November 30, 2012

Knit Lit

Along with vintage Pyrex, I enjoy hunting for old sewing and handiwork stuff. Although I haven't been able to pinpoint the exact reason why I'm drawn to vintage sewing and needlework tools and pattern books, I like to think that it helps me feel connected to the grandmothers and great-grandmothers of yesteryear who also pursued creativity in their daily life.  Their creativity may have been born more out of necessity than enjoyment, but I like to think that many of them still got pleasure out of creating something with their hands.

One thing that put me off knitting initially was simply the price of new needles. When I started looking into knitting more seriously, I realized that a person needed quite a LOT of needles in order to create all manner of garments with various types of yarn. Of course you can knit with one set of needles, but it seemed like every new pattern I wanted to make called for different sized needles and different thicknesses of yarn, but my budget instead erred on the thin size.

I knew I could save a small fortune by collecting used needles at thrift stores. Every time I saw a pair that weren't bent or that didn't have gunk stuck to them (it's true... sometimes you really have to pick through stuff -- and then really wash your hands afterwards), I would snatch them up for 50 cents or even as much as a dollar. 

Soon, I had quite a few needles in all sizes and colors. I thought they would make a fun photo project, especially when I realized I had all of the colors of the rainbow

These three were the best of the bunch: 

I submitted the far right photo into my camera club for a competition, and titled the entry 'Rainbow Bright'. The judges weren't impressed. They gave me low scores because the title had nothing to do with knitting. (I wanted people to guess what the photo was... I didn't want to give it away, but there you go.) 

So, when the camera club held the next competition, I took some new photos and submitted this one for the abstract theme:

I titled it 'Knit Lit' and it tied for second place. I guess this time my choice of title caught the judges attention quicker than my previous shot.

These photos were also some of my favorites of that shoot:

I still search for knitting needles at thrift stores, but these days I'm a little more picky. I have nearly every size I could possibly ever use, so unless they are a really unique set, I'm leaving them for the next knitter-on-a-budget.

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