Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Channeling Stephanie

Pearl-McPhee, that is. If you don't know who Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is, you can check out her wonderful website, Yarn Harlot, and please do pick up one of her books. She's one of those knitting gurus who also is really funny. Anyhow, I'm reading her book, Knitting Rules! (actually, I carry it with me everywhere. It has basic sock, hat, scarf, etc, patterns, tons of tips - like the average size of a 1 year old's head - and gives me something to read when I don't want to do anything else.) Anyhow, on page 98, she says this:

"Sometimes when I'm knitting I watch my hands very carefully. I highly recommend this. I've been knitting for a lot of years and I've made probably millions of stitches, but I can still be taken by surprise when I just watch my hands."

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So yesterday, I did this. I was on this section of the hat that had a few rows where no fancy cabling had to be done; I could just stitch and pay attention to my hands. I knew that I didn't hold my yarn like all the books tell you to, I just grip it with my pinkie, ring and middle finger of my left hand, which probably slows me down a bit. Try as I might, I just can't switch to "the right way." But I didn't know that when I knit, the yarn rides over my pointer finger and when I purl I quickly switch the yarn so that it rides under my thumb. And with my right hand, when I knit, I use my pointer finger to first pull the live stitch off; when I purl, my right thumb does this job. There's a lot more, but it was really interesting to watch my hands work. When you've been knitting for a while, your hands just know what to do, no thought is involved. It's a visceral thing; I've come to the point where I really dont have to watch what I'm doing when I'm working on a stockingette or garter stitch. But my hands did these intricate motions that I wasn't even aware of. It was cool. Thanks, Stephanie!

Blog Resolution #1:

Adding to my previous post (which I don't know how I can duplicate - I got SO much positive feedback), I have made a few resolutions. The first resolution came courtesy of Erin Wallace (yes, we share a name!) of Bluebirdbaby, this amazingly wonderful blog featured in Artful Blogging. Erin did this wonderful series of posts called "30 Days of Happiness" where she took pictures of times that made her happy and wrote about them. I'm not going to try to duplicate this, as I have always felt it a recipe for disaster when you try to remake something that is already so near to perfection. But what I did like was the idea of taking pictures of things that make you happy. So I've made the resolution to take a picture a day, whether it's good or bad, in an effort to take better pictures. I'm considering taking a community photography class. I don't have a Big Fancy camera and my pictures seem to be perennially fuzzy. I also love photos that have a darkened, aged quality, or those that seem to have that filtered light quality. I predict that the majority of the first pictures that I take won't end up on this blog, but here's my first, that I highly edited using photobucket. It's ok. It certainly isn't what I'm shooting for, but again, it's all a learning process, isn't it?

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Now, this photo I LOVE. I copied it to my album on photobucket, and I don't know who to credit it to. But I'd love to know how to take a picture like this. . .

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or like this

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So that's Resolution #1. Stay tuned for more progress!

2 comments:

kate said...

I was actually just thinking that it would be fun to do a video post showing how my hands knit! Is this something you would be able to do? Most point and shoot cameras have a short video function.

It's so funny you mention Bluebirdbaby! She actually lives in my hometown, and is the one that really inspired me to blog! I saw her blog and thought "Oh. A person in real life can make a blog that is this beautiful, why can't I?" I can't wait to see your photos of the day!

Erin Wallace said...

I think it'd be cool to do a video showing your hands. I'm not sure how it could be done - I guess someone could hold the camera over your shoulder. I can do video for a long time on my camera, the picture just isn't that good. I'm thinking that I might need a better camera, although I don't have the cash to go get one right now.

Bluebirdbaby rocks! Wonderful website; something that I strive for.

For those of you whose comments aren't here - I accidentally deleted some comments. They are much appreciated!

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