I was driving home on Sunday and I was listening to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Cast Off on Audible. Side note if you haven’t read her books I would highly recommend them, I like listening to the author read their book too. Anyways without giving away the book (which you should totally read for yourself, hint hint) I was listening to a section about knitting law. No there are no official laws in knitting, but I think there are some laws/rules that are there that we all can accept. No these laws are not just for the knitter, but the knitting itself too. As I was driving I was thinking about it, there are some things as a new or experienced knitter you need to know. I figured why not expand on their idea and start a list knitting laws. So here are what I call “Conexos Iuris” or latin for knitting law. Keep in mind these are kind of guidelines that I follow with my knitting and should not be taken as real law.
- All that partake in the act of knitting should knit whatever makes them happy. If you just want to knit hats, sweaters, scarves, or a mix of everything, there’s no one stopping you but you.
- Mistakes will happen, we are only human. Learn from your mistakes and know when you need help.
- Knitting takes a lot of time. New skills can be learned and will take time as well before you feel comfortable with them. Remember all knitting is based on Knit and Purl stitches, nothing is impossible just something that you need to practice.
- Yarn is a personal choice, choose whatever makes you happy. Natural fibers or acrylic, choose what speaks to you (and your wallet). Remembering that other knitters may not like your choice, but you’re the one knitting with it.
- Straights or circular needles do the same job, but up to personal preference. Also DPNS, two circulars, or magic loop are all personal preference as well, try a few different tools and see what you like. Metal, acrylic, wood, or plastic needles are also up to your preference.
- Stash is a personal choice as well. Stash as much or as little that makes you happy. Keep note of limitations of budget, space, and others that live with you. There are non knitters that will not understand.
- Stash should be kept away from the eyes of non knitters, they will judge you for the amount of wool (or whatever material your yarn is) you have. Knitters will marvel at the amount of beautiful yarn that you have.
- Local Yarn Shops or LYS are a great place to learn new skills, meet other knitters, and of course enhance the stash. Treat the shop with utmost care and respect, which includes the staff.
- Gauge is an important factor when making a garment or anything that needs to fit the recipient. Even knitting a gauge swatch can lead to false hope, it’s still highly recommended that you make one.
- When gauge fails you on a garment and it’s going to be ill-fitting, bad colors, or anything that makes you unhappy with it. Set it down for a little bit of time, come back to it later when you have a more level head. Ripping out a section or the whole project is a possibility when you’re sure that the knitting isn’t pleasing you anymore.
- Remember we are knitting with yarn and yarn is reusable. You can rip out mistakes and ill-fitting garments to make something that tickles your knitterly fancy.
- Patterns are fantastic, designers are clever, but if you need to make changes for yarn, gauge, or sizing, there’s no knitting police to stop you from making those changes. Those changes are for personalization of the knitting, but keep in mind if you do alter the pattern, you will need to do your own problem solving or consult help from your knitting circle.
- Go forth and knit as much or as little pleases you, taking breaks to avoid injury.
This is by no means a comprehensive list or anything that anyone else should follow. These are just the “laws” or guidelines that I keep in mind when I knit. Knitting is a personal, social, and creative venture that you should do with it as it pleases you. Speaking of, I’m going to go back to my own knitting, lots and lots of knitting in the round on a circular needle, with some nice super wash merino lace yarn. Oh Viajante, you have a long ways to go.