Saturday, January 8, 2011

There ought to be a list

After the Christmas knitting was done (by default - it got to be Christmas Day), and before starting the birthday knitting (all the same things I didn't get finished for Christmas magically became birthday gifts instead of Christmas gifts), I decided to do baby knitting.

There is a baby gift needed for a baby shower for one of hubby's co-worker's wife. So I grabbed the opportunity to try some of the baby patterns that have been stacking up in my favorites list. Among them is the norwegian baby hat, and a car seat cover, and the ten stitch blanket, and of course, EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket. I have never knit the surprise jacket and it seems to me that the jacket is some kind of right of passage for a knitter.

Which led to the thought that somewhere there ought to be a list. There are lists that you can check off and see what level tatter you are, or knitter or crocheter. But those lists are just what kinds of things that you know how to do, knit, purl, ring, chain, self-closing mock ring, chain, extended single crochet (I just learned how to do that one not long ago).

But a list of patterns that every knitter should knit at least once in their lifetime. Everyone should knit a pair of basic socks even if they never do it again.

So I wondered if this would be the same as either the top 100 patterns on Ravelry under "most popular" or maybe under "most projects" . This immediately meant that I began to wonder what is the difference between "most popular" and "most projects". A rabbit trail later led to the official Ravelry answer - "popular is a secret sauce that mixes together # of projects, date completed, and star rating in an attempt to come up with a popularity at this moment of time"

Looking at the top 100 in each list there is considerable overlap and the EZ baby surprise jacket is number 3 either way. I would think that the popularity is a transient thing but the ones with the most projects are must knit items plus I see a lot of items that I have knit. But the items should also be something that teaches you or lets you learn about yourself as a knitter.

For example while doing the baby surprise jacket I learned many things about my knitting. First, I had seen a lot of comments by people that the pattern was too hard to understand and follow. I didn't have any problem following the version in Opinionated Knitter. I do have several other places where I have that pattern including the re written one for Adult, Baby, Child. So I learned that I could follow a pattern. I don't usually but I can if I have to.

Second I learned that if the object I am knitting doesn't look anything like what I anticipate the end product to be, I am okay with that. Knitting an amorphous blob and trusting it will turn into a sweater worked for me. I have faith in my knitting skills - it will turn out okay.

Third I learned that my tension isn't all I thought it was. I have always had great difficulty maintaining an even tension while knitting. I really thought I was doing well. An item knit in stockinette appeared to have even, consistent, uniform tension through all the stitches. Well, the sweater is knit in garter stitch. It is showing me that I can't get even ten stitches with a semi consistent tension. And the rows are showing that I knit like garbage. Does this mean that I ripped out the item - NO. Or that I am going to throw the finished item away - again NO. It means I have to figure out how to knit.

Here is a photo of my knit but not sewn baby surprise and items for the top 100 list:

EZ Baby Surprise Jacket.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

I would like to see the Ravelry top 100 most projects and top 100 most popular. I suspect that both are skewed by the popularity of certain patterns on the internet . . . but I don't know because I haven't seen them.

One thing that I learned about the Baby Surprise Jacket is that the sleeves are usually not long enough. You might want to pick up stitches around the wrist (which is actually the elbow) after you have sewn the seams and knit a cuff . . .