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:
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.
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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