Playing with Yarn

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Friends, Hobby, Knitting

Years ago, I wanted to learn how to knit but was overwhelmed at the complexity and lack of people who could teach me. I tried crochet instead and did a decent job of it making a few scarves and two blankets (unfinished edges).

Now that I’m stuck at home, usually in a chair or bed due to the dizziness, I considered starting to crochet again. A conversation with my dear friend M.A. got me going on knitting. She’s an accomplished knitter and thought I might enjoy the conversion from crochet to knitting. While she was staying with us in order to attend the memorial service for another dear friend, we zipped off to the craft store to get the basic supplies including a “How To…” kit. She had to leave shortly after that, so we never really got a chance for a tutorial.

I became very frustrated with the instruction guide in the “How To…” kit, and gave up after a few tries. The book just was not translating into action for me. She said she had a book for me to borrow, and to bring my supplies along the next time we met up for a tutorial. A few weeks later, we were at Tee Morris’ home and we stole away for a quick 10 minute lesson sitting in the hatchback of my CRV. It was much quieter than inside the house, and we needed some ‘us’ time regardless. In spite of her belief that she’s a terrible teacher, she had me casting on and stitching wobbly stitches in no time!

I was very grateful, but warned her not to expect much progress since I would likely get home and have forgotten what she showed me. To my great luck, she lent me her autographed copy of the Stitch ‘n Bitch book to keep me going.

After getting home, I was confused again. Which hand held the stitches after they were cast on? I remembered the basic movements, but not the finer details. I tentatively reached for the lent book, and started reading. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the non-instructional introduction. It’s a lovely story, and at one point I got teary eyed. Even if I’d not learned a thing on knitting I enjoyed the book.

Thanks to the hands-on time with M.A. and the detailed and logically phrased guidance from the book I was soon mangling the yarn in a somewhat continuing pattern. I was practicing my stitches and learning from trial and error, not really concerning myself with what it looked like other than as a learning opportunity. At one point I had several rows that looked much nicer than the previous, so I unraveled the whole nightmare and started fresh. I was pretty amazed at how neat it looked, and how much quicker (still slow) I was stitching.

That was a couple weeks ago, and since then I’ve knit two scarves. On the first, I had Chooch select the yarn he wanted for a ’2 hour scarf’ patter that I found from the Lion Brand Yarn site. I still get email from my crocheting days, so just wound up browsing their site. I used size 19 knitting needles, with two strands of the Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. Normally I’d have gone for a fancier acrylic for more color options at our local store, but M.A. had explained the basics of the different yarns and with a blizzard forecast I wanted to make sure the would stay warm.

On the second, I was actually looking for yarn for a friend that asked me to make one for her. When I laid my eyes on the the white Wool-Ease Jiffy with a white metallic thread, I quickly decided that I had to make this scarf for a different person. That scarf is now finished, and I can get back to the one for the other friend.

I bought a bunch more yarn, and already have a long list of projects in my head. I don’t plan on making sweaters or socks, they are too intimidating. I previously crocheted a hat, so may try that soon. I also want to crochet something again, just to compare the two processes and results. Crocheting for me is ‘easier’ in that I only have to really pay attention to one hook rather than two needles, but I think I’m enjoying the results of the knitting better.

I’m posting various pictures of what I’ve used and my results. Next up? Stripes!

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One Response to “Playing with Yarn”

  1. Jett Says:

    You’re much braver than I. I’ve never touched knitting or crotchet. Very nicely done! Lucky friends who’ll get your scarves!

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