I knew how to crochet as a teen, I remember a few rainbow colored bookmarks that I made, but I have long since forgotten how to do it.
A couple of years ago I went out and eagerly bought a "How to Knit" and a "How to Crochet" kit, and a few skeins of yarn. I came home, got everything ready, popped the DVD in the player...and 30 minutes later I was flinging it all to the other side of the couch. The chick in the video went so fast, I could not keep up, and my poor shaking hands were all over the place. I gave it a rest for the night, and tried again a couple of more times later before I just gave it up. I thought my hands were to bad and I just could not keep up with that woman in the video. The crochet video was just as bad..hosted by the same lady.
I decided that knitting and crocheting were just not for me, and did not give it another thought for a long time.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that every time I went into my craft cabinet, those kits were sitting there, silently mocking me with their presence.
Then my oldest friend posted a picture of her sitting on her bed, knitting, with her baby nearby. I begged her to teach me, since I had all the stuff....and she said she would, but we live over an hour away from each other and we do not get to see each other in person very often.
Skip ahead to last night, and I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, Down To Earth, which I have written about here before, and came across THIS post. Mrs. Rhonda talks about knitting dishcloths to save money ( and the environment in my opinion. ) and she had a few links to some beginner videos included in her blog post. I admit, I was skeptical at first. I have watched a few youtube videos and even the beginner videos were to fast and complicated for me. I adore Mrs. Rhonda, and I know how wonderful she is about teaching, so I decided to trust her and give the links a shot.
I waited until my "free internet" time, after 2am, and watched the first video, which is how to cast on. That is the one part I could actually do, I just never could figure out how to knit the second row. Well, in this video, the lady teaches a different, much easier way to cast on than the way I was taught in my instructional video that came with my kit. I went and drug my supplies out, and tried her method, and was happy that I picked it right up. I moved on to the next video, which taught what to do after you cast on. It took me a little bit, but I am happy to announce that even though they look like total crap, much like what I imagine a ball of yarn would look like after a cat got finished playing with it, I actually knitted about 5 rows last night. Even though it is not pretty, it is uneven, and the first two rows are filled with overly large stitches and a few dropped stitches, I KNITTED 5 ROWS! That is 4 more rows than I have ever knitted before! I am so proud of myself!
Now, my hands still give me some trouble...I am shaky and there are times I really have to concentrate on making my hands do what I need them to do...but I knit. Five whole rows. Tonight, after dinner, I knitted another row. I am thinking of starting over though. Because I was practicing my cast on, I filled my needle up too much, so it is a bit hard to keep going due to all the stitches I am having to fight with slipping around on the needle. Instead of a straight piece of cloth, I have a ruffled row that is a little hard to work with, especially considering that I am just getting started. It also keeps me from accurately gauging my progress because again, it is all ruffled up and not straight, so I cant see how straight my stitches are. I also would like to get ( or make, now that a wonderful lady over on the fan page shared with me how she makes her own "knitting sticks" ) some fatter, wooden needles. The ones I have, while a gorgeous cobalt blue, are metal, and pretty skinny. They are very slick and because they are small, I have a harder time working with them with my hands acting up the way they do. In spite of that, I am still VERY excited to keep doing this. Now, I do not know how to cast OFF yet lol, but I intend to watch that video tonight. I have no idea how to do anything fancy, or make anything other than a flat cloth, but I have to start somewhere, right?
Even better, I had a great discussion on the fan page with a couple of the ladies there, and I just loved that! I promised I would show my work from time to time, but I think I am going to wait until I start over. I got a little overzealous and made things harder for myself, and I would like to see what it looks like if I use a normal amount of stitches instead of the probably 60 I have on my poor little needle. At the same time, I am loathe to stop, even on this mess I am working on, because it is my first actual knitting...thing...lol. I may work on this a little longer, just to work on getting the stitches down...and then start over. I have two massive skeins of yarn, and two smaller balls, one of the latter is what I am using now...a multicolored ball with purples, blues, pink, and white.
Even though this is full of mistakes most likely, it brings a nice memory to mind when I look at it. My great grandmother used to knit doll dresses for my cousins and myself. Southern Belle type dresses. Floor length, with a ruffled bottom and a big floppy sunhat, with the top of a plastic doll for the torso and arms. She also made a similar creation for the older ladies of the family, to be used as a toilet paper roll cover that you sat on the back of the toilet. Well..my overzealous ruffles look just like the ruffles on the bottom of those dresses, and it makes me smile to look at it. Maybe I will post a pic of it after all...when I get a few more rows added to it.
Either way, I am really excited that I am actually knitting something...and I am excited to try my hand and crocheting as well. I have heard that knitting is much harder to learn..and me being me, I decided to tackle the harder of the two and try to figure that out before switching over to the easier one.
I want to give a big thanks to Rhonda at Down to Earth for posting the links to encourage me to start over...and to the ladies who talked with me over on the fan page, I had a lot of fun!
Do any of you knit? Do you have any tips or tricks to make it easier? Maybe you could share with me what it was like when you first started! I would love to hear from you!
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