Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's possible I've actually learned something about knitting

Terrible picture, favorite scarf.
Some time ago, I decided I was ready to learn to knit. It... did not go well. A year later, I decided (again) that I wanted to learn to knit--for really really, this time. It also did not go well. I did get that yarn untangled, eventually (I outsourced), but that particular project is still only five or six pattern repeats in. I look at it sometimes, and sigh, but I haven't actually picked it back up yet.

That does NOT mean, however, that I haven't been knitting. I'm made huge improvements in that arena, although given what I was starting out with, anything would have been an improvement, up to and including setting that first swatch on fire. My projects page on Ravelry tells me I've got twelve finished knitting pieces, and while some of them are pretty terrible (I'm looking at you, beach-towel-sized dishcloth!), some of them are actually pretty great. (See photo at left.)

I even marshaled all my wits and knit a few small things in the round with double-pointed needles (DPNs). I admit, I didn't think anything good could possibly result from adding more needles to the mix, but then things started working exactly the way they were supposed to work and suddenly I had a painfully cute stuffed hedgehog. (The free pattern is available from Purl Bee, which is a great source of attractive, beginner-appropriate patterns.)

I've learned that I do best if I choose patterns that only have me learning one or two new things at a time. There are some people who can make the leap from a garter stitch scarf to a shaped sweater, and feel invigorated by the challenge, but I'm not one of them. Limiting the number of new skills per pattern keeps me interested, but also allows me to actually master all of them by the time I move on to the next thing.
A scarf-in-progress

I've also found the videos at to be invaluable. That's the magic of the internet, right there: watching someone do the exact thing I'm trying to do, in slow motion, over and over again for as long as it takes me to understand (without having to worry that someone's looking over my shoulder, rolling their eyes, and wondering why I'm so dense, it's just an ssk, jeese.) They even have separate videos for continental and English-style knitters. Magic, I tell you, magic!

I don't think I'll be changing the name of this blog to "Hooray Knitting" any time soon--it doesn't have the same ring to it, for one, and crochet remains my first love. But it's exciting to see actual progress, to be able to knit things that I actually want to have, finally. Apparently being bi-craftual is all it's cracked up to be. Who knew?!

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