Swatches Yarns and Frogs is a blog. I don’t have a shop, I’m not a designer. I knit, and do some other types of stitching, to relax, and because I love beautiful, soft, warm things. I also have cats who love toys and blankets, so I knit for them too.
What I really want this blog to be is a place where I can curate everything I love related to knitting, with links to books, people who knit, yarns, tools, videos, other blogs, to share with others. I’ll also post some of my projects, though that’s a lower priority for me, because I’m just not that prolific a knitter. And much of what I knit is simple, or for cats, or not really that spectacular. I seem to find the spectacular everywhere else, and this is where I want to link to and keep track of all that, and share my thoughts, loves, and fascination with this process we call knitting.
It’s also a place to share, to a much lesser degree, other needle crafts like crochet, tatting, and even some sewing and embroidery. I don’t do much of any of those recently — though I used to sew a lot of my own clothes. But this will be a place to gather all of that as well. Feel free to join in with your comments, and if you have a blog or website, please share that as well.
About Barbara W. Klaser
I’m a blogger, book lover, novelist, editor, lifelong journal keeper, knitter, servant to cats, and lots of other things. I’m the owner of Swatches Yarns and Frogs (this blog) as well as a few other blogs covering other topics. (See my Other Blogs page.) That’s probably all that needs to be said, but if you want the long version about me as a knitter, here goes. I would say the part below is optional, but it’s all optional.
At first I hated knitting
Let me just crochet and tat
When I was a teen, my grandmother taught me to crochet, and later, how to tat lace. When she offered to teach me to knit, that rebellious, embarrassed claim, “I hate knitting.” popped into my mind, and although I didn’t say it out loud, it influenced me unreasonably to turn down her offer. I decided I was happy enough with crocheting and tatting to last me the rest of my life. I tatted lace bookmarks, and when I came across a picture of a crocheted afghan in a magazine, I loved it so much I had to match the colors exactly, and I made one for myself, without a pattern — I had only that magazine photo to go by.
The book that changed my mind about knitting
Sometime later, Grandma bought me the Learn-to-Knit Afghan Book by Barbara G. Walker. Walker happens to be my maiden name, and my grandmother pointed out the similarity in our names as a just-for-fun reason for getting me the book. Clever Grandma. And yet I still balked. It wasn’t until well after her death, when I was in my thirties, that I found that book on my shelves again and decided to learn how to knit from it. By then I needed a way to relax, and knitting fit the bill perfectly. I think that was around 1993 or 1994, but I can’t recall for certain. So it’s close to 30 years ago now. Of course the first thing I made was that blanket, although I left out some of the squares that felt too challenging to me at the time. But by the time I had sewn the squares together, and my spouse lovingly adopted it as his, I had become convinced that not only did I not hate knitting, I loved it.
Very soon after that, I tried my first sweater. I bought books on knitting, I bought yarn. I subscribed to knitting magazines. In bookstores, I pored over the knitting books.
I’m a slow knitter — and I like it that way. I’ve been knitting on a budget for years, and I find that if I have something to knit, it’s relaxing, a wonderful way to slow down my thinking processes and just be for a while, doing something gently repetitive, almost meditative. I know other people knit for different reasons, and I do like finished products, and I obsess a little over color and color combinations, but the relaxation aspect matters to me a lot. That said, there are naturally times when I want the finished product, and obstacles, errors, or set-backs can be frustrating.
Saving some for later
I’m sure I’ll get around to sharing more about my knitting as this blog gets going. But for now, you know a little bit about me and why this blog exists.