Thursday, January 14, 2010

Diary of a novice knitter - a lesson in tenacity

Day one:
I'd love to learn how to knit. Grandma Velma taught me how to knit and crochet when I was very little but I never even made a potholder. I fondly remember my Knit Magic machine. I knitted tubes: tube socks, tube scarves, tube tubes. I loved that little machine.

Yes, I'm going to learn to knit.

Day two:
Happy to find my knitting supplies from when I was on bed rest with E 8+ years ago (my friend Lourdes gave them to me thinking I'd knit booties or a lovely blanket. My friends have a lot of faith in me). All I managed to do was unravel a skein of yarn she gave me and roll it into a ball.

I'm gonna give this a go. How hard can it be?!

Day three:
Crap. I don't remember a thing and these crazy diagrams from old books don't help. I can do this. knit...knit...knit... unravel...unravel...unravel... knit, knit, knit... #@%*$$"

Day four:
Went to my local yarn shop, Bella Yarns, for an open knitting circle. So inspired by the advanced knitters and beautiful yarns. I bought a skein of gorgeous baby alpaca wool (local grown) and plan to knit a neck warmer. I was given instruction along side a 7 year old boy also just learning. He quickly surpassed me. Am I not destined to knit?! I can sew, why can't I knit?!

Day 5-10:
I hate to waste this beautiful yarn but I need to just keep going and not stop. I've unraveled my "neck warmer" so many times, the yarn is loosening. This isn't pretty. I have sections that are great and consistent and sections that are pure crap. BUT, I do have the largest piece of whatever you'd call this that I've ever made. That, to me, is progress. And, damn it, I'm going to wear it (although not in public).
Knit 2...purl 2...knit 2...purl 2...drop a stitch... oh well, keep going.

Tonight, I go to knitting circle again. I have to bring in my piece and present it with pride. When the laughing subsides, I will begin anew.


  1. AAaahhh!!! Loved my Knit Magic! Used to make knit tube dresses for my Barbie. I'm convinced things like Knit Magic and my Fisher Price loom helped pave the way for me to become a textile designer.

    I've taught a ton of people how to knit and here's the best advice I can offer you. Just knit, don't unknit, don't undo, just knit and keep going until you feel you have a feel for the rhythm. Know that the first thing you make won't look nice and even. The main thing with a first knitting project is to learn how to make the stitches and get a feel for keeping the tension. This won't happen immediately and it'll take a while and your first thing won't look great. Put your nice yarn away so it doesn't feel precious, pick up a good basic yarn and knit 2 feet of nothing. THEN cast on and try to make something you'll actually wear and use.

    You can do it!

  2. That is fantastic advice! Thank you for the encouragement. I'm just going to keep knitting...good, bad, or ugly.

    I NEVER thought about tube dresses for Barbie! Oh, if I could turn back time!!

  3. Funny, funny post. Most hilarious is the part about the 7 yr old boy quickly surpassing you. OMG, you're so honest.


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