Raven Knits Design
When I was 19, my family flew to Holland to visit our relatives there. In the culture of our large extended family, after lunch the men nap, and the women gather together to talk over their handwork. Knitting, crocheting, tatting, embroidery, needlepoint - all my Aunts and female cousins stitching and bitching together.
But I had no handwork; I had never learned. Nor did I speak Dutch. It was a lonely and isolating summer for me.
When we came back to Canada, I turned to my boy-friend’s mother and begged her to please teach me to knit. …and she did.
My first project, a cable-knit tunic designed in ’80s fashion to be enormously baggy and too long, took most of a year to knit. Every stitch was a chore. The cheap acrylic squeaked over my plastic needles. But I persevered, excited by the idea of how trendy and attractive I would look in this wonderful garment.
If I’d had more experience, those squeaky stitches would have been a great blinking neon sign that all was not well. Once I’d finished that lovely, painstaking work, the sweater was not enormously baggy; no, rather it was skin-tight on my three-years-younger sister.
I still don’t swatch (I know, I know…), but I don’t have tension issues any more. I use steel straight needles as much as humanly possible. I have pretty much eliminated acrylic from my stash, although I do still have sweater quantities of soft acrylic blends for my man who unfortunately has a contact allergy to wool - the hives don’t lie. My personal favourite yarns tend to be indy-dyed; I’m always on the lookout for something new to try.
I usually have five projects going at any time. I don’t know how to work on only one thing any more. My folio of pattern leaflets dwindles as my library of how-to books grows, prompting my own design projects. I think about knitting like a teen-aged boy thinks about sex; constantly and passionately.
Good to meet you.