Deep Space Knit

Yarn arts (knit and crochet) balled up with a heady dose of geekdom. Raise your pan-galactic-gargle-blaster and cheer!

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Location: Vermont, United States

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The creation of a knitter, Part 1

Ok. Since it's been a long time since I posted and I'm trying to get this Blog up and running, let's start with a story, shall we? Get to know one another? good.

Besides, I have a knitting guild meeting tonight and pictures to download... if you don't chill out now there won't be any time left!

The creation of a knitter, Part 1

It all started with a book and a movie. It would start again later with another book and another movie, but at the time it was just one:

Harry Potter.

I have loved these books ever since the third one came out. I started reading the first on my plane trip to London to study during my undergrad, and read the majority of them all on the Underground waiting to get to my stops. Somehow reading about platform 9 ½ while you’re waiting for a train in King’s Cross Station makes it that much cooler. The Goblet of Fire came out while I was in London, so I felt even more spiffy to be able to buy it there. When I came back home I found that many of my geeky theatre friends also loved the books, and so we held a sort-of private fanliness between us.
And then the first movie came out. It wasn’t the best book to movie adaptation we have ever seen, but the visuals were magnificent. And coming out of the theatre I decided to myself that one day Harry Potter costumes would be had.

In those days I was on a quest to teach myself how to sew. I knew I was a theatrical designer and if I wasn’t going to do into costuming, I would certainly need the knowledge for things like soft props and upholstery. And so I got a fairly dashing cape pattern and knocked off my Harry Potter robe. I had the pants. I had the white shirt. I even found a website that sold Harry Potter ties ( - They have some of the best customer service on the web that I have ever had the pleasure to encounter, if I was a guy I would be this website’s biggest fan.) But alas… I needed a scarf.

At the local craft store there were free leaflets for “Wizard Scarves” which were, of course. Harry Potter scarves. They came in knit and crochet versions and I picked them both up. I had been crocheting for years, I could knock off afghans in a week, I figured I could knock off Harry Potter scarves in a day or so. But the problem was the crochet version looked distinctly…. wrong. It had that notable crochet texture, and the lines between the stripes were interrupted by the ‘v’ of the single crochet. It simply wouldn’t do for a replica of the movie costume and that irritated me. The movie ones were obviously knit and if I wanted a true Harry Potter scarf, mine would have to be knit as well.

The problem? I had less knowledge of knitting than a sentient asparagus did of Shakespeare. So I did what any sane person would do. I asked my Mom. Mom had to know… she was Mom. Mom could answer my sewing questions, she had taught me how to crochet, she could macramé and rumor had it she could tat…so she had to know how to knit too, right?
Well, only kind-of. Mom had only knitted once in her life and decided she didn’t like it. Her sister, my aunt had knitted when she was young but couldn’t remember how. My grandmother had knit some things, but she too gave it up in favor of crochet, and grandma couldn’t see very well anymore. But she did give me her old knitting needles. So I went back to my house with a conundrum.

Fortunately Mom does not have conundrums. She was shopping one day and saw a booklet entitled “I can’t Believe I’m Knitting” and bought it. So the next time I went home, there was properly Harry Potter colored yarn, grandma’s old aluminum knitting needles and the booklet waiting for me. So I would lean how to knit, and that was that. It was a tedious project of trial and error. Back then I couldn’t visually recognize a knit from a purl so I would forget what hand motion I was doing every time I set the work down. I ripped out a lot of it. To make things worse, while grandma had a beautiful collection of vintage crochet hooks, were knitting needles were cheap aluminum ones from the early 80’s. Every kind of yarn seemed magnetically attracted to them in such a way that you could cast one and it would simply adhere. 40 stitches by 6 ½ feet…it was the longest project I ever knit.

I finished the Harry Potter Scarf in September 2003, put the knitting needles away and promptly forgot about the whole thing. I traveled to grad school with the scarf and the costume and my crochet hooks, thinking “I’ll never knit again…”

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