Friday, October 09, 2009

Knitting (Ahem) Progress Report

As busy as I am these days, I still find myself, at the Country Casa with spare time on my hands. There are those of you that would tell me to just relax, and I DO relax, but when the house is clean, laundry & dishes done by, say, 8:30 p.m., a girl that doesn't like staring at the television gets a little bored. My "extracurricular" belongings still reside at the Casa Ciudad, so grabbing a book or setting up the easel isn't always feasible.

I announced to Clint that I'd like to learn to knit. It's creative, compact, and requires no deadlines. Perfect!

That very day we wandered by a garage sale, and there, for $1, was an entire set of knitting needles. Clearly, the Knitting Gods were shining down on me.

I immediately set about whining and lamenting: needles, no knowledge. Wah! Luckily, friend & coworker Diana stepped up and agreed to get me started. We met at a coffee shop last Saturday, and I casted off my first stitch:

(There's Diana, in the yellow shoes.)

From there, I was advised that my metal needles were crap (admittedly, the tips were bent on the set I started with), and that most knitters prefer wooden needles. So I went straight to the knit shop for yarn and wooden needles.

At the knit shop, I was advised that most people prefer circular wooden needles, so I bought the circular needles.

After some practice that created a sizable wad of knit-nothing, I decided to start on a simple project, and also that I really did prefer straight needles. Back out I went, for size 10 needles, and some shiny new red yarn.

I'd set out to make knitted dish rags, which I love. Here's a photo of what I was trying to make:

Halfway through my project, everything was perfect. Then another knitting friend informed me that the dish rags are supposed to be made of cotton yarn. the pattern indicated, and I ignored.

Also, a size 7 needle is preferable to get a tighter weave, so that the towel doesn't get all baggy when it's wet.

And then I tried to teach myself how to decrease the stitches, and I YO K1 instead of YO K2, and where the towel should have been getting smaller, it got bigger, but I kept on going until I figured out what I was doing wrong, and I by-God finished my dishrag!

Yayyyyyyyyyyyy! Isn't it beautiful? I'm well on my way to becoming a famous textile artist, I just know it! That it's a little crookedy, was knit with the wrong needles, and won't absorb a drop of water because it's made from acrylic yarn...

...doesn't bother the cat one bit.


  1. this reminds me of my own knitting project. i got some pretty purple yarn and decided to make a scarf. like you, i started out well. i even did some stripy patterns alternating between purling and knitting. well... somewhere near the end, it exploded. and i ran out of yarn. so i have a 'scarf' that is double the width on one end than the other and is sorta short and awkward. so. i feel your knitting trouble pain. i gave up and haven't tried again... ;)

  2. Well hell Lori, anyone can see that's a cat toy, not a dishrag!!! It's a well-known pattern

  3. Anonymous7:07 PM

    * giggles *

    Well done, at least the cat looks happy ;)

    Planning to give it a second shot?

  4. june in florida8:41 PM

    My mother was a wiz could knit socks using 3 needles, i am hopeless.Your first attempt is a shield shape, maybe intertwined L and C, coat of arms?Good going Lori.

  5. My sister decided she wanted to learn how to knit and crochet when she was about six, and of course the first thing she made was perfect (for a six year old), and she only got better as she got older. I on the other hand was a failure from the get-go. I still don't knit or crochet, but I have a sister who does beautiful work, so I tell her what I want and she makes it for me. Well, almost everything, I asked for crocheted snowflakes for my Christmas tree about 30 years ago, haven't seen them, but hope springs eternal.

  6. My friend Carole knits and she says that you can find all sorts of knitting how-to videos on youtube. Your "dishcloth" is pretty funny. Thanks for the laugh.

  7. it's freakin' awesome, no matter what. If you're having fun, keep at it. There's some credible research that reveals knitting and crocheting to elicit relaxation response: www.prurgent. com/ 2007-08-17/ pressrelease3269.htm.

  8. I briefly took up knitting. By "took up," I mean that I bought all the stuff including a handy travel bag and looked at it sitting on my living room floor.

    I, eventually, gave it all to my daughter-in-law who has made good use of it.

  9. Yay! You made your first cat toy. I'm so proud of you. And if you're cat is smart, it'll pull on the string and unravel it for you so you can make something else.

  10. I took a knitting class (1.5 hours on a Sat morning) for beginners at Klose Knit in Urbana. Those women there are awesome! They taught me how to make a scarf using the basic knit stitch. Then I went back a couple days later and they taught me how to finish the scarf and start a new one using the pearl stitch. Sounds like anytime I need help I can just go in there and get help for free. They have a passion for knitting, its awesome.

  11. Save your first project, because one day you will look back on it and laugh. My first project was a lumpy, misshapen iPod cozy made out of green and gold (metallic gold) acrylic yarn. It has holes where there are not supposed to be holes.

    Taking a knitting class is great if you have the time. I taught myself (and I taught myself incorrectly!) and a knitting class broke my bad habits pretty quickly. Needleworks on Green St. has excellent instructors and a good selection of yarn.

    There are also a couple of Stitch & Bitch groups in town--they are full of experienced knitters who can show you the ropes.

    Have fun!


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