October 18, 2006
A knitting odyssey begun....
With my new job comes my new resolution to try to blog more about my latest obsession: knitting. I started knitting just this past winter, and now I've become addicted, I think. Anyway, I took a knitting class because I was a bad crocheter: all I could do was make scarves and baby blankets. That was fun for awhile, but there's only so many scarves and afghans one needs (although they come in handy for winter around here). I decided I didn't know how to read a pattern, so I took a class at the Yarnery, an excellent yarn store in St. Paul.
I was supposed to make a mitten. I had to miss the first class, unfortunately, because I was out of the country at a conference. At the second class, Sara, my wonderful instructor, taught me how to cast on, and I learned how to knit and purl, and I was supposed to make a mitten cuff. Well, after several rough attempts, I had something resembling a mitten cuff, but I've quickly learned that most knitters worth their salt will not settle for good enough. Sara told me I had knit so much, I shouldn't frog it, but instead, she suggested I just break the yarn and start over. Well, you're talking to someone who had never spent $7 for one skein of yarn before--now, I realize that $7 really isn't that much, but I grew up on Red Heart, so I was looking at that four inch square of badly knit ribbing, thinking surely there is something that can be done with this?! Am I cheap or what?
I suggested a potholder. Sara suggested I try to felt said potholder, although she warned me that ribbing doesn't felt well. That meant nothing to me--I mean, I didn't even know what felting was. How could I possibly know what ribbing would felt like? No matter. I trusted her, and kept at it until I got to what I thought would be the right size for my potholder. I tossed it in the washer on hot with a pair of jeans like I had read in some knitting book. When it came out of the washer...well, it wasn't exactly what I expected.
It looked sorta like a coaster for two drinks instead of one--it was a long, narrow green rectangle. After a few minutes of wondering how I would use a two person coaster, I came up with a better idea:
My first knitting: a little purse designed by me! And yes, eventually the mittens got made too!