Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gauge Is For Wussies

This Natalie Dee cartoon, "paid for by the making shitty sweaters association" was forwarded to me by non-knitter and fellow fountain pen fiend, the one and only grump, Bleubug. Click on image for larger view.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Knitting Tutorial Videos

I notice from my Feedjit widget that many folks visit my blog via the Knitting Tutorials on Youtube entry a looong time ago. An entire year later, I checked my entry out again, and realize the information I shared then was useful, but quite limited. Let me update it with this list of favorite tutorials:

The KnitWitch has a great variety of tutorials, from casting on to binding off, Magic Loop, knitting backwards and other very useful basic and not-so-basic techniques. I like her videos because she explains things well, has a good contrast between knitting and background, her videos are filmed with decent lighting and reasonably clear focus (as in not blurred, despite the realities of video compression), and her demonstration speed does not create anxiety or frustration in the knitter. Goes straight to the meat of the topic. Exactly what you need when you don't have your favorite knitting bible nearby but happen to be in front of the pc.

Cat Bordhi, who gave us the "knitting with two circular needles" technique, also has a number of very useful tutorials. If you knit Continental and want to learn useful stitches, this Youtube channel would be very useful for you. She chats rather than just instructs, and uses biggish yarn so that we can see clearly where things go. She also provides a summary at the end of each video, and especially where she splits technique videos into two parts. If you knit socks using Magic Loop or two circulars, many of her tutorials will be quite useful. As a sock knitter, I read patterns beforehand to figure out if there were techniques I needed to brush up on. I like that Cat explains how to make things even or neater-looking (I am filled with hope that I don't have to do much finishing because the work already looks neat the first time around).

There a million other knitting tutorials on Youtube, but I realize that

1) I prefer spoken word audio. Music should be discreet or be faded out in a timely manner.
2) I like having a contrast between background and yarn color so I can see clearly.
3) I appreciate summaries at the end of videos.
4) Judicious close-ups are wonderful, especially if it's a discussion-type demo between two people.

The last item describes Knitting Daily TV tutorial videos demonstrated by Interweave Knits' Eunny Jang. I have Jinky to thank for showing me the Estonian lace nupp tutorial episode featuring Eunny with knitting historian Nancy Bush.

Also on my list is Knitpicks on Youtube. Or you can visit their website directly.

There are many videos uploaded on Youtube daily, but some are are posted to display their makers' idiosyncracies than to actually teach something useful. This short list of ACTUAL USEFUL tutorial channels ought to help you avoid hair-pulling frustration and maintain your sense of humor for real life interaction. Of course, patience and diligent searching will produce tutorials to fit your particular needs.

Happy knitting!

Sending Some Love

To every person who works hard at their craft and reaps warm regard, I send love. To those who feel doubt that they will finish what they started, I send love and encouragement. To those who feel inadequate and are afraid to start, I send you love, and love of learning. To those who worry they can't afford to do things or feel they don't have the time or support, I send love and the Universe's abundance. To those who make mistakes I send love and the willingness to start all over and do right. To those who feel frustrated and angry, I send love and more love. To those who feel pain because they do too much of what they love, I send love and awareness of the need for balance. To those who suffer the unkindness of others, I send love and strength. To those who feel timid, I send love and a sense of adventure. To those who feel sad, I send love, friendship and ice cream. To those who are happy, I send love and opportunities to spread the joy.

I have been all of these. Thank you for everything. Now let's send love to Ste