Monday, September 17, 2007

Knitting Insanity is Harder Than It Looks

Okay, I really thought I could do this. What was I thinking?!? I mean, what beginner starts with the most difficult materials to create something simple? So I did this successfully once, 20 years ago. Does that mean I can now tackle something harder? NO!

I was discussing needlecraft last week with
a new friend, Kathy. I smock and tat, she crochets. But I told her that I had no real interest in knitting. I made several scarves when I was in college just for fun. My friend, Karen, and I taught ourselves how to knit from a book. It was fun for about two weeks before it became deadly dull. I guess enough time has passed since then for my interested to pique.

So Chris and I are in Michael's craft store today looking for materials for Oliver's first school project (Chris is determined that he can't make a scale model of the bathroom with cardboard boxes), when I pass the yarn. And wander down the aisle. We live in Tulsa now, right? And Mae needs a new scarf. And I did this once, right? I can do it again. I taught myself to tat last month, so how could knotting be any more difficult? I should probably make a scarf for myself first, right, just to make sure I can do this? But I don't want to spend a butt load of money for something that may not work. So I wander.

My wandering brings me to a back corner where live the bargain yarns. You know what's coming. I should have known what was coming. But it is SOOOO SOFT. It's a beautiful fluffy yarn, all fuzzy and stringy, a variety of muted teal, purple and rust (Mardi Gras meets earth tones). How could I resist? I even got the needles that the wrapper recommended - how could it go wrong?

It only took about 30 seconds, once I started this project, to figure out the myriad of things that could go wrong. For starters, finding good directions (okay, directions that my bizarre brain can follow) online. I finally dug out my 1971 copy of the Complete Book of Needlecraft. Wonderful directions and illustrations. I might use it later to learn how to macrame. And to weave rugs.

The second, most predictable problem is being able to count the stitches. Fuzzy yarn does not lend itself to clear stitches. And seeing to pick up the stitches with my second needle once they're all cast on. Not even my new bifocals help with this. Sheesh! What was Chris thinking letting me buy this yarn! I said this to him and gave him a good laugh. Rrrr.

Tension is a struggle - how on earth do I see and feel how tight or loose the stitches are when I'm trying to knit straight off the llama?

Do I give up? No! I bought three skeins of this soft, fluffy stuff. And three of an equally difficult black with metallic colored flecks. It's a good thing Mae can't physically outgrow a scarf.

I have one and a half rows done and I'm ready for bed. I'll post pictures sometime later in the week. Any advice (other than "Give up now!) is appreciated.

Until I write again ...



Mick Bright Kim said...

Hello How are you all?

Karate Mom said...

LOL! I think I'd advise crocheting - then at least you only have ONE needle to concern yourself with!
I can crochet anything that is square and only requires the most basic stitch...washcloth, anyone? :)

Flea said...

I can't crochet a stitch! I tried once and it drove me nuts! I'm about to give up my shallow pursuit of knitting. But hey, I need a new potholder!

Marguerite said...

Now you know why I only machine sew. I don't have the patience for needlecraft. (I don't even like sewing hems and buttons. :P) At least you have made scarves before. I don't think I lasted past 10 rows when I tried to learn.

Keep at it! You will make something beeyooteefull and be proud of yourself. :) That yarn sounds gorgeous!

Flea said...

Oh it's gorgeous alright. Just gorgeous enough to drive me crazy because I want a scarf from it.

jeni said...

Hey Flea!! What's funny is that I was thinking about giving knitting a try! We're always on the same page!! hahahaha! Granted, my thinking about it and doing it are two different things but still! I crocheted years ago and liked it, but I don't even know if I remember how to do it! My mom started knitting a couple years ago, and I don't know what she was using but she said it was much easier doing it that way! I know, helpful, huh! This coming from a woman who never had any desire to knit and who had tried knitting years ago and ended up with a funky sweater with one sleeve way longer than the other! ha! Anyway, I commend you for trying something again! Way cool. :)

Flea said...

LOL! Definitely try the conventional yarn. This is nuts. And why are you thinking of knitting in Florida?!?

jeni said...

LOL! Just to try it, to know I can do it! :)