd. No, actually, this is entirely because I am a huge nerd and both of these lessons allowed me a "peak behind the curtain" of the "why" and "how" behind different knitting techniques. It allowed me to see why some directions list one thing while another set lists another. It allowed me a chance to demystify some techniques I had always wondered about  {"How DOES one knit a v-neck sweater that has two divergent directions?" "Why DO handmade and machine made garments look different?" "What is all this talk about GAUGE?"}. 

The best part of the learning was the de-mystification didn't take the joy out of it. Instead, it increased the magic. It showed me that things can be greater than the sum of their parts.

Read on to see the specifics.

Lesson Two was about decreases, but it also taught me how one makes v-neck sweaters {swatch 5, 6, and 7} and why certain decreases are used in lace instead of others {check out the last swatch and you will see that the middle stitches below the yarnover holes are all arranged differently}.

It also taught me to not be a cheapy and to buy proper finishing pins. {Swatch 5 and 6 have tiny punkers around their edges because I used sewing pins to block them and they don't distribute their weight as well as the "good pins".} 

But the brightest light bulb moment of Lesson Two is that I finally started keeping a legitimate knitting "diary". For Lesson One, I made-do by writing my how-to's on the margins of the course notes. But this time, I would start a new section of my notebook and write down exactly what I did on each swatch. 

  • Stockinette: 6 rows.
  • k2, ssk, k14, k2tog, k2.
  • p20.
  • k2, ssk, k12, k2tog, k2.

Writing this down, it sounds utterly inane.
I wasn't actually using these swatches for anything. It's not as if my instructor would be too terribly concerned if her directions weren't followed perfectly.

But the ambiguity of the instructions, "Knit one inch of stockinette before starting decreases. Decrease until you have 14 stitches on your needles then knit one more inch in stockinette." were ambiguous to a woman who likes knitting for the rules it allows me to follow. Tell me to knit one inch and all the sudden I need to know exactly how many rows one inch is. And I also need to knit that same number of rows on the opposite side. 

In two thousand years, if humanity has managed to keep itself going that long, a future archaeologist will find my magically petrified notebooks and be convinced that she has come across an unknown language.

And that makes me smile. 

Lesson 3 coming soon.