Dealing w/ So Many Variables if You're Borderline Obsessive?

[color=darkblue][/color] :thinking: Okay, here’s my problem: I’m ready to get back into knitting. Got me a great new bag…all organized. Shopping for new circulars (since I don’t have but one). Searching and searching and spending veritable days on the internet finding a few perfect first patterns to get my skills back in check, and a couple of sweater patterns for when I am finally comfortable enough to attempt one (I did knit a very large sampler afghan in the 80’s, but I’m still chicken to try a sweater :frowning: )

I’ve been educating myself on all the new yarns and visiting lots of instruction sites and watching videos – especially interesting to me was I’ve been bookmarking like mad and trying to keep track of all of the hints and tips. I’ve been re-reading my old instruction books (I still love my old Mon Tricot Knitting Encyclopedia – 1500 patterns ; and Mon Tricot Knitters Basic Book 1), but I’m a bit overwhelmed…and thus; per usual; bogged down in anal retentiveness.

When so many of the techniques have different names and different ways of doing things, how do you know you’re doing the best one? I’m stuck because I want to make sure I’ve found all of the variations of the particular techniques and decided upon the one which is best. Is there even such a thing? I’m tempted to catalog all of the different ways of doing, say, increases and decreases and summarize them in a WordPerfect document, along with the pros and cons of each…Lordy…that would take me a while. And then I haven’t even approached all the different techniques I’ve seen about picking up stitches and selveges and joining…aaargh :help:

I know there is no “one best reference book.” Too bad…that would certainly solve my problems.

Just looking for words of wisdom from the more knowlegeable about how to deal with my “need-to-know-everything-before-I-feel-I-can-move-on” obsession, perhaps particularly from anyone who has felt the same way.

Unfortunately, I am this “Monk-ish” about most everything. Maybe Wellbutrin is the solution…ha!! :happydance: Thanks in advance for your help.

Hey Sara! Where in Cajun Country? I am from a few minutes outside of New Orleans.
Anyway, I wish I could help answer your questions. When I started knitting I got the Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book and it helped me a ton and I still use it all the time.
I am not even close to being “Monk-ish”, but I LOVE the show. I do a little research and then usually just dive right in!

One word of advice–KNIT!! When you get to a technique you’re not familiar with, then look it up. If you’re not sure what type of increase its best, check your pattern, they usually have done the footwork for you. If you’re still not sure, then look it up or ask. You’re making yourself crazy. This is supposed to be fun! And it is fun if you don’t worry about having all your ducks in a row and doing everything ‘the best way.’ Nobody’s going to be judging your knitting, you will make mistakes because we all do, no matter how experienced, and you’re going to put pressure on yourself to be perfect in an imperfect craft. I have yet to knit anything perfect. Nobody could ever tell but me–knitting can be very forgiving about the small stuff, so don’t worry so much.

If you were sending a rocket full of people into space, or were performing your first heart transplant, then so much attention to detail should be on the top of the list. This is, as KellyK has put it, pulling loops through loops.

Just grab your needles and some yarn and let happen what happens. :wink:

I agree with Ingrid (if you hang around for a while, you’ll see that nearly everyone agrees with Ingrid most of the time!). Instead of deciding which increase is best, I just do whichever one the pattern tells me. It’s how I learn new things. Sometimes it looks like crap. I don’t know if it’s the increase suggested or my particular knitting or what, but if it looks like crap, I can rip that part out and do it again a different way. I don’t know if that will work for you, but it works for me (unless it’s mohair…shudder!).
My roommate is the opposite kind of knitter I am. I plug through and make revisions as I go, even if I’m unsure about it, and she rips everything out if there’s a single stitch out of order. As a result, I’ve finished three and a half sweaters and she’s on the fourth or fifth start of her first. Is her sweater going to turn out better? Probably. Enough better that it’s worth spending years on? Nah, I don’t think so.

I also agree with Ingrid, Just start knitting and RELAX. :happydance: Don’t worry about what sweater you’ll make down the road. Just decide on the FIRST project and begin it!! Have fun! :XX: :XX: :XX:

I agree with the others who said you just have to do it. But remind yourself of this, too: THere is no right way or wrong way to knit. If it doesn’t come apart and it looks OK to you, you’re doing it right.

Seriously – there are as many knitting variations as there are knitters – people do everything their own way. So just follow the pattern, consult a reference book when necessary, and be on your merry way! :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, there is only one way to find out which way of doing something is best… it’s to find out what’s best for you. The only way you are going to find that out is on your own, through trial and error. I find a lot of joy and peace in my knitting, just by letting it all flow, and asking for help when I need it. It’s when I feel frustrated or pressured in my knitting, that I don’t enjoy it, and I make a ton of mistakes.

I don’t knit like I did 2½ years ago when I picked up my needles to learn how to knit {again!}, and finally stuck with it. I don’t think that I will knit the way I do now, in 2½ years… because my skills will have changed and improved, as well as learning new techniques.

Does any of this make any sense?

Thank you, thank you all for your replies. I feel so much better already!!! Sometimes you just need a good, swift kick in the behind to get yourself out of a rut, and you all have given me the “free therapy” I needed to do just that, I believe. :smiley:

Everything you all said is true, and I will print and save this thread to re-read when I feel myself bogging down in the future. I’ll repeat to myself, “Relax – No right way or wrong way – As many variations as knitters – Don’t attempt perfection in an imperfect craft – It ain’t a heart transplant – KNIT!!!” :XX:

I’m going to finish my ugly first poncho today (Boa Fur) and move on. I keep reading that mixing the eyelash yarn with another type yarn makes it a bit nicer, but I didn’t know that at the time. I have a nice afghan pattern and a nice tablecloth pattern to move on to – I just need to decide on the yarn, but I almost have that down pat. I’m going to order the yarn online, but I don’t trust my computer’s gamma settings (color), so I’m going to make a trip to the LYS and see if they have any that I can actually look at. I also have a couple of questions about the tablecloth pattern for another post.

So – I’m on my way…weeeeeeee. :cheering: Thanks again.

Funny thing that you should mention Boa… I’m guessing that you are talking about Bernat Boa? That’s actually the only eyelash yarn that I like working with…the rest give me fits! :roflhard: :roflhard:

Hi Sara :smiley: . I’ve recently bought the book “The Sweater Workshop” on the recommendation of several people on this board. The “sampler” that you create leads you through many knitting techniques (different ribbings, increases, decreases, cast on and offs, color knitting, etc…). I thought that would be a fun project to increase my skills and learn how to incorporate them into sweater making (eventually!). If you don’t have anything in particular in mind to knit, the sampler would be an inexpensive project that would get you back up to speed :smiley:

Thanks, Holly…“The Sweater Workshop” sounds like it might be a good thing for me to look into. I appreciate the suggestion.

I looked at several books today at Hancock but couldn’t decide at the time. I wrote them down so that I could look them up on Amazon (which would be cheaper anyway). They were:

Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques
- Wiseman…I really liked this one.
Vogue Knitting on the Go - Beginner Basics (nice clear photos/good size for bag)
Vogue Knitting Quick Reference (also good size for bag)
Of course the Vogue "Big Bible"
Knitting in Plain English - Righetti
The Knitting Answer Book - Radcliffe

I bought some yarn I really like called Omega Sinfonia sportweight cotton in a beautiful rust color at Hobby Lobby to make some dishclothes.

I couldn’t find any of the yarn I was looking for to check colors for my afghan, so I guess I will go on a gut that the colors will be similar to my monitor. I was looking for either Bernat Satin in Mocha or Bernat Berella 4 in Dark Taupe (I don’t know which one to use yet) ---- and Red Heart Luster Sheen in Chocolate for my tablecloth. I found some great prices at “Discount Yarn Sales” and “Yarn and…”, both online. I like Paton’s Grace and KnitPick Shine, but neither come in the colors I would like for these project.

Re: Tablecloth ~ I am looking at trying the tablecloth here:
This is probably a “dummy” question, but I’m wondering why you have to pick up stiches to knit the two side hems? Why can’t it just be incorporated into the pattern? This may be above me right now. I do have a pattern book (Mon Tricot) with some really nice lace patterns that I can maybe create a pattern from. I don’t see many tablecloth patterns out there for knitting.

Thanks again for everyone’s help!! :heart:

Hey Sara! Where in Cajun Country? I am from a few minutes outside of New Orleans.

Hi ShelleBelle ~ I’m outside of Lafayette ~ about 10 miles south. I grew up in Lake Charles and lived in Cameron ('ya know - the town that was destroyed by Hurricane Rita :crying: I have many homeless ex-inlaws) and then Lafayette for quite a few years. Hubster and I recently sold our monster-sized house, got rid of over 1/2 of everything we owned, and bought a little bitty house out in the middle of a sugar cane field. I’m loving it!!


Oops…just me again :oops:

I found some great prices at “Discount Yarn Sales” and “Yarn and…”, both online

I forgot to mention They have some awesome prices. I am going to order some needles from here, for certain :thumbsup:


The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techinques is the BEST! It doesn’t have patterns, but I’ve found that using those techniques has made a world of difference in my knitting.

You probably have to pick up stitches for the ends so they’ll match the other sides. There’s no way to match a horizontally knit edge with a vertically knit edge.