Sunday, January 1, 2012

Starting Knitting

When I was a kid I learnt how to knit about once every 2 years. My Mum used to start me on a scarf with some of the left over yarn in her knitting stash. Every time I re-learnt I would do a little bit more on that same scarf until I got bored with it and moved on to some other craft activity. I never got past stocking stitch and that very scarf is still sitting somewhere in my old room half finished. The problem was that I never wore scarfs as a kid, and I hated scratchy yarn. The yarn that Mum gave me to use was mainly the leftovers of polyester yarn used to make some very beloved knitted toys but which was really terrible as yarn for clothing.

About 2 years ago, after a couple of years of really enjoying sewing, I thought I might try knitting again. I asked my mum to teach me for probably the 10th time in my life but I was adamant that I would learn on something more interesting than a scarf, something that I would wear, in a nice yarn. My justification was that if I made mistakes I could always pull it apart and start again. So I went online and looked for a free pattern that was simple enough and picked a pullover from DROPS.

The yarn I used was Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12 Ply in Natural Fleck. It's taken me about 2 years to gradually knit up this fairly basic pullover, mainly on plane trips over the past couple of years but what it finally did was get me into the knitting grove. I'm just blocking this jumper now so that I have it done for a big move to England towards the end of this month. I'm quite excited to have my first knitting project complete. 

I didn't stop there though. I'm a compulsive starter of things and always have to have more than one project on the go so when I came across this pattern,

in a short sleeved version and a sale on bamboo yarn I snapped up some lovely white bamboo yarn and started knitting this as well. Inexperience though is a bitch sometimes and I made a mistake working out how much yarn I needed when substituting in a different yarn, I was going purely off the weight not off the meterage, and so just after I finished all the pieces of the DROPS sweater I had to frog it and work out something different to do with the yarn. Ravelry is an absolutely fantastic resource, which doesn't seem to have a comparison in sewing, and it allows you to search available knitting patterns based on the type, quantity and size yarn that you have. I found this pattern which I thought would work really nicely for the bamboo yarn so I've started knitting it. It will be my first pattern with a lace pattern which makes it a little trickier than the other patterns I've done but that makes it more fun.

I'm also in the process of making a big, worm scarf for European winter from the Honey Cowl Pattern from Madelinetosh in a teal 8 ply easy wash merino yarn, Morris Empire. Now that I've made a few other things I feel like I can move back to a scarf now, funny what some distance can do.

So knitting has somewhat taken over my creative pursuits lately. I feel like the attraction is that I can knit on the couch while watching TV without a whole lot of thought or effort and I know that anything I don't finish before the end of the month I can take with me and knit on the plane.