Knitting Series: Scary Knitting

Let’s talk about the things that scare me in knitting.

Lately, I’ve been trying to get into some new Knitting podcasts. One of the podcasts that I’ve found that I really enjoy is F This Knit (The podcast where they talk about knitting and they swear a lot!).

This is relevant to the theme of today’s blog, I promise.

This podcast came out almost a year and half ago, but they only post once a month, so their backlog is not impossibly lengthy. So, naturally, I’ve been going through the entire backlog of episodes, and I just finished their October episode, titled Spooky Scary Knits.

I’ve been inspired by their podcast to tell you some of the things that I find the most scary or intimidating in knitting, and why!

Let’s start with the obvious – steeking. I don’t know a single knitter who isn’t terrified of the idea of steeking.

For those who don’t know, steeking is the act of cutting into your knitting. Typically, it’s a complicated fair isle pattern knit in the round, then cut into to make a tube into a cardigan or some such garment. The mere thought of cutting into hours and hours of colorwork gives me the heebie jeebies.

Of course, you don’t just lay your project down and cut into it. There are holds put in place to make sure your project doesn’t unravel, but it just seems like the sort of thing that can so easily go wrong. No thank you.

Double pointed needles were a big fear of mine for a while. I find them to be a piece of cake now – my preferred method of sock knitting, actually. But there is something incredibly intimidating about working with 4 or 5 needles at the same time. When I finally got the hang of knitting on DPNs (hint: ignore all other needles except the ones you’re working with) I was surprised at how easy it turned out to be.

I still get strangers who come up to me and are amazed at how I work DPNs, and some newer knitters seem to have the same reaction. It certainly does look complicated, but it’s easier than people expect.

In the same vein of DPNs, I was very intimidated by the idea of cabling for quite some time. I absolutely adore the look of cables, but they really look like the kind of technique that’s going to be quite difficult.

Once I learned how to knit on DPNs, however, cables didn’t seem so complicated. Working with a cable needle really isn’t that different from working with any other DPN.

Now, trying to do a cable without a cable needle or something to hold your stitches on? That still scares the dickens out of me. I can just imagine all of those stitches coming out the second I try to start knitting on the other stitches, and trying to deal with that while getting the cable right. Again, no thank you.

Swatching can be quite intimidating for me as well.

Certainly there’s an element of not wanting to swatch that is laziness, but also, trying to figure out how to correct gauge when the swatch isn’t quite right is difficult for me. Not to mention that I’ve definitely swatched incorrectly in the past and had it negatively impact my FO.

What else?

Oh, lace! How could I forget lace?

I think in terms of rank, lace knitting comes in a very close second to steeking, but for different reasons. Certainly, there’s some fear of simply getting it wrong, as with steeking, but it’s highly unlikely that my whole project is going to come unraveled if I miss a slip stitch or forget a yarn over.

The biggest problem with lace knitting is simply how complicated it seems. It’s not something you do while you sit back and binge watch Netflix, by any means. Tension (always a nemesis of mine) seems important in lace knitting, as well as keeping track of the pattern and really paying attention to your stitches.

And don’t get me started on lace knitting with beads. I shudder to think of the care and attention necessary for that.

Less an actual part of knitting, but as part of the community, fiber festivals were absolutely terrifying to me when I first started going.

It wasn’t until I started going with Taylor to help out and keep her company in her booth at festivals that the intimidation began wearing off. There are just so many booths and vendors and people at festivals, and they all seem to know so much more than me about all things fiber!

I still get somewhat intimidated at festivals, but I’ve found the best way to combat this is to have a plan and a buddy. It can be far too overwhelming to go to a festival without a plan of what you’re looking to purchase, and having a buddy helps to mitigate some of the anxiety I feel about interacting with the all-knowing booth owners.

Ok, last one for today, and this is another community aspect – posting in forums on Ravelry.

I have no idea why this scares me; it likely has everything to do with my social anxiety, because it cannot be the people on the site.

Whenever I have mustered the courage to post on Ravelry, everyone has been nothing but kind and helpful! But there’s just something I find extremely intimidating about trying to add to a thread, group, or forum. Especially with the length of some of the threads! There’s nothing like finding a thread on a topic you like, only to have it be 700 comments deep, with virtually no way of picking up all the threads of conversation.

That’s all for now! Let me know in the comments what your biggest knitting fears are, and I’ll see you all next week.


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