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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The One Where She Says, "Let's Try Knitting"

With crochet being a reasonable success, I said to myself, "Why don't you try knitting?"

First, let me remind you (or inform sporadic readers who might have missed my original confession) that I am probably the least crafty person you'll ever meet. My mom didn't knit or crochet or do needlepoint or anything like that and all my grandparents were dead before I was six, so there was no on in my family to show me how to do any of these things.

Second, I'll mention my previous attempts at craft-type things were all dismal failures. Knitting was particularly a memorable failure when I was in either junior high or high school. I can't remember which one, just that it didn't go well. The only thing I was worse at--we're talking complete failure here--was sewing.

So when I had the brainstorm to learn to crochet, I didn't expect it to be more than a lark. I chose crochet because I wanted to crochet the tops for kitchen towels so I could have the towel, color, and length I wanted, but I didn't expect to go much farther than that.

Needless to say, I was shocked with how much I enjoyed crochet. The chief benefit was that it helped me tremendously with my anxiety issues and my stress levels were off the charts by January when I took my first crochet lesson. Once I realized this wasn't one of my projects I was going to start and drop, I replaced my cheap hooks with good ones, bought a yarn valet and an yarn bowl, and started creating a stash of yarn.

But Patti, you're saying, what about knitting? This post is supposed to be knitting.

Two things happened that kind of got me going with knitting. The first was that as I was looking for crochet patterns, I'd find super cool patterns that were for knitting. If I couldn't bear to lose them, I'd save them, but I still didn't plan to ever knit myself. Sure, crochet was going well, but that's manipulating one stick. I was pretty sure I wasn't coordinated enough to do two sticks at the same time.

The second thing that happened was that I started a Facebook group for authors, editors, and other publishing-related people who knit or crochet. The group is overwhelmingly knitters and as they shared their work, the desire to try knitting again grew stronger.

I finally decided to give it a shot. After all, if I could crochet now--something I also failed at as a teen--maybe knitting would go better too. And I already had the yarn and assorted yarn things, so it would only be a matter of finding a class and buying a set or two of needles. The straight, metal 10" needles were under $5 so why not?

As it turns out, I enjoy knitting, too, and while I'm a failure at continental knitting--I was like a seal (the aquatic kind) trying to knit with two flippers--I stopped feeling lost when I switched to English style knitting.

I'm still a rank beginner, and I haven't finished my first scarf yet, but I decided to invest in interchangeable needles. I didn't get the real expensive ones, but good, solid, middle of the road needles. So far I've knitted, purled, and made lace. Oh, and when I started the Marly Bird Knit ALong, I learned to do garter tab. At first, it was hard, but after ripping my work out probably six times and starting over, I finally got that, too.

Here is the first half of my first scarf. I'm still working on the second half.