Thursday, December 11, 2008

Constant Tension Isn't Always A Bad Thing

In fact, it's a good thing when applied to one's adventures in knitting. I had been doing a lot of crocheting to get small things done, like burp cloths/spit rag with matching baby bibs;
a tacky Christmas Toilet Paper Cozy( the cylinder shape is my design, the star decoration is from Elizabeth Hamm's Crochet A Trunk Full O Fun website)and a set of coasters and a baby blanket I still haven't finished for a craft show at a local church this past November. That's one reason I haven't been able to post since Halloween. The second reason is that the migraines have been returning full force since the Botox wore off. I had another treatment the week before Thanksgiving, and it's starting to work. The intensity of the migraines has lessened, although the nausea, light, motion and noise intolerance hasn't let up.
Tension and stress can be migraine triggers, but knitting is supposed to be a fun hobby you do to relieve stress. So, what does that mean for stress provoked by getting one's knitting tension correct?

Anyway, once the show was over, the urge to knit kicked in. I found some Homespun mill ends in my stash and decided to do a quick scarf. Yeah, right. I had high hopes since another scarf I knit with Homespun came out well.

Okay, fairly well. It looks better in person than in the photo since it's folded a little. On the new scarf, I could tell when I put it down and picked it up again. I'm sure you can too. I frogged it twice, which is why I called it the "Third Time's a Charm" scarf on my Ravelry page. At first, I considered taking a basic learn to knit class, since my technique involves balancing one needle on my leg or abdomen while throwing the yarn with my right hand. Not exactly orthodox as you can imagine. I also thought about taking a Continental Knitting class. I've wanted to learn this technique since it supposedly puts less stress on one's shoulders and arms. After I've been knitting for a while, I get sore in my neck and shoulder area. But, I don't drive at night unless there's an emergency, and I never know how I'm going to feel on a given day, I'm reluctant to sign up for a class, even if there's one in the afternoon. I'm blessed to live in an area with four local yarn stores, and I've had wonderful experiences in all of them. So, there are a variety of classes to choose from. I'm afraid to plunk money down for a class and not be able to go because of a migraine or a vertigo attack.

So, I turned to the Internet for help. I went to a few sites and found several ways to hold yarn to get correct tension. This one seemed like it'd work for me. I decided to try something simple for my next project, just to see how I'd do with the technique. I made the Waffle Stitch spa cloth from the latest issue of Creative Knitting magazine.

This done with a ball of Lily Sugar n' Cream I had in my stash. Not too bad for a first time. My edges aren't totally even, but they're better than before. I started the soap bag from the same pattern.

I've only done the first couple of rows, and I've put it down to work on a Special Olympic scarf. When I get back to it, we'll see if my tension changes the edging and you can tell where I left off!

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