Thursday, February 4, 2010

I am a poor purler and a cheater

I admit it: I am a poor purler! Here is my rendition of the superb pattern by Jackie of JL Yarnworks: Hermione's Cable & Eyelet Hat. It took me over a year to screw up the courage to try this hat. Why? Because I was a poor purler. Yes, you read it right: poor purler. Why so poor a purler? Well, let's go back about 35 years to 4-H, where I learned to knit. I had a lovely teacher who was an accomplished knitter. I do not blame her for my weird purling habit. First of all, I never gained the dexterity needed to hold both needles up at the same time. Well, what do you do with the other needle? You stick it between your thighs! Weird, huh? Yep, I let my thighs hold the left hand needle while I knit or purled the stitches off holding the right needle. So, a year ago when I decided to start knitting again, I knew it was time to grow up and hold the needles correctly. It took several garter stitch projects to get the hang of it, but I did it! Then I made some projects requiring purling. Although my stitches looked ok, I could feel that I wasn't purling effectively and quickly. So I looked up purling on You Tube. I am a continental style knitter, German style, if you will. I love it. It's efficient and fast. So, the Hermione Hat is my first knitting project where I knit and purled correctly the whole project. It turned out better than I expected.

Now, I also confess that I am a cheater! I have a lot of knitting hangups to get over and using double pointed needles is one of them. So....when this project decreased to the point of needing dpns I used a 9" circular! Bet you didn't know they even make these little babies! Well, unfortunately for me, 9" is still too big to go all the way down to 5 little stitches. So I cheated. I ended early. There it is. I feel so much better for telling you! I ran the yarn around and back twice when there were still 10 stitches left! You can't even tell, can you?

So, this project was a real milestone for me. Here's my list of brave deeds for this project: purling correctly; yarnovers; and cables. I guess making this project made me braver for whatever is to come next. I'm not afraid of endless stockinette stitch now and maybe instead of calling it cheating, I'll call my compromising efforts innovative coping strategies.

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