It’s February, the month of love, appreciating African-American History, and groundhogs. I thought I just saw that it was also National Sock Knitting Month, but can’t track down that source.
There are so many ways to show your love for others, and I hope you’ll be doing acts of kindness to those around you in the next week or two, but now that the holidays are well and truly over and spring gardening won’t start for a while, February is the perfect time to get deeper acquainted with our favorite lifestyle, the knitting one.
1) Knit something you really want. Now is the time to choose the best yarn your budget can handle and cast on that shawl, sweater or sock set you’ve been eyeing on Ravelry for so long. Forget the yarn that’s been languishing in stash that you feel you should use because “it’s only for me.” You deserve the best. Yarn that won’t pill, a color that looks great on you, enough yarn to finish the project… Now go out and get it. I’ll wait!
If your stash is truly epic and full of luxury fibers, give yourself a little splurge on new stitch markers, a row counter or a yarn bowl. Whatever will give you the confidence you need to try that project you’ve secretly wanted to make for yourself.
2) Challenge yourself. Learning a new technique satisfies like no candy bar can. Whether it’s turning a heel, crossing a cable or putting in set-in sleeve for the first time, jitters and a mistake or two give way to understanding, then mastery, then you feel like a million bucks!
Then you run into a knitter who’s been wanting to try that technique, and you find yourself saying, “Oh, it’s no problem! Here, let me show you…”
Of course, the Ravellenics, which start tonight, is the perfect forum to try something new and bathe in the support of literally thousands of other knitters. I myself am poised to cast on Argo, by Svetlana Volkova, and attempt the Contiguous Method of sweater construction for the first time. I’m kind of nervous, but Amy D is doing contiguous along with me, and I’ve read through the pattern pretty carefully. We’ll be part of Team Sasquatch, for any knitting podcast listeners.
If you want to learn a new technique but aren’t sure where to start, your LYS is always a great resource if you have one. Then there’s YouTube: basically, if you type in the name of the technique you want to try, you’re almost guaranteed to find a helpful video. Craftsy offers many online classes from world-class teachers, so that’s a good place to try if your LYS ifs a hundred miles away.
soon you will be a real hat
3) Triumph over a WIP
If you’re the kind of person who knits only one project until it’s done, never wavering, then you are amazing, and should clone yourself. You should also finish up whatever you’re working on and see Number One above.
If you’re like most mortal knitters, then you probably have a project tucked away somewhere (or, if you’re like me, about seven in a basket under my desk, where I could pull one out right now). Do yourself a favor and get one of these out of your hair. Remember, deciding to frog the project counts! You still 86 the guilt, and bonus, you now have free yarn for another day.
Did you abandon the project because you hit a stopping point? I have a glove that was going merrily along the cabled cuff until I got to the palm section and needed to actually read a chart. Assess what it would take to get this WIP up and running again. Do you need to add some stitch markers, highlight the numbers for your size on the chart, find of buy a cable needle, or set aside a couple of evenings of quiet time for counting? Get out your notions and your calendar, and make a date to get that project on its feet.
Did you finish it? Way to go! Now refer to Number One, above.
4) Give it Away
I feel like knitters in general do a good job of this, but there’s no doubt that knitting for people in need is a double score, helping keep someone warm and giving you that deep-down good feeling that comes from unselfish acts. Lion Brand has an excellent list of organizations you can help with, whether it’s warming a preemie’s head, giving a schoolchild mittens or blankets to a homeless family.
Take care, stay warm, and knit like the wind,