My Favorite Things…
Posted by Janis on December 16, 2007
Yes, yes — it’s a still from that fabulous scene in “The Sound of Music.” (Just for you, little Ray.) Here at year’s end, there are so many “best of” lists, that I thought I’d put a knitting one together. But before I do that, could we just discuss for a moment how the hell “My Favorite Things” became a Christmas song, for Pete’s sake? I mean, there are a couple of lyrics that could pass for holiday references: “brown paper packages tied up with strings” – but that could as easily be a nice piece of cheese from the fromager or a few chops from your local butcher’s, couldn’t it? “Sleigh bells” – but if you live in a very snowy land, you’d need a sleigh from November to March anyway — so I just don’t get it!
Back to my favorite things – knitting-wise:
* White cotton-microfiber crochet thread/yarn/whatever it’s called: I have used this more in the past 2 weeks than anything else in my knitting arsenal. It’s waste yarn for mitten thumbs or provisional cast-ons, it’s a measuring line from where the armholes begin so I can measure the top of the back of the sweater accurately (what a concept!), it’s basting thread for putting together the sweater pieces… And apparently, it’s a choking hazard for big, nosy dogs who try to snuffle it up, thinking it’s something edible. They’re all OK, but I gotta be careful with the little snip-ends of the stuff… (It’s about DK weight, not the very fine stuff, though I have some of that for lace life-lines.)
* Knittyboard advice. How amazing is it to have a knitting question, problem, or even a full-blown knitting crisis empathized with, advised upon, and even solved — sometimes within minutes? I don’t even know if I’d be knitting beyond scarves now if it weren’t for the awesome Knitties of the Knittyboard.
* Blocking. Yup, just plain old wash or spray or steam and arrange to measure. I am constantly surprised and delighted by the wonders of blocking. (OK, so it’s never taken much to amuse me.)
* KnitPicks Options nickel-plated needles. Studies show… they really are pointier than regular Addi’s. Wow. And the cables are great – super flexible. I’m ordering the Harmony wooden ones next…
* Addi Lace needles. Ohhhhhh, the points! Wish they made these points for every size and length.
* The Best of Vogue Knitting: 25 Years. Just received from Orestes for my birthday, this book is INCREDIBLE! I was afraid it was Vogue patterns, but it’s all articles from the mags — great technique stuff, knitting history, etc., etc. Really well-written instructions by expert knitters, and very well-illustrated.
* The pattern gallery on Ravelry. It is so helpful to see the finished results of various yarn substitutions, a whole host of sizes, and more. Of course, it makes my to-do queue that much longer, but still — it’s inspiring.
* Sandi Wiseheart’s series on how to fit knits on KnittingDaily. This information has been a revelation for me, not only in fitting my hand-knitted things, but in finding knitwear that fits and flatters in ready-to-wear.
* Elizabeth Zimmerman. I’ve read her books straight through several times this year and know I will do so again and again. I just love her voice, ideas, and passion.
Soon it’ll be time for New Year’s Knitting Resolutions, but I’ll give you a sneak peek a little early: the theme is “Knit from the Stash.”