Posted on 13 Comments

Pancakes, books, and my philosophy of knitting

Valentine's Day Pancakes

Yesterday was low-key,  which is just how I like it for Valentine’s Day.  It’s never been one of the “big” holidays for me, and I’d just as soon skip it, were it not for the little people around here.  You can’t really ignore holidays when kids are involved.  They seem to like having excuses to do a little celebrating 🙂

So, slice-and-bake cookies in the morning, it was, and pink heart-shaped pancakes for supper.

After supper we recreated one of our favorite “date” experiences, and took the hour-long drive to our favorite book store, where we promptly split up and went to our respective favorite sections (he is Sci Fi, and I am Craft).  We  had the kids with us, which works out a lot  better now that they’re older and can be bribed (did  I say “bribed?”  I meant “reasoned-with.”  Heh.)

Neil and Aidan wandered off to do their thing,  and Eamonn and I made a quick detour to the children’s section to get a pile of My Little Pony books to keep him busy.  Yes, my 5-year-old son is over-the-moon for My Little Pony.  It cracks me up to hear him singing sweetly to them and telling  them how beautiful they are.  And I have to admit, it reassures me – just a little bit – to hear  him say in a deep announcer voice, “Pinky Pie versus Sweetie Bell!” as the ponies become a pink blur of boyish brawling.  Yeah, there’s still a male child in there somewhere, LOL!

But back to the book store… I picked up a pile of knitting books to look at, and  Eamonn and I installed ourselves in one of the comfy chairs to flip through our respective stacks for the next half hour or so.   I settled on two titles to bring home with me:  101 Designer One-Skein Wonders and Weekend Knitting.

Neither one of these books is a loom-knitting book, and while I still have no real interest in learning to use needles at this point, I do have an interest in making hip, 21st-century things.  I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this, but I have not been overly impressed by many of the loom patterns I’ve come across.  Compared to needle-knit patterns, the loom-knit  counterparts have an old-fashioned vibe to them – and not in a vintage-cool way, either.  And of course there are exceptions to this, but in general, the aesthetic of loom-knit patterns just doesn’t speak to me.

My philosphy has been this:

  • be inspired by hip, current knits
  • learn the lingo and understand on a basic level what the pattern involves
  • seek out loom-specific instruction for how to make the required stitches
  • fudge it where necessary

So far, it’s worked pretty well for me, and the more I’m learning, the more I feel comfortable looking to needle-based patterns for my next project.  This is good news inspiration-wise, and bad news book-buying wallet-wise.

Vest in progress

Right now I’m working on a vest.  I’ve consulted a loom pattern for the technical vest-construction information, but for the real inspiration, I’ve been looking at images in Ravelry, and some vest projects in books.  I’m not entirely sure how this is going to come out, which is why I just started it with some yarn I had laying around.  I’m looking at it more as a learning experience than as a viable finished product.  If it actually turns out good, though, I’ll be pleasantly surprised and will probably make another half dozen in different colors.  Not that I am obsessive like that or anything…


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Posted on 13 Comments

13 thoughts on “Pancakes, books, and my philosophy of knitting

  1. Just curious….and definitely not wanting to start a huge philosophical debate…but why don’t you knit with needles??

    Love the heart-shaped pancakes!!! I need to get some molds like that!


    See what Life Looms Large has been blogging about: Textile Territory Exhibit

    1. I’ve tried to take up knitting a few times and just never got the hang of it. And now that I’ve found looming, I am enjoying the challenge of seeing just how much I can make it do! So far, I haven’t been disappointed.

      I bought the pancake molds here last year, if you’re looking for a set!

      1. Thanks for the scoop on your knitting experience. I have a friend who has tried to learn to knit 3 times (once from me), and despite several lessons from each of her teachers, she couldn’t get it. This fall, she went to a knitting group, and was able to learn to knit from someone there. So I guess that proves that some of us aren’t good at teaching!! (I know I’m not!!)

        You’ve made really cool stuff with your knitting loom – so it’s great that you can do that!!

        Thanks for the link for the pancake molds! I think shopping is in my future!


        See what Life Looms Large has been blogging about: Textile Territory Exhibit

  2. Oh I LOVE Melanie Falick books! All of her stuff is great.. It’s got to be confusing though to have to look at it explained one way, and then to convert it to loom knitting.

    Anxious to see the vest though!!

    1. Interestingly enough, I don’t find it confusing. Maybe that’s because I don’t understand the technical aspects of needle knitting anyway.

      On the loom, I know how to knit, purl, slip (with yarn behind or in front), make bobbles, cast on, bind off, and a few other miscellaneous things. That means I can “read” a pattern that involves any of those things and know how to do it on the loom. If there are stitches that I don’t know how to do, I ignore the needle-based instructions, and look online for a loom-based tutorial.

      So, it’s actually not as complicated as it sounds when I say I “translate” a pattern 🙂

  3. Oh Lisa, I think you need to try the needles again.(no pressure) but if you find a great LYS or someone fun who could teach you I think you will be truly hooked. I have worked on the loom too but I do prefer the needles since it seems for me to offer so much more patterns and easier patterns to understand. However until recently we didn’t have a great lys and since October I have been going every week for a sit n knit and LOVE it not to mention I’m able to knit many different things now that I have a source in case I get stuck and need some help. My poor quilting is feeling cheated. A little long winded but I would hate to see you pass up trying again. I also hope that you have a lys to help. I have the first two one skein books you just picked up and LOVE them. I’m currently working on a scarf from one of them. My LYS is also doing a “challenge” this week for all who have made things from these books. So it will be a fun night to see what others have come up with and get more inspiration(not that I’m at a loss for things to knit) Good luck with the vest and I can’t wait to hear if you try the needles again. Just remember to relax and the best things usually take some practice. Happy Knitting.

    See what Janey has been blogging about: In-Vested

    1. Honestly? I’m having a lot of fun doing it this way 🙂 Initially I did feel like I was missing out on something by not learning the needles, but I’m not feeling that way right now.

      There’s an excellent LYS around here, and I’ve already told myself that if I decide I’ve gone as far as I can with the loom and am ready to move on, that I’m going to go there for some lessons.

      For now, though, I’m happy 🙂

  4. Have you tried to learn American style knitting or Continental style? They are very different but net the same result. Continental is amazing, super fast and very satisfying. If you are at all obsessive you will be knitting yourself into a frenzy if you learn the technique. You’ll never loom again I promise!

    1. Honestly, I have no idea what method I’ve tried! All I know is that I found it very confusing, but I find looming very easy and intuitive.

      Me? Obsessive? Never! 😉

  5. I agree with you that looming is just fun and I’m not in a hurry to learn needles either. And yes, hip patterns are little hard to find. I’m going to try this one for a sweater:

    But use purple alpaca yarn, add some cables if I can figure out where and fun buttons. 🙂

    See what Tanya has been blogging about: Etsy soft launch

    1. That sounds good. I am modifying her Jiree pattern – making a vest out of it and adding some shaping so that it doesn’t wrap. I decided to make it in the Soft Bucle it calls for, but I’m not really liking it so far. I’ve been using such nice wool lately, that I’m finding this stuff to be really fake-looking. Hopefully I’ll feel differently when it’s done!

  6. oh, you are a smarty pants aren’t you? can’t wait to see it all finished

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