Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tagged - A Knitting Meme

Sallee tagged me on this one..

What is your all-time favorite yarn to knit with?
When it comes to yarn, I'm still a Plain Jane - give me an acrylic that will go through the washer and dryer and come out looking like new. My super all time favorite was Dazzle by Caron - that was back in the 70s, and they had Dazzle, a smooth acrylic worsted weight yarn with a bit of a sheen that came in wonderful colors and washed like a dream. They also had Dazzleaire which was a fuzzy version that looked like a rag by the second trip through the laundry. Guess which yarn was discontinued - right, the Dazzle! Today, I go to the yarn store and what I see is mostly novelty yarns that just aren't going to hold up over the long run. I use Bernat worsted weight a lot, Red Heart some (it's a little harsher), and - big surprise - those big one pound skeins at JoAnne's feel harsh when you're knitting but turn soft the first time they're washed & dried. I have acrylic sweaters and vests that I made 30+ years ago that still look good. The aran sweater below was cast on the evening that I went into labor for my youngest - almost 34 years ago.

Your favorite needles?
Circulars & double points - they let me change patterns around to knit without seams. I like the Bryspun needles with the concave points, Inox circulars and the Clover bamboo circulars for larger sizes in the 16" length without breaking the bank. I've had a Boye Needlemaster set since they first came out and I use that for longer circulars.

The worst thing you've ever knit?
Oh, boy - probably the horizontally striped turtleneck pullover from either a Ladies Home Journal or an American Home Needlework magazine from the 70s. It was beautiful on the model, but between the time I started it and the time I finished it, I went from a stringbean figure to middleage. I tried it on once and stuck it in the back of the closet. The worst part was that I had followed the pattern and used the sew & slash method for the armholes & the neck, so I couldn't even take it apart without losing a lot of yarn.

The most heartbreaking thing I've knit was a toddler-sized Norwegian sweater in white & blue with snowflakes, reindeer, and trees. This was back in 1969 and I used wool yarn. The sweater got mixed in with regular laundry and came out about the right size for a Cabbage Patch doll which, of course, hadn't been invented yet. It was at that point that I swore off wool until my recent forays into felting. At least now when the yarn shrinks, it's on purpose!

Most valuable knitting technique?
Knitting in the round & three-needle bind-offs for shoulders. I hate sewing things together, so my ideal sweater is one that has 4 or 5 yarn ends to run in when it comes off the needles.

Best knit book or magazine?
Elizabeth Zimmerman's books - they gave me the courage to start designing my own patterns.

Your favorite knitalong?
Felted Bag, KnitRed, & Cloths For Katrina

Your favorite knitblogs?
Knitnana, A Chance to Knit, Knittinology, & Yarn Harlot

The knit item you wear the most?
My grey cabled yoke cardigan - it's worked in medium heather grey in LoveKnit and bopped up in size from a Pingouin child's pattern I made my eldest daughter many years ago. I basically live in this cardigan in the winter. I have one started in cranberry LoveKnit, but I'm afraid that I'm a skein shy of having enough yarn and LoveKnit is no longer manufactured. (Anyone have a spare skein??)

Whom to tag?
I was going to tag Heather at A Chance to Knit - she's been doing so many wonderful things lately, not only knitting, but spinning, dying and even jewelry - but someone tagged her before I got a chance to do so. Sallee tagged me, so she's safe. I wasn't going to do it because Kim, my "partner in crime" in Jaki Designs, is so incredibably busy with college, but she's sure to have some very interesting things to say and there's no deadline for a meme so she can put it off until she has time or needs a break from all that research. Ok, Kim, TAG - you're it..


Anonymous heather said...

Oh my gosh Jane! That 34 year old sweater is amazing! It's beautiful.
I realize now after reading your answers, that I must have missed a few questions on mine. Oops!
You are such a talented knitter. I envy you.
Sorry I was tagged before you got the chance, but thanks for mentioning me as one of your favorites! :)

7:06 PM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

And thank you for mentioning ME as a fav, too, Jane! I'm just so impressed by both cabled sweaters, they're gorgeous, and to think one is 34 years old? I'm just shaking my head in disbelief!
You're one of my favoritest people!

8:03 PM  

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