Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Knit and Crochet Blog Week: Day 3

One Great Knitter

Write about a knitter whose work (whether because of project choice, photography, styling, scale of projects, stash, etc) you enjoy. If they have an enjoyable blog, you might find it a good opportunity to send a smile their way.

When I was thinking about to write I was thinking of three knitters: The Yarn Harlot- who I think may be the best humor writer ever, if she ever branched away from knitting she could easily become the next Erma Bombeck. She makes knitting so interesting and accessible that sometimes my husband doesn't complain when I make him read her entries (though he usually does). I can't imagine the knitting world without the Yarn Harlot, so I was quite shocked when I looked back and found out her blog didn't even exist when I started knitting.

The next was my favorite designer: Cookie A. She takes the simple sock and makes it COMPLEX, and then she writes the pattern so that it's not complex at all.

Finally, I thought of Wendy Johnson- author of the blog
As well as I can remember, Wendy Johnson was the first "blogger" I was exposed to. Rather than being part of the blog-o-sphere during my early knitting time, I was part of the livejournal community of knitters, as I ventured out into blogs Wendy was one of the best ones there was. If I remember correctly, when I started knitting Wendy was in her stranded colorwork phase (she tends to knit in phases...) and man was it inspirational- because the colorwork it flew off her needles (as everything else she knits seems to). Every week it seems a new, AMAZING sweater was being made- not little baby sweaters but adult size ones- and gorgeous designs by Starmore or Dale of Norway- complicated stuff. It was increibdly inspirational, and because of it, my first real sweater was actually a Dale of Norway (the now reclaimed for yarn Bjerk). (Also note, my first garment was actually a turtleneck tank out of Lion Brand Glitterspun). I think it speaks miles to her ability to make this sort of colorwork look manageable that a relative beginner took on a Dale of Norway after seeing her do so many. I think I may have even ordered from Allegro Yarns- who she often sited as a source.

The next phase of Wendy's that I remember is socks. Wendy knit socks like some people eat chips. She started and I'm guessing she didn't finish until all the chips in the bag were gone. I have never seen one person knit so many socks. Wendy favors toe up socks, which I do not. She has published two books on them, both that I own. I'm still not sold on the method. Her first book is kind of the opposite of Cookie A's style- they are all very simple designs. The socks are utilitarian, but pretty. It wasn't my favorite book, but I wanted to buy it to support someone who has spent so much time blogging. So then she released a second book. I was going to skip it. Wendy's sock style is not mine. But man, I'm glad I didn't skip it. It turns out Wendy can design complex patterns too. The newer book is filled with complex cables, involved lacework, and colorwork designs. I want to knit EVERYTHING in that book.

The last phase Wendy has gone through (is it waning?) is lace. She's done lacework since I read her blog, interspersed with other projects, but the last year or so (from sock burnout?) it seems a new lace shawl is cranked out every week. Remember how Daffodil Design took me over half a year? She'd probably do it in a week. (Actually Cookie A did "Rose of England"- Daffodil Design's sister pattern as an Olympic project- which is a 2 week task, if you recall. It probably didn't even take her the whole time. While I'm interjecting Olympic achievements, Yarn Harlot did Hardangervidda- the design that I worked on for Kevin that made me so mad when it didn't fit that I gave up knitting for almost 2 years in 2 weeks also). So I'm not exagerating when I give the estimate as a week. Her lace patterns are inspiring- they make me want to knit lace. Is it any wonder that I've done multiple laceweight shawls this year? And that my lace stash has grown?

So, there is my "One Great Knitter". I'm kind of surprised that she's who I chose, I'm such a Yarn Harlot fan girl. But really- Wendy has been an inspiration to me from the beginning.

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