I have to confess, I'm kind of on a stitch dictionary buying jag lately. AT gave me Barbara G. Walker's Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns last spring and then I found Barbara G. Walker's Charted Knitting Designs in hardcover, no less, at Goodwill about the same time. (Does anyone have the yellow covered paperback from Schoolhouse Press that I could compare my hardcover to?) Then at the Yarn Bowl event PH gave me a poster with mosaic knitting swatches on it she'd used to teach a class, the patterns coming from the Barbara Walker Treasuries and the dam broke.
People, I am on a stitch jag. I found a cable that looks like a tree and a mosaic pattern that looks like a person. Can I join them in something? I don't know but I think I'm going to try. I might have to buy stock in Post-It Notes, I have so many pages marked.
What all of this blabbering is leading up to is I want to point out a couple of the websites I've listed under "Websites & Pattern Links" in the right column of the blog.
In "The Weekly Stitch" the blogger has posted a video of a different stitch every week since 2011. I found the site in late December 2014 and at the end of January 2015 she announced that she's taking a break. I thought "oh great, as soon as I find you you quit" but then I realized that she didn't erase all four years of stitch videos, she's just not making new ones. I haven't seen them all but the ones I have looked at are excellent. Check it out.
The other site is "Purl Avenue" which has a stitchinary, not videos but good, clear directions and sharp-focus pictures, and some free patterns that look interesting. Do you make hats or mittens for charity? Pick one of the stitches and put a column of it up the mitten backs or up one side of the hat. Smack a square of some fascinating stitch at each end of the next garter stitch scarf you knit.
These two sites are just the tip of the iceberg of information and inspiration available FREE online for your knitting pleasure. Take a scroll through them the next time you need to make a baby blanket or your mother-in-law wants a shawlette and take one of the stitches out for a spin. Make a resolution to find a new stitch and knit a dishcloth using that stitch once a month. You'll build up a supply of excellent dish and washcloths, have a quick hostess gift handy, and something all ready for the Dischcloth Swap at the December BLKG meeting. What a great idea I just had! You'd be a fool not to take it and run with it. I'd be a fool not to grab that idea and run with it.
I've been knitting since June 2007 and until the BLKG Design-A-Thon in 2014 I'd never so much as deviated from a pattern. Oh, I'd pick my own colors but I was a slave to the pattern, stitch count, row count, stitch pattern. I make a "knitting resolution" every year and 2014's was to learn to cable better so I swatched a bunch of cables, figured out a basic shape and stitch count to make fingerless mitts, and slapped my chosen cable on the side opposite the thumb. I must have knit the first one ten times, but I persisted and had mitts and a written pattern to enter. I didn't win. I didn't expect to win, but I had a pair of cabled mitts that I'd designed myself and a new bravery when it came to my knitting.
All of this is a roundabout way to say, "Hey, be a little brave and try a new stitch, and maybe design something simple and enter it next time." It's only knitting, you guys, you can unravel it if it goes bad and no one will ever know. Plus, as KW says, knitting yarn twice halves the cost so you're getting double value for your yarn dollar! See you at the August 13 meeting in the park across from First United Methodist Church, our regular meeting place, unless it's raining and then we'll be indoors in our regular room.