Knitting Series: Growing as a Knitter

Let’s talk about knitting.

For those who read both my knitting series and my general series, you’ll know that I’m turning 24 this month.

I thought that now would be a good time to reflect on how I’ve grown as a knitter.

It’s hard to believe that when I first started knitting, I was only about eight years old. I made a few scarves, all riddled with holes and uneven sides as I made accidental increases or decreases.

Years later, I remember picking it back up again and feeling even more clueless than I was at eight. I recall finding a cool pattern on Ravelry and being so determined to knit it. It was a cowl that was knit flat, but seamed at the end. It had some mock cables, and called for worsted weight yarn.

It’s hard to believe, but I had absolutely no idea what worsted weight meant, and could not make sense of the descriptions online. So I popped into my local Joann’s and looked for something that said worsted, ending up with this terribly itchy wool that was, indeed, worsted weight. Though of corse, most of the things on the other shelves would have also qualified.

My next challenge came when I simply could not figure out how to purl. I kept watching tutorial after tutorial on YouTube, and I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t turning out right.

Eventually, I finally came to terms with the fact that I was knitting wrong. Now you may think that there’s no right or wrong way to knit, but that’s not true. If you physically cannot do a purl stitch because of the way you hold the needles, you’re doing it wrong.

This was probably around the age of eighteen or nineteen.

I found the two cowls I knit in that pattern recently. One wasn’t too bad, but the other must have lost some stitches at the end, because it was not the same size from start to finish.

After this extensive learning experience, I mostly dropped the knitting again for a few years. Not until I was laid up for six weeks, unable to put any weight on my left foot after surgery, did I start to get truly serious about knitting.

Taylor started coming over regularly, like the amazing friend that she is, and we would sit and knit together to help alleviate my boredom.

When I say I got serious, I mean it. I went from rarely picking up needles, to having them in my hands every day, pumping out project after project.

I started out making mitered squares for a quilt that I never ended up putting together, but in the process perfected my knits and purls, and learned my increases and decreases.

I did my first colorwork piece. A pair of fingerless gloves made with Red Heart that said Police Box on them, a gift for my friend who had gotten me into Doctor Who, which was another big alleviator of boredom during my healing time. It was also my first project knit on double point needles, a huge step up for me.

I taught myself to make some knit flowers that I found a pattern for, and really found my stride with those increases and decreases.

After that, I made a set of double knit coasters. Can’t for the life of me remember how to do double knitting now, but I know that I’m definitely capable, because those coasters sit on the coffee tables at my parents’ house to this day.

While I kept up the crafting – making a blanket for my grandmother while she was in hospice care, and learning to crochet to make my mom some slippers in the style that my great-grandmother always used to do for the whole family – it wasn’t until after I came home from Paris that I really started identifying myself as a knitter.

While in Paris, I made my first Hitchhiker, a staple in my pattern library now, and that pretty much cemented my fate.

Although I’ve still got a few knitter rights of passage to go through yet – I’ve yet to make my first sweater – I am unabashedly proud of my progress. I’ve gone from being incapable of purling, to being confident enough in my knitting to write a blog about it in just a few years!

I think that’s pretty good, if I do say so myself.

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