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 favorite tactile aspects of knitting

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Lanea Posted - 01/03/2007 : 07:56:01 AM
So, we've been discussing whether or not our needles click while we're knitting, and what SSK methods we each prefer, and it reminds me of some tactile things that I love about knitting and some other activities that require a lot of hand-eye coordination and small movements. I've apparently been fascinated with the feeling of such small movements and their reverberations since I was a little kid.

I love what doing a SSK feels like in my hands and wrists. It's like a particular dance move I love (the end of a grand allemand leading into a partner swing. Boy howdy, it's fun)

I love the way my yarn clicks home when I'm using just the right needles and just the right yarn and I wrap a stitch. It's part of what allows me to knit without looking, and if it wasn't so satisying to me, I probably wouldn't knit so much.

Similarly, I used to love to play Classical guitar. I was never any good at it, but the feeling of nylon strings on a broad guitar neck is just heavenly to me. Coincidentally, I didn't love the feeling of pressing mandolin strings down, and playing mandolin eventually messed my hands and arms up something fierce.

I love the feeling of making good clean steps and sounds while clogging or flatfooting. And a good contra balance, with a partner who knows how to give weight. So fun.

Am I the only one? I can't be the only one. . .

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LesleyKnits Posted - 01/08/2007 : 5:55:55 PM
When I took the beginner knitting class at the LYS the instructor told us as far as purling went we'd probably either love it or hate it and I love it! I know many of you won't understand

SSK and Kf&b are pretty high on my list of knitting enjoyments too.

I have a blog!

Or skip straight to the pics
Lanea Posted - 01/08/2007 : 11:02:25 AM
Originally posted by LaurieAdlerAnderson

And Lanea, are you SURE you and I are not the same person in some hopelessly parallel universe?

Um, well, pretty sure. I mean, we have totally different names to start with : >

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Chemcats Posted - 01/06/2007 : 07:20:00 AM
I love the feel of the snap when the yarn slides between the needles.
I love the decrease (above) too, and I love the k in front, knit in back increase too. It is like a waltz.
I love the feeling of texture. And the way a well made cable has a sort of squish to it.
Speaking of squish, you can't beat plain old ribbing!
I love the way all fiber feels. Even the rough spun and more harsh yarn has a use and a place in my heart.
I truly love the feeling when the last stitch is made and the project falls off the needles
Someone mentioned the mattress stitch. Me too!
Frogging, heehee, I love feeling the vibrations as I rip, rip, rip.

sammyjane Posted - 01/06/2007 : 03:13:23 AM
Knitting to me is a reward to look forward to at the end of a busy or stressful day. It's something that's relaxing and gives me an oppportunity to focus on something happy and productive. When the end product turns out to be what I had hoped for, I just want to shout from the rooftops. If it doesn't turn out to be the way I want it, I feel that I still have an opportunity to correct my mistakes and make everything right again. My favorite stitches are the ones that are textured -- arans are my specialty -- I just love watching the patterns grow. It's hard to put the knitting down -- just one more row! Posted - 01/05/2007 : 9:39:52 PM
Wonderful topic, and great messages. Knitting is like a dance, and I agree with Molly. I love the feel of 100% wool in my hands. I use Briggs & Little a lot and love how it holds the stitches. I also love Noro. I can not stop knitting because I can not wait to see the colors change. I am still not at the point where I can knit without looking yet, but I am getting there.

Catlover Posted - 01/05/2007 : 5:36:47 PM
I find it a toss-up between the feel of the yarn in fingers and the feeling of relaxation and yet concentration. I find it's much easier to concentrate on what's going on around me unless it's a complicated pattern yet I feel completely relaxed. But then the yarn feels so good too.
LaurieAdlerAnderson Posted - 01/05/2007 : 2:28:17 PM
AAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH! (Please excuse my shouting!) Yes yes to everything! The increasing, the decreasing, the feel of good (and sometimes inexpensive) yarn through your fingers....knitting does for me what Ritalin chemically does for ADHD symptoms. But what, AuntyNin, is tinking? And Lanea, are you SURE you and I are not the same person in some hopelessly parallel universe? And I know the curse of the love sweater, does such a curse extend to love socks? I would gladly have TV just to have another excuse to keep knitting, and I WILL continue to knit till my arms fall off![:00]

Out of every 10 people polled, 14 prefer chocolate!--Sandra Boynton

KL Posted - 01/05/2007 : 08:27:17 AM
As much as I enjoy the tactile- the real joy is seeing color develop-in varigated yarns, the surprise of a color or a pattern taking shape; the shapeing becoming visual in a garment.

I gues, that is because I'm pretty much a visual person. KL
knittinggal Posted - 01/05/2007 : 08:04:46 AM
I love the feel of a good yarn. For instance, I adore the Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran and Schaefer's Miss Priss. I just finished two scarves with those yarns and would get caught "petting" them all the time. I guess I haven't knitted long enough yet to know what stitch patterns soothe me but there are some that do. It is very zen like and totally soothes my soul.

knitwitt Posted - 01/04/2007 : 4:40:44 PM
My absolute favorite thing is decreasing. I love the smooth line of decreases on a raglan sweater body, or the swirl of decreases on the crown of a hat; it is a subtle visual contrast, it feels a little different, too. I have to join the SSK crowd, too, because the first time I ever did them, I was like.... how in the heck do you do this? And once I got it, it was great. I still feel like a nimble-fingered genius every time I do them.

scraffan Posted - 01/04/2007 : 4:36:09 PM
I like doing the YO with ssk yo p2sso yo k2tog. I just finished a dishcloth like that and that helped from a chain of hearts. Feeling the smooth cooton and feeling the bumps and abd then watching the slits forma nd move on is incrediable.
Feeling a finished project is a great know it started off as a smoth strand of yarn rolled on a cone or in the ball and then feeling the texture of a completed washcloth, baby romper, scarf, is just incrediable..
Scraffan aka Karen
Solaris Posted - 01/04/2007 : 1:25:07 PM
Besides the feel of a yummy, luxurious yarn, I also like the feel of nice, smooth, slightly weighty needles, on which the yarn just glides effortlessly, eg. KP Options; not too crazy about plastic.


Let's be kind to one another.
Kathleen-NYC Posted - 01/04/2007 : 11:40:55 AM
I guess my favorite experience is feeling the smooth invisible seams after I finished weaving the pieces together. Both a visual and tactile delight for me!

Unlike many people, I really enjoy the finishing process.
conchobara Posted - 01/04/2007 : 11:03:02 AM
My favorite tactile experience is seaming with mattress stitch. I just love the perfection of it. Just move the yarn through a few loops (okay, more than a few!) and zzzipppppp. The finished product is so elegant and magical. You've taken two separate pieces and made this one; connected them so smoothly. I love that!
Imknittin Posted - 01/04/2007 : 08:26:06 AM
I love the feel of the yarn! If it doesn't feel good to me, scratchy, etc. It doesn't work for me. Also, I seem to think different colors feel better than others!

mkfromKansas Posted - 01/04/2007 : 07:25:34 AM
As a kid I always wanted a baseball glove and an erector set but a girl of the 1930s didn't get such things. Now, 2 sticks and string and I can knit the world - my erector set. Tactile? Yes, because I also see a ballet of fingers and yarn moving in response to the music of my humming heart.
RoxieKatz Posted - 01/04/2007 : 07:21:21 AM
You're all so right! Knitting is a sense-driven act -- from choosing the yarn by feel, color and smell(yes, smell); to finding your rhythm in the pattern; to creating something with tactile and visual texture, to wearing the garment. It's also like jazz: everyone might be "playing the same song", ie: doing the same stitches, but we all bring a little something unique to it, and when you get in the groove, you don't want to stop, like when a good jazz band hits a groove and plays on and on...

Even when the project isn't in my hands, I sometimes find myself running the repeats in my head, particularly if I'm doing something with a SSK or a ripple or wave.

I also practice Reiki and I often find myself infusing my projects with a little white light energy. I see it as a little extra added to the gift I'm making.
lucienh Posted - 01/04/2007 : 06:43:23 AM
I like the way my breath slows down and my shoulders relax as I get into the rhythm.
KCShaw Posted - 01/04/2007 : 05:53:27 AM
As a kid i liked cat's cradle, a best girlfriend and myself would experiment with ways to take CC to new heights. I love the mathematical magic that happens with the most rudimentary of tools. Yarn is flipped, twisted, snagged, tucked and knotted and whala....Im beautiful, warm, protected or comfy. I love my knitting in my lap warming my legs as I knit and the way a project in progress looks like in the basket by my chair.
I like getting in that rythmic groove that makes my ocd purr happily...seeing all the little stitches lined up neat and perfect. When it is error free it speaks to more then just a utilitarian object.
cozystitches Posted - 01/03/2007 : 9:55:19 PM
Originally posted by kdcrowley

Originally posted by Clara
I also enjoy that zen-like moment when you're in the rhythm, the yarn and needles are perfectly matched, the grip is perfect, the flow is smooth, the pace is steady, and you're able to let your eyes (and mind) wander while your fingers/hands/needles do their work. I've never been one for long-distance sports but I imagine it's the same feeling a long-distance runner or swimmer must have. Only in our case there's no sweat involved...

Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher

Clara, I can confirm the long distance swimming thing is just like that....stroke stroke, flip turn.....knit knit knit turn...complete with mind's the nature of repetitive tasks.

My favorite parts of knitting is when the ideas are dancing round in my head, and when you can see that it's all going to work. The rest is swimming laps for me--back and forth, which I can do in the dark, with a shark, in a boat, in a moat, in a box, with a fox....


Kelly & Clara,

You both hit the nail on the head! I used to be a swimmer and I loved it (no time now). Loved all the time to think. Now I know yet another reason that I love knitting so much. My mind wanders over new ideas. I also pray a lot when I knit. :D


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