I periodically read some of the online knitting email lists. I have subscribed to a couple of them for quite some time. I read them sporadically, post a question now and then when I’m stuck, and answer a question on the even rarer occasion when I know the answer to something. I tend to read blogs more, both for entertainment and to keep up with what other knitters are doing.
Every once in a while I get terribly annoyed at one or another of the lists. One such list, which shall remain nameless, has had an ongoing thread for several days regarding what makes a real knitter. Are you a real knitter if you slavishly follow patterns every time? Are you a real knitter if you only knit with novelty yarns or acrylic? Or are you a Real Knitter only if you design your own pieces from scratch without any software or pattern assistance, and only if you use 100% wool yarn? If you carry this to extremes, you are only a Real Knitter if you raise your own sheep, shear them yourself, and spin the wool into yarn. Of course you would dye the yarn yourself also.
The messages finally trickled off after one lister posted that she thought you were a real knitter if you knew which end of the knitting needle is up. (That’s a paraphrase of her comment.)
I write about this because I am currently knitting a scarf out of orange novelty yarn. Now I think of myself of a real knitter. I have made socks. I’ve done cables and Fair Isle. (OK, the Fair Isle was a pair of baby socks to fit a 1 month old infant, but, still.) I’ve knit in every state and country I’ve ever visited in the last five years. Knitting borders on being an obsession with me. I used to have just a touch of snobbishness when I saw not-real knitters making endless scarves out of novelty yarn, in any color.
I am a snob no longer. Knitting with polyester novelty yarn, especially in a color so orange it makes your teeth hurt, is not as easy as it looks. The yarn slips and slides around on the needles. It i painfully easy to drop stitches or do unintentional yarn-overs with this stuff. And it is not particularly exciting to knit garter stitch in an endless rectangle. I thought that a garter stitch scarf would be an easy project and that I could watch the season finale of “24” while knitting. Hah. You have to look at every stitch you do with this.
Lucy seems to think this yarn is related to her. It might be the color, or the long feathers attached to it, but she keeps trying to bond with it, so I can’t leave it out anywhere in between rows.
Here are some pictures of the work in progress. You might note that I am using vintage plastic needles from Australia, color coordinated, of course. That makes me a little more of a Real Knitter, right?
I’m calling it a boa; sounds more sophisticated than “orange polyester scarf”.