26. January 2010 09:00
I remember what it was like when I first discovered online knitting resources.
I have mentioned to folks before, how in my hometown "yarn" was almost always acrylic... "wool" was "Briggs and Little" or "MacAuslands" products... and "patterns" were found in the yarn aisle and consisted of leaflets from Patons and Bernat. There were a couple of Local Yarn Stores that came and went, but most of the locals knit exclusively with acrylic basic yarns so that's what products they carried.
I started knitting using products like Patons Canadiana, and Bernat Super Saver yarns... not that there is anything wrong with these things, they were sturdy and reasonably priced. The garments made from them lasted and were satisfactory. I learned to make the same afghans and mittens and socks that my Mother and Grandmother had made. My influences were fairly limited. I knew nothing of designers, hot new yarns, the wonders of wool, what handspun yarns felt like, the joys of hand painted and fancy colored yarns. The yarns we had came from department stores basically. So whatever the stores stocked was what we were exposed to - ewww to the eyelash yarn craze of the 90s.
Enter the Internet. This unbelievable new resource has opened so many doors for me, and many other artists alike, in many different venues. It was like a veil had been removed from my eyes - and the things I saw were so awe inducing that I could sit and look at the beautiful things other people had made for hours. Often I did.
I had never really tried knitting with real "wool"... my only experiences up to that point involved the old fashioned wool that my mom used to hook rugs with. It was good quality sturdy product, but too itchy for making any garments with in my own opinion. I didn't like the way it felt. To me seemed that wool must be itchy, and I didn't like that.
After being introduced to photos of beautiful yarns like Noro, Cascade 220 (which apparently to everyone else is a staple), handpainted sock yarns, Merino, Angora, Alpaca, and many other lovely wools - I decided to try ordering some things online. From that point I was hooked. And I wondered how I could have missed out on lovely experiences like Malabrigo and fancy Silk and Tencel yarns for so much of my life.
At work the other day... a lady saw me knitting at the lunchroom table... I was using some lovely Brightly Colored Merino Sock yarn in a fingering weight - Blues and Purples - working on one of Cookie A's new patterns - "Kai-Mei"
Whattttt are you makinggggg! she said with amazement....
Fast forward a week later after our first knitting conversation... she pops by my cubicle and asks if she can get my help with something. So I follow her back to her desk and sure enough she has purchased the exact book I had been using that day (oops, I might have told her where she can buy the books) and has a nice skein of self striping fingering wool that she found at the only local store here who sells such things (oops, I might have mentioned the name of the store in passing) and she was looking for confirmation that she was interpreting a stitch correctly.
I think I might have corrupted another neighbor. OOPS. lol.
Speaking of Yarn-Loving Neighbors... It would be nice to see where all of the lovely encouraging comments come from. Please comment - Have you corrupted any of your knitting neighbors? Where are you from?