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Trying that knitting thing, again

So, a few years ago, I kinda got into knitting. Not enough to make anything big, but I totally ruled at garter knit scarves made out of fluffy wool. I also managed at least one beanie and a pair of fingerless gloves. I bought wool, needles and TWO books on knitting (the stitch and bitch ones) and then I went on a family road trip.

Nothing bad happened on that trip, it’s just that it involved us stopping at the Wool Company, you may know it, it’s a big wool store just south of Taihape. There my Mum saw this beautiful merino wool (she chose seaweed), and I said I’d make her a scarf from it.

Still ok, it’s just that when I went to start the actual knitting, I’d decided I was better than plain garter stitch. I needed a bigger challenge than knit, knit, knit. I wanted to learn a new knitting skill! So I looked in my knitting book and decided to make this crazy wavey scarf that had me increasing every second row for like 10 rows and then decreasing the next 10 and then increasing and then decreasing and at no time could I switch off and chat to a buddy or listen to the radio or half watch a tv program. No, every second that I spent on this thing I had to be fully focussed on the knitting. I had to know which row I was on and how far through each row I was and I was always counting, counting. I spend over 5 unenjoyable hours on this thing before I decided I need a break from it.

This partially done scarf (I’d done maybe a third?) hung over me for about 3 years. I couldn’t bring myself to start working on it again, it was the antithesis of fun, but then I couldn’t start another knitting project because I really should work on the scarf. Afterall, it was for Mum. So while I knew that I could knit, and even kinda considered myself to be a knitter, I didn’t knit. At all. Until now.

A friend of mine, who knew that I could knit, but was otherwise unaware of my knitting past invited me to join her in the Knit-a-thon. A yearly project organised by Crafty m.e. (a Wellington based craft company specialising in baby quilts). This year, the aim of the knit-a-thon is to get people knitting for (and to raise awareness of) the Neonatal Trust. Crafty m.e. put up a pattern for little booties and a little beanie and we got knitting.

Nothing like a good cause and a bit of peer pressure to get one working again. I bought new *baby* wool, found my tiny needles and got to work. Two booties were made up fairly quickly and then I got to the beanie. Casting on, knitting, knitting 2 together and binding off (magical words to the unin-knit-iated) were things that my hands still remembered. I just needed a bit of reminding and off I went. My booties had knitted up quite large, so I decided to make one of the bigger beanies, which meant casting on 90 (tiny) stitches and then doing a 2x2rib. ZOMG.

I tried this three times. Knit, knit, purl, purl, I couldn’t complete 2 rows before I would realise I’d made an error and I didn’t know where. I’m sure this wasn’t helped by the fact that I started my attempts after 9pm at night. I decided I needed to practice my ribbing on bigger needles and with less stitches. I decided to unpick the insane scarf of doom and start again, this time in rib stitch.

Good decision. I really needed to restart/remake that baby. I was never going to get up the courage to spend hours and hours of horrific concentration on that thing. I’m not the fasted rib knitter ever, but I’m ok and I can do other things (talk, kinda watch tv, listen to music) at the same time. It just keeps my hands busy. So I don’t mind that it’s taking me a while to do it, it’s that much more enjoyable.

If there’s a moral, I guess it’s that sometimes, when things aren’t working, you need to leave them alone for a while and then find a new way of tackling the problem.

Gosh, my Mum might actually get this scarf before the weather turns warm! Time to get back to work. Craft day, anyone?

Point of Fashion: lounging
Current Obsession: Conquering the scarf!

PS, I honestly think this scarf looks better in rib stitch

{ 8 } Comments

  1. Debz | July 15 2009 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Yay, it’s good to hear you’re enjoying it again. I have an aunt who is a prolific knitter and the baby booties and cardies she made were awesome. Woollen booties are great with wee newborns, easy to slip on and off even when they’re asleep.

    The knit-a-thon sounds like an awesome idea.

  2. Giffy | July 15 2009 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Knit-a-thon is cool 🙂 Last year they knitted jerseys for puppies!

  3. Matt | July 15 2009 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Giving a problem time to percolate and coming up with a new way to tackle it can be awesome 🙂

  4. Richard Dagger | July 16 2009 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Funny you mention The Wool Comapny – we stopped there on the way back from hamilton, and I bought some gloves and a lovely jumper – possuum marino blend = yum

  5. Margie | July 17 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Glad you started on that Scarf again. It means that you also get that blue bowl back that you were keeping it in! yay!

  6. chelle | July 18 2009 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Craft day would be cool. My only problem is deciding which of many crafts to actually do some work on!

  7. Giffy | July 19 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Dagger: I’m actually thinking I’m going to have to order from them online, they’re really reasonably priced. I am jealous of you getting a possum/merino jumper! I can never bring myself to pay for them, even though I know that they are totally worth it.

    Margie: I actually think I’ll keep using that bowl for knitting. It’s really handy for keeping the wool in as the wool can turn freely in it! lol

    Chelle: That’s why I’m focusing on the knitting for now. I’ll hopefully get my sewing machine serviced soon, which means people will be able to use that on craft days.

  8. Karen | July 21 2009 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    James and Tom have matching aran jersies made out of the blue one which my Mum knitted for them… and Tom’s hat is the same wool. They look so cute!

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