Saturday, February 24, 2007

Red Afghan, S loom

I always have so many projects going it is chore to decide which one to work on. Last night it was the red scraps afghan that I picked. It is on a 48" S board from CinDWood Crafts (see link on left sidebar).

I am very close to being finished with this afghan and it has taken me long enough. I have done so many other things during the working time of this one, but as I said it is almost finished. This one will be about a twin sized afghan. I say about because I have not finished a project on the 48" loom before and am not quite sure of the exact measure this one will come out, but it looks to be about a twin.

Right now it is close to being as tall as me, not really that long as I am only a short 5'2", but plenty long enough for the three year old it will be for. I started it out with some scraps of red yarn that were just hanging around, but have long since used up most of the red and had to purchase more. I am using two strands of different colors held together, and just a simple single stitch (wrap every peg, no beginning slip stitches on this one).

I find I am still evolving on my knitting on an S loom. In the beginning it was quite difficult for me to get the hang of knitting on this loom. I had been use to using a straight 36" double rake loom and the curve of this one was throwing me in a spin that I just couldn't pick up speed from. On my straight board I am use to not having to move the board much. I wrap from one side, and I knit off from one side (most of the time, depends on the stitch). I learned to wrap going from left to right and right to left and for the knit off, just lay the board to the side, pegs facing my body to knit off the opposite side. This has been great in a limited amount of space.

The S loom didn't allow me to do as my hands had been trained to do, and what my brain said was the right way. So I fumbled a lot. I missed wrapping pegs, I dropped stitches, and made a general mess of things and that was only on the little 36" S loom. Oh my working the 48" would become a chore if I couldn't even do the little loom.

Finally I just about gave up, but I am a stubborn old lady. I will often think I have given up only to come back determined to "get it". So more tries and finally while watching TV (a program I really wanted to see and not just hear), I "got it". I have experienced this one before. You try, and you try, you fail and you fail, then suddenly you are not paying attention as you should because something else has captured the active part of your waking mind and what is left is only that part at the back that knows it is doing something but you are not watching it closely. Ah, I look down and my hands and brain have decided to try something different then the awake "I know what I am doing so leave me alone" part of the cycle I am use to. OK so that's what I need to do. A lesson in if it doesn't work try something else. Sometimes we are determined to make it work but it just won't.

So I found a new way to work a different but the same loom. The difference being shape, the same being just another double rake loom. On these types of looms, I find that I must always wrap from one place to be consistent in the way they are wrapped, so the board must be turned. Well if it works do it. I do it.

The knitting off is the part that is still a work of art in motion. The more I use the loom the more that part evolves. For the longest time now I learned I had to knit off by revolving that loom in a circle. Knit one side and then knit the next. Now I am getting more comfortable with the loom and am picking up faster ways to knit off the stitches and have less movement. Now it is not a matter of choice, the afghan has gotten quite large and all the movement of the loom twists the body making it a stop and go process to untwist that body, thus learning new ways to knit off.

For those who might possibly be reading this, it is just a little bit to try to show you that there is never just one way to do something. If you have been taught by someone, or learned from a video, or a book or are just self taught, don't think that the way you have been doing it is the only way. If it doesn't seem to be working, do try something else. Even if it is working you might still try that "new" to come along. It just might be a little better then what you have been doing, or at the least something to add to make it different or add something to what you are doing. Don't let yourself get stuck in the "I have to do it this way because ??? did it this way", because that is wrong.

Then when you have tried (and I have tried much), and find that it just isn't what you want, or just isn't what you like, move on. You don't have to keep it, you don't have to leave it. The choice is really all yours. Take what you want, throw away what you don't, store what you think might come in handy along the way. Most of all never let someone tell you that you are wrong. If I put my jeans on starting with the right leg, and you put your jeans on starting with the left leg, who's to say who is right and who is wrong after they are on. Can you even tell which was which unless we tell you? I couldn't.

So the red afghan on the S loom is now going faster as I am more comfortable with the loom workings, and become more so with each use of it. I might even complete this project someday. At least I certainly hope so.



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