(Get it out of the gutter.)
I have not learned how to do a bone graft. Or what a bone graft is, though if anyone is teaching, locally and free, I’m willing to learn. Or a tree graft, though I do have someone right here in my own house who knows how to do that, or at least I think so. But, I finally, learned how to graft my knitting.
For several years I’ve danced around the topic, almost avoiding it all together. It wasn’t till about two years ago that I learned what it was even. (Shortly before the break through that was Knitter’s Almanac.) Now, I’ve tried to learn it before, using the Zimmermann way. I tried on my yoke sweater, my Raglan sweater, and my Moccasin Socks. With each one I get a little bit closer, and on the last one, I more or less learned how to do it, only it wasn’t fun, easy, or correct. I’ve also tried on several pairs of socks, but I’ve developed a method I like better for doing it. (I turn the sock inside out, yes while it’s still on the needle, and do a three needle bind-off, which I prefer to other most other methods.)
I always had trouble with the slipping the stitch as if to purl/ knit, thread it through this way, yada, yada yada. That’s mostly because I purl funny, which makes the stitch backwards, which really messes up a lot of my knitting. Yes, I know that I should learn how to do it the right way. Yes, I know I should try, and I have, and no, I really don’t care. No, I don’t care that it’s messing up my purl rows (Only a little). That’s why I knit a lot in the round. I’ll live.
Anyway, I’ve tried to learn several times using the Zimmermann method. (Which, in my first criticism, of her, I will say that her grafting diagrams leave quite a bit to the imagination.) But I couldn’t get it figured out. I always had those little half purl bumps that reek of failure.
But last night, I was feeling really anxious about all the things that I don’t know how to do, but will need to learn, and grafting was right at the top of the list. It was haunting and mocking me, like an annoying little wooly demon. So, with the needles firmly set in my hands, I knit two little half swathes, and threaded my needle with yellow.
They say that the true mark of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. To whomever “they” are, I say, with all due respect, bite me. But, they do have a tiny, tiny, point about maybe changing, and experimenting, and seeing what happens. I put Knitting Workshop in the bag for a while, and looked to all my other tomes of references, gleaned from yard sales and used-book shops. I was torn between The Complete Book of Knitting by Barbra Abbey, and Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book by I think you can guess the author. (And they’re both really good books with super creative titles.) Anyway, those are both two knitters that EZ had a lot of respect for. As a matter of fact, she dedicated Knitting Without Tears to Barbra Abbey. I went with the former, it being bigger, and therefore, easier to stay open in my lap. (Always the practical one.)
The first few were hard, and nerve-wracking little buggers. The middle was easier, I only had to look at the directions once or twice, and towards the end, when I more or less knew it, I loved it! I didn’t even have to look at the directions for how to end it, I just . . . knew! It looks great, and I can’t believe that I avoided learning this, and was so scared and afraid to try and do it properly. It’s easier than baking bread, or cleaning the oven. (I am a Minnesota housefrou trapped inside a young boy’s body.) It’s easier than planting a garden, and tons easier and more fun than running a weed-eater, which isn’t saying much though.
See, grafted! That yellow line, is really it. There’s only one little half-purl bump in one of the first stitches. (And no, Joe, I didn’t just work a yellow stripe.)* I keep it on my desk and give it a little pat and tug now and then, pulling the stitches and thinking “It looks like real knitting.” I am so excited to learn this. Almost to the point where I may knit the Traditional Shetland Lace Shawl, traditionally. It will really help later on and stuff too. And I also have the urge the take out, somehow, all the bad and poor grafting on past projects to fix it. I want to graft our two cat’s together. I can finally do this, just like all the big kids and real knitters. Now, let’s just look at my Intarisa . . . . *He likes to go around the internet and mess with people’s heads. I must stop him when I can, and trouble shoot for him saying those kinds of things. He’s the one that suggested that I knit all the variations in Knitting Workshop, as well as the ones in my head. I had the urge to hit him hard. Very.