Saturday, February 20, 2016

Good read

This is a good "read" and a lot of it applies to weaving.  I especially liked the comment about it not actually being cheaper to knit your own, since I disagree, in part.  Making your own, well, yes, good yarn is not cheap, HOWEVER, you do end up with something unique, beautiful, fits you, and will last a heckuva lot longer.  I am still wearing clothing I knitted or sewed for myself as long as 40 years ago...seriously, I am..I have some lovely Liberty of London items I made just that long ago...I've kept them safe from too much exposure to light and they still look lovely.  I used patterns that don't really go in and out of style.  Be careful with light and moths..and aware that storing fabrics in cardboard or in wooden drawers that are not sealed, you risk acid damage.  (ever see a bride who wants to wear the family gown hauling out grandma's wedding dress from the cardboard box where her mom put it after HER wedding and finding big yellow spots all over it? It's not pretty!  Thankfully, there are conservators who can save the day, but, spend some money on acid-free storage and you won't have THAT huge bill!!)
copied and pasted:

10 Common Knitting Myths Exposed

Knitters can be a superstitious bunch – from the sweater curse to old wives’ tales about supposed knitting hacks, there’s a lot of misinformation hanging around. Check out these 10 knitting myths, exposed!

1. You must wind every ball of yarn

It’s true that yarns that come in a hank need to be rewound to avoid a big messy tangle of yarn. But these days, many yarn suppliers wind the yarn in a way that can be used as-is, no winding necessary. That said, many knitters insist on having a center pull ball of yarn, and that’s okay too!

2. The words ”wool” and ”yarn” are interchangeable

This quirk might come from older knitters, who started knitting long before bamboo blends and mercerized cotton were on the scene. For them, wool was yarn, and yarn was wool. Today we have access to a huge variety of yarn fibers, from camel to linen and more. You can’t ask for ”wool” if what you really want is a mohair and cashmere blend.

3. Never knot your yarn

This myth is destined to receive some pushback. Knitting purists have long declared that knotting your yarn to join a new ball is an unforgiveable sin, but some knitters are crying foul on this long-asserted myth. Some slippery yarns are prone to unweaving their ends and causing holes in garments that are hard-wearing, like clothes for kids and blankets. A knot is most likely to show up if you’re knitting stocking stitch, but it’s easy to hide in a seam if you join at the end of a row. It’s also less noticeable when knitting with a textured stitch like garter or moss, and can hide a small not without much of a problem. If you still hate knots, there are other ways to join yarn!

4. Knitting is cheaper than buying clothes: ”You must save so much money!”

Maybe in ye olden days, when you could shear your own sheep for wool and the closest clothing store was 3 days away, travelling by covered wagon. These days, it’s easy to find cheap, mass-produced garments, blankets, and accessories. Even using the most economical yarn, you’ll still spend more than you would at your local big box store. We don’t knit to save money – we knit because we like to customize, we love to give our creations away to deserving people, and it’s therapeutic.

5.  The sweater curse

I know that some knitters swear by the validity of the sweater curse, but I’m here to tell you that just as many knitters remain unaffected by this supposed curse. (For the uninitiated: the ”sweater curse” is when you knit a sweater for someone before you’re married, and then the relationship falls apart.) A good rule of thumb is to only knit a sweater for someone who would really appreciate it – and if they don’t appreciate it, they aren’t worth your time (or your yarn!) anyway.

6. Selling your creations is easy

Anyone who’s ever started a business will tell you that selling anything anywhere is a lot of work, and that it’s not for the faint-hearted. Even with the advent of websites like Etsy and StoreEnvy which make it easier to have an online storefront, there’s the issue of pricing competitively while making sure you’re making enough money to justify the sale. You also have to contend with taxes, shipping, returns, customer service, inventory, photography, and the fact that most people think a hand-knitted, cabled hat should cost about $5.

7. Use bigger needles for a stretchier cast on

I don’t know where this originated, but it doesn’t work the way you want it to. All it does is make a really messy first row, and create wider stitches that still don’t have much stretch. If you want stretch, try a provisional cast on or the backwards loop method.

8. You’re either a sweater knitter, a blanket knitter, or a sock knitter

I have never in my life met a knitter who only knits one kind of  project – and I’ve met a lot of knitters. I’m not sure how this ever entered the knitting zeitgeist, but it is 100% incorrect. Most knitters can’t even finish one project before they start another, and some people think that they would knit the same thing forever? Preposterous!

9. You can’t knit and crochet

There’s a growing contingent of crafters who consider themselves ”bi-stitchual” – meaning that they knit and crochet in equal measure. There are many projects that include both knitting and crochet techniques, and wouldn’t you want to be able to consider those gorgeous patterns? This myth reminds me of my 6th grade math teacher who told me that people are either good at algebra or geometry, neverboth – it’s silly and not accurate.

10. Blocking fixes everything

Blocking your projects can make a huge difference, especially if you are knitting lace – but it certainly isn’t a cure-all for mistakes or tension problems! Early in my knitting adventure, I believed this fib about blocking. I suspected that a vest was too short for my 5’10” frame, but a more experienced knitter assured me that it would be fine. Lo and behold, after blocking, it was still 7 inches too short. Oops. Blocking also doesn’t fix dropped stitches, incorrect cable and lace patterns, or wrong sizing caused by tension problems.

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