According To Matt Archives- Me knitting?!
Originally posted on: Wednesday, 16th January 2013
I finally took the plunge and completed my first proper knitting project!!! There was lots of stress, pure frustration and childish tantrums!!! But I got there in the end and am "oh so proud" of my first knitted project.
I've had a strong desire to give knitting a try for a few weeks now. Firstly I was hugely impressed by some of the knitting work I had seen Dennis create, and secondly I couldn't help but notice all of the knitting inspired Christmas ornaments that were in the shops last month.
Knitting inspiration was everywhere!
I finally got around to giving it a try and started by just playing around with the basics. I watched videos online and read books to help me figure it out.
I was told that the continental style would suit me as I was used to holding the yarn in a similar way when I crocheted. This was the first hurdle, I struggled to hold an extra needle!!! STRESS EXPLOSION!!!! Figuring out how to hold two needles and keep any kind of tension to the yarn seemed almost impossible! The yarn would hang all loose, which meant my needles kept falling out!!! I tried so many times but it just wasn't happening!
The knitting needles ended up being put away for a few more weeks!!!
I let my temper simmer down and came back to knitting with a slightly different approach. I asked some of you on my facebook page for guidance and tips that would help me along the way. Many of you kindly suggested different methods, needles and yarns that would perhaps make my attempt at knitting a little easier. I tried many different things but the biggest help was to change my needles from metal to wooden ones. I found metal needles very very slippery and therefore kept on dropping my work. The wooden needles seemed easier to grip and made my knitting a little tighter and more manageable.
Wooop! So I could finally hold the needles and yarn, now to try some stitches! After watching videos about the continental style method of knitting and not fully understanding, I finally gave in and asked Dennis to show me how it was done. He was very patient with me (just like when he taught me how to crochet) and he kept showing me until I finally started to get it. Knit stitch was fairly easy but the purl stitch was extremely hard at first. It really took a while for me to get that. I kept trying and worked little swatches to practice with.
Once I was a little more confident with these simple stitches, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and give my first project a try.
I searched Ravelry for a fairly simple pattern and after a recommendation from Dennis I settled upon "Daybreak" a shawl pattern by Steven West.
I picked some suitable yarn in some slightly darker shades than I normally work with. I planned on making this for myself to wear and didn't fancy rainbow colours :-) I chose some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. It is sooooo lovely and soft, I knew instantly that this would feel amazing wrapped around my neck on a cold winters day.
Off I went to start my new project! At first I needed a few attempts to start it off. It was a little tricky, but once I got going there was no stopping!
Before long my project was growing and I was becoming slowly but surely faster and more confident with the stitches.
I was loving how the yarn was feeling when worked up, It felt almost silky smooth! I was also extremely pleased with the colours as they started to grow and stripe together. Blue, grey, blue, grey, blue......
There were a few loose baggy stitches every now and then and I dropped a few stitches once in a while. I tried not to let it bother me and just continued to keep going with the project. My initial reaction was to pull all of my work apart each time that I made a mistake. I started to realise I would get nowhere if I did that every time a mistake happened. As the project progressed and stretched out, I realised that my stitches were actually starting to look pretty even. I also noticed that any mistake that was made could also be corrected with the help of a trusty crochet hook. Learning by doing!
Before long I was reaching the end of my project. The knitting part was all done, it was just time to block it and stretch it out to the desired finished shape. I did this by making my project wet and patting out extra water. I then placed it on a large beach towel (to soak up any excess water) and blocked it with pins to the mattress on my bed.
It dried out nicely and each section ended up looking pretty even.
My first knitted project was done!!! I'm so happy with it! So happy that I even decided to model it in a picture for you! You have to bare in mind though....
A dancer, I am. A crocheter, I'm that also. A Model......I'm not!!! Here I am looking randomly in some direction trying to look a little modelesque. It didn't really work! :-( Anyways, Ignore me and take a look and my scarf! I'm so very proud of it and I LOVE wearing it. The Debbie Bliss yarn is so soft and warm against my skin and I am extremely happy with the colours!
I'm totally chuffed to bits with this project and I can't wait for the next! I'm already on the look out for something simple that will challenge me with a few different stitches. I'm not sure what that next pattern will be yet, but I'll keep you posted!
Until then I have a fair few crochet projects that I MUST finish!!! Once again, my pile of unfinished projects is quite rapidly getting bigger!! EEEEEK!!!
Thanks for popping by!!