Old Knitter -- New Tricks.
One day, my friend Abi and I were discussing our childhood adventures into Home Economics.
Home Economics was considered a science then .......... and an exact science at that. During the Cold War --- science was king, even in our homes. Exact measurements when we baked a cake -- recipes were the rule. We stitched perfectly even hems as we sewed a skirt. Stitches were exactly the same measurement apart. And you held the needle exactly as you were taught. And if you didn't ......... you weren't doing it right. Right was the operative word. Everything had to be correct.
I guess it made for perfection and blue ribbons.......... but the cost was creativity. And who determined what was correct?
And now I am middle-aged (YIKES!!!! EXACTLY when did that happen???) And I want to wear purple. No! Not really.......... but I am discovering the freedom of the new designers in knitting and sewing and cooking. They may not hold a needle right but they have no qualms in creating a new sweater or sock or hat pattern. They grab some yarn -- some needles -- and let their creativity fly. Look at all the designers on Ravelry. There are no editors saying ..... "looks nice in a size 8 sweater but doesn't translate well to a size 14!" These freedom-fighters are creating fabulous patterns with great new techniques because they have the guts to try them. They are not tied to conventional way of "holding a needle".
So in 8" of knitting -- 45 little stitches -- I learned 3 new techniques! Wow.
First of all -- I learned how to do a cable cast on. Elizabeth Zimmerman loved this method of casting on because there was no right or wrong side. I love it because it doesn't waste yarn-- and I'm not froggin' my cast-on stitches because I didn't have a long enough tail.
I've made a lot of mittens over the years (I've been knitting about ........ well, Johnson was President! NO ....not Andrew!) But I have never used waste yarn to make the thumb. Always stitch holders. 12" of yarn -- ya pull it out and pick up the stitches. How easy was that????
And finally -- I did a picot bind off. I think that can be the perfect edging for a top-down sweater -- a sweet little hem on sleeves.
So ......... one pattern ........... one skein of yarn. Three new tricks. Not bad for an old gal.
Don't worry, Honey............ I still can't make coffee!