May 27, 2011

It's the process

I'm sure most knitters have heard about the difference between process and product knitters. Process knitters knit for the sake of knitting and aren't terribly concerned with the finished project. If a project is boring or not working out or not enjoyable for whatever reason, a process knitter will usually just stop knitting it. This often makes them bad deadline and gift knitters.

Product knitters, on the other hand, are in it for the finished item. They will endure tedium, endless ripping and reknitting, cramped hands, and yarn that doesn't feel good to knit with, all for the sake of the end result.

Guess which kind I am? Yeah. Process knitter all the way. Which makes me 1) likely to give away my knitted items - on the rare occasions I actually finish something - because I don't really care about the end result and 2) extraordinarily likely to grow bored, frustrated or give up when the knitting isn't going my way.

And yes, it also makes me an extraordinarily tardy gift knitter. As I believe has been amply demonstrated in the past.

Given my aversion to knitting that isn't both easy and fun, I've surprised myself by undertaking (and sticking with) a pattern that I'm genuinely not enjoying: Annis, from Knitty.

Through no fault of the pattern or the designer, I hate knitting this thing. I hate the slippery metal needles. I hate the long purl back rows. And I hate all the nupps. Good lord do I hate the nupps.

It's possible I've even begun referring to the pattern as "Anus." Which is fitting, because in this pink, it bears a disturbing resemblance to a pile of intestines:

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Yum!

The sad part is, I was excited about the nupps at first. I'd never made a nupp. I was going to learn something new! It was going to be great fun! And, wow, was I wrong.

Now, if you've never nupped, a nupp* is made by repeatedly knitting and yarn-overing into the same stitch to create (in the case of Anus, er, Annis), 7 stitches out of 1. On the purl back row, you PURL ALL OF THE STITCHES YOU JUST MADE TOGETHER. This makes a wee nub on your knitting, kind of like a bobble, but flatter.

The problem is: Purling three stitches together is pushing it. But seven? Pure horror.

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For the first few nupps, I was sure it was actually impossible to correctly execute a purl 7 together. Surely, this was some sort of cruel joke. Then I realized I could do it (slowly and excruciatingly) if I used a size 2 needle. The first nupp row (with 30 nupps total) took me two hours. Then I did the same thing with another ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY NUPPS.

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But now I can proudly say two things: First, I have made nupps my bitch.

And more importantly, I never, ever have to knit another one as long as I live. Such is the joy of being a process knitter.

* If you're curious about the difference between nupps and bobbles, or want an explanation involving less distracting use of the word "anus", Knitpicks has a nifty bit about them here.

3 comments:

mre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Yup, probably the most uses of "anus" and "bitch" used to describe knitting a shawl. There's no granny knitting here!

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