OMG! I’m Really A Knitter!

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It all started with a sock loom and a teach-yourself DVD. Eighteen pairs of socks later (don’t worry, not all of them are for me), I decided I was ready for something a little more challenging. Don’t get me wrong, my sock-making days are far from over, but my neck needs a scarf and my head wants a hat.

I tried to learn the traditional method of knitting when I was a kid, but the southpaw in me just couldn’t get the hang of it. Frustration set in and so did all the mental blocks that say “I can’t do it.” Then, a few weeks ago while shopping at a local craft store, I walked past the knitting needles and for some reason was inspired to buy a pair, (US 9′s if anyone is curious). After holding them for just a few minutes, I realized that I had to let go of all the blocks that were holding me back if I wanted to learn to knit on those needles. Just like that the blocks were gone and my determination to knit took over.

The same night, I hung out with my mom at my grandma’s house. Both of them know how to knit, so I whipped out my snappy new needles and got my first lesson. Within fifteen minutes I was casting on – By myself! – and shortly thereafter I was practicing knit and purl stitches.  Aside from overcoming years of “I can’t” it was an incredibly special moment to learn these skills from my mom and grandma.

It didn’t take long for the knitting addiction to take hold of my soul. I am constantly looking for new things to learn, which makes youtube and an awesome how-to knitting book my new favorite things. I am literally devouring every nugget of information I can get my hands on! So far, I’ve learned how to increase and decrease three different ways, sew seams, pick up and knit stitches (in the opposite direction of a piece), make buttonholes, follow patterns, and a couple of interesting ways to change color or add a new ball of yarn. Of course, there is so much more to learn . . . and I can’t wait. Next on my list is learning how to knit on circular needles, (I have a pattern for a hat I really want to make!).

I can’t post pictures of my first two projects because they are Christmas gifts, but I will share them as soon as the wrapping paper flies off the box. Recently, however, I finished making something for myself. It’s the most difficult pattern I’ve attempted to date, but it was worth struggling through the learning curve. In addition to learning a number of new techniques, I got really good at reverse knitting and pulling out rows without destroying a piece.  While somewhat frustrating, learning how to backtrack is a pretty valuable skill!  After countless mistakes, I finally got into the groove of the pattern and this beautiful cowl is the result:

Knitted cowl: Norwegian wool and deer antler buttons.

The pattern for this project was a nice surprise I found tacked to one of the yarn racks at Michaels. It was free and waiting for someone to give it a try. The yarn for this project is Norwegian wool, Odin Superwash #865. As for the buttons, I picked them up in Northern Wisconsin years ago. Made from deer antlers, they are the perfect rustic touch.

Have I geeked out enough? Not even close! I have a 50% off coupon for any yarn product in my wallet and I have my eye on a new size of knitting needles.

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My favorite resources so far:

Knitting 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Through Easy Step-by-Step Instruction by Carri Hammet

This is an amazing book filled with easy-to-understand instructions and visuals. There’s even a bonus DVD that shows techniques with even more detail.

Knitting Tips by Judy (youtube series)

I turn to this series when I can’t get something to work to save my life! The narration is so good and she does a fantastic job of describing each step of a technique.

Pinterest

While already a fun place to hang out, I’ve found it to be an incredible resource for free patterns and fun project ideas. You can see some of what I’ve found by following my board entitled, Knit Happens.

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c.b.w. 2012

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43 thoughts on “OMG! I’m Really A Knitter!

  1. You are an inspiration. (Machine) knitted cowls are in all the shops … not only did you teach yourself to knit, and beautifully from what I see, but your project is state of the art, or should I say, fashion!

    • Thanks!

      The pattern called for a boring one color wool blend, so I decided it needed something a little more fun. :-) Usually, when I decide to learn something I keep at it until I’ve got it mastered. Knitting was never an easy thing for me and it still is a challenge, but I’m having a lot of fun trying.

  2. oh now see…i am one of the blockedicanters
    I would really like to master knitting, though I have no idea the cost of making sweaters. I want to knit so that I can make myself sweaters that aren’t wool, that are soft and any color I like! I really like this cowl thing, perhaps my daughter can make me one to go with plain shirts!?! I am working thru Kathy Drue’s blogroll list, that is how I found you. :)

  3. Oooh, love the cowl! Ah, your post is so motivating and inspiring! I just started knitting again. I still only know the *very basics*, but I find it so relaxing and almost meditative. I eventually want to learn some new knitting skills, so I’ll definitely be checking out some of your links (just added you to Pintrest)! The best part of knitting is searching for wool (so many gorgeous textures and colours. delicious!) Thanks for sharing your knitted adventures! :)

  4. Wow ! That definetly does not look like a beginner’s knitting work to me ! Love the colors, too. I always wished that I could knit, but never learned either. My carpel tunnel problem in the right hand had made it hard for me to hold small needles for cross stitch so I wonder if knitting would be a better grip for me. (not that I’m any good at following through and completeing projects anyhow)

    Also, which is easier, the sock loom or traditional knitting?

    • It’s not a beginner’s pattern! When I picked it up I noticed it was intermediate, but I decided I wanted to make it so badly that I would learn as I went. There was a lot of ripping out, but I figured it out eventually.

      If you are having trouble with your hands and wrists, I’d recommend a loom. You don’t have to hold anything except a knitting hook and the work yarn. :-)

  5. Your cowl is absolutely gorgeous and the buttons really are the crowning glory. How wonderful that you were able to master the art of knitting, being a south paw! :)

    A dear friend and I were at a Craft Show, yesterday, and she was lamenting how she never mastered knitting because she’s left-handed, as well. Her daughter, on the other hand, is a rabid knitter so K took the card of one knitter at the show who had the most fantastic line of wools I’d ever seen.

    • Thanks! I just knit in my own way – I don’t hold the needles right and I manipulate the work yarn differently, but the results are the same. :-)

      Oooo, new yarn. I’m still drooling over a yarn store I went to with my mom. There were so many beautiful fibers. :-)

  6. This is getting a little scary, C.B., my following you into yarn madness. Last Saturday found me at my new favorite yarn shop buying real knitting needles and yarn….and this was before I read your post. I just started knitting a scarf, having not held a pair of knitting needles since I was eleven. It is amazing how much muscle memory returns. I am now as hooked on the regular knitting as with the sock loom. I hope my scarf will turn out as beautifully as your cowl, which is absolutely gorgeous. I love the rich colors and how warm and cozy the pattern looks. Trust me, if you can do this, you can learn to crochet. But please, no more new crafts for a while – I’m neglecting harp practice with the knitting addiction as it is 😃.

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