I went to my first ever knitting group on Thursday! First of all, I think it's hilarious that I'm quite happy to drive five hours to and from New Hampshire by myself (I'm taking some classes there) but I really wanted to avoid the ten minute drive to Park Slope! I was worried about parking, you see - would I be able to find a spot? Also, I'm not a big fan of parallel parking. (I only started driving a year or two ago and don't do it much.)
So I was trying to decide - drive, bike, subway or bus? I decided to try the bus but I just missed it and the next one wasn't for half an hour. The subway is really only direct from the city and rather convoluted from my house, so I ended up driving and there was plenty of parking. It's usually only a problem a little further north.
Anyway, it was kind of crowded (with non-knitters) and a bit awkward at first but I settled in and ended up having a great time! It was good to talk to other knitting fanatics, as well as actually see other knitting in progress. For one thing, most people were knitting continental, and there were a lot of socks in progress, some on very tiny needles. I got to fondle a sock knit in the famous Koigu. I got to hear people other than podcasters bat around names like Shelridge Farm and Cherry Tree Hill and Tofutsies. And I learned that all casting on in the middle of knitting requires is a backwards loop!
I also learned that SSK is really just the opposite of K2TOG and K2TOG is the same as SKP or something like that... I haven't really fully grasped the mechanics of all that stuff yet but it seems there are many different ways of achieving the same result. I find it fascinating that knitting is really just a bunch of loops, yet there are infinite ways those loops can be connected. Amazing.
Anyway, the other interesting thing is that the knitters I talked to said they tend to order yarn online rather than purchase from yarn stores. I guess that's easier once you know the good companies and what you are getting, or if there's a yarn you read a lot of good things about in blogs, or if you're ordering the yarn from a pattern. I'd be kind of nervous about what I was getting without seeing it first... although I did buy that Rowan on the basis of a blog post.
In other news, I learned today that silky yarns tend to stretch a lot, which would explain why my silk garden scarf seems to be growing daily. I'm not sure how long it was to begin with but it's about 7 feet now! Thanks for the tip Nicole!
And finally, the other piece of news is that I signed up for my first ever knitting class! It's a finishing workshop in a couple of weeks... most of the classes I could find at yarn stores in the city are beginning classes, and while I am definitely a newbie, I don't really need to learn how to knit and purl. Hopefully this workshop won't be too advanced...
originally written March 30th, 2007