Monday, October 4, 2010

A Knitting Challenge

I started this blog a few years ago when a friend asked me to fix/re-size a hand-knit sweater she had received from her pen pal in Norway. That was a stress-inducing success, thanks to the helpful comments of other knitting bloggers.

Since then, I have fixed all kinds of knitting for lots of knitters. Mostly, that's what I do at Knit Night anymore -- we have our show and tell, I give a little lesson and a pattern, but then it's fix-it time.

I love to tink back and pick up the dropped stitches or make the inadvertently added stitches disappear. Untangling the knits from the purls. Offering the advice I've learned through my own trial and error. And I love hearing a friend's sigh of relief when we get stitches back on the needles, ready to proceed again once the mistake is fixed.

Of course, I'm not always successful -- sometimes there's nothing to be done but rip back. I hate giving that news to a knitter; I try to keep the moment light by recounting the thousands of stitches I ripped out on my Pi Shawl, but I know I have seen tears.

Popular requests at Knit Night are the repair of a beloved piece or recreation of a vintage pattern. Knitters (and non-knitters!) often bring in a piece of work or a faded hand-written pattern and ask if I can fix it or re-create it. That's what happened last Thursday, when my high school friend, Teresa, brought me Christmas stockings her grandmother had knit for Teresa, her siblings and her children. Her grandmother has passed away, but Teresa would like to have a matching stocking for her daughter-in-law. So, because I love both Teresa and a challenge, I am giving it a try. Here are the originals:

In case I'm not around when Teresa adds to her family (and stocking collection) again, I've been writing down everything I'm doing; if I do knit another one for her, I will thank myself then! Luckily, grandma had charted out the Santa; I just worked out the ribbing and name section. I am using worsted weight acrylic yarns (Vanna's Choice and Red Heart) as I could get the right colors and feel, and a bit of angora for the beard that I found at Mass Ave. last week (grandma had specified angora!) I'm no pro at intarsia, but I've gotten through the Santa part ok; my task now is to figure out the heel flap placement. I asked at Mass Ave., and they seemed to think it would be easy: simply join the stocking sides to knit in the round and proceed from there just like a sock. I didn't tell them I'm not much of a sock knitter. But luckily, Linda at Knit Night is, and if I can't get this figured out by the 14th, I know she will be able to.

Since this is a knitting post, here's my first addition to the basket -- a pink circular dishcloth.


1 comment:

  1. I'm working on a similar project - one of my grandmother's friends had stockings made by someone years ago, and has asked me to make more for the upcoming great-grandchildren. Fortunately, she kept the pattern set and the yarn descriptions, so it's a fair bit easier! (Although I do have a sample stocking from which to copy the original tweaks etc.) From the looks of your pictures, it appears to be a pattern from the same line -- same colors, same angora use, same size, etc... enjoy!