Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something I Perspire - I Mean Aspire - to

Is there a pattern or skill that you don't yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant?

by Anne Ball

Shyness is not a problem for me with knitting. This never ceases to surprise me because in my non-knitting life I am timid. I'm afraid to try new things because I'm not creative enough, smart enough, athletic enough, coordinated enough -- you get the picture. But show me something that involves needle and thread and I am 100% sure, sure, sure that I can do it. It doesn't matter that there are quite a few patterns and stitches that I have never figured out. It doesn't matter that I can cast-on and rip something out thirty or forty times and never get it. I KNOW that given enough time I can figure it out. Oh, yes. I am completely over confident and fearless when it comes to knitting. I flinch at nothing in the knitting world except - and I'm starting to hyperventilate now - weaving in the ends of cast-on threads, weaving in the ends of cast-off threads, weaving in more ends in the middle of pieces, and every Freaking Thing that has to do with Weaving In The Ends.

I have even steeked without breaking out in a cold hard sweat. Yes. I have to admit my heart fluttered ever so slightly when I did it, but really, how much damage can one do when cutting up several months of knitting? I knew I could do it. The Norwegians do it all the time. And I was taught to knit by a Norwegian. Steeking, shmeeking. The blessed thing about steeking is that all those irritating ends are captured in the seam and can't show. You can just snip them off and knit or crochet a nice edging over them. Pure heaven.

I just finished a scarf for Uncle Fred. See the picture? Not bad, huh? Not a particularly difficult pattern. I added an icord edge just because it made it the sides look neater. But holy cow I had to use TWO skeins of yarn for the scarf. That made for a total of FOUR ends of yarn I had to weave in. One at the beginning. Two in the middle where I ended one skein and added another. And one at the end. FOUR FREAKING ENDS. Note that I did't take a photo to show where I wove in the ends. That would be too humiliating. That lump of poorly woven-in yarn will undoubtedly sprout fraying ends before too long. My only consolation is I know Uncle Fred would be too polite to say anything about the mess (Thank you, Uncle Fred!)

My knitting friends don't seem to share this fear. I look at their finished projects and never see lumps or ends poking out. What is their secret? I must find out. I must wipe off this excess perspiration and get over this silly fear of weaving in the ends. This is my promise to myself. This year I will look those fraying yarn ends in the, er, end and learn how to hide them nice and snug in my knitted creation. I will seek out a teacher, a drill sergeant, someone with lots of patience who is willing to push me. And I will learn from them. I will practice and practice again. I will conquer the ends and become completely fearless. I hope.

To see other blogs participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blogging Week and also posting on this same topic today, enter " 2KCBWDAY6 " without the quotation marks into your search engine and browse the results.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Anne, Thanks so much for this. Every knitter I know has had this experience - but you write about it so well. Now that I've finally overcome my fear of "end-weaving" I'm happy to help you and anyone else if I can. Might even be an opportunity for a Guild Workshop.