Monday, 26 April 2010

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week - Monday: Starting Out

It's the start of the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and here is my first blog entry of the week - on the subject of Starting Out.

Now that's an interesting topic. Unfortunately it is also one that I can't answer. Woe me! I nearly gave up on the idea of taking part in this blog event when I encountered only murky depths in my memory: what happened when I started to knit/crochet, how and why did I start?

It is really odd but I cannot for the life of me remember. Which leaves me wondering if my first hesitant steps into the stitching world were an absolutely horrid experience that left me feeling frustrated and incapable? That would explain why I'm coming up empty...

What I do remember is a misshapen piece of red knitting (must have been garter stitch, that's how we all start, isn't it!) which simultaneously grew (in some places) and withered to ever decreasing dimensions (in other places) - I do remember feeling utterly aghast that his sweaty, knotted piece of wool looping in and out looked quite so pitiful. I am pretty sure that my first effort was utterly awful. Complete rubbish in fact.

I also remember clutching those straight, single point knitting needles (I still hate those with a passion) as if my life depended on it, I'm sure I was in danger of developing finger cramps. I felt hot, bothered and utterly frustrated that this first attempt would not turn into the beginning of an elegant little scarf that I could throw back over my shoulder and casually mention: Oh that thing? I made that myself...

If true to form, that piece of red knotting (can't call it knitting) would have hit the wall and I would have never gone near another piece of animal fibre in string form ever again. Or acrylic, or whatever it was. It must have been quite nasty, I do remember the squeaking of the needles in protest at their shoddy treatment in my hot little paws!

Oh huh! There is quite a bit coming back now!

I can't think what made me carry on. I have the distinct feeling that quite a few of my friends were also picking up needles and hooks - it was one of those things where peer pressure just sweeps you along.

Not sure how long after this, but the next knitting project that I remember is a light yellow (citron!) mohair jumper knitted from one cuff across to the other, in a lace pattern, with baggy sleeves. It just needed sewing along the underarm/side seams to finish off. And I think I did! I seem to remember that I did indeed finish this first major knitting project (I'm so proud!). I think I got lots of kudos from my friends for it too - after they'd all poo-pood the idea as: "Don't do it, don't run before you can walk, it's way too big a project, you'll never finish, it's mohair: it'll be REALLY difficult to knit with, and by gosh: it's LACE KNITTING! Don't do it! Don't do it!!!" - But I did manage, and I did finish, hah!

The only thing I didn't get right was the SSK stitch: I misunderstood the instructions and somehow slipped one stitch over the next before knitting that off - the lace pattern did look rather lopsided if  you looked closely. But that was the only thing that was down to my inexperience, the rest went okay. Astonishingly enough.

I don't know what happened to this sweater - it must have long ago gone to that big resting place in the sky where all happily completed projects eventually go! But it was so much fun to prove everyone wrong! Hah! again.

PS: Unfortunately the KnitCroBlo logos don't show up anymore? (Time of writing: Feb 2013)


  1. Hahaha, I definitely would've been one of those people shouting "don't do it, it's too big of a challenge" at you : ) but glad to hear you pulled through! : )

  2. Funny how your memory suddenly woke up as you were writing the entry today :)

    Looks like you also has a somewhat so and so experience in the beginning, but today things have certainly changed to the better don't you think? :))

    Thanks for charing and "see" you tomorrow

  3. I know! Isn't it weird how stuff comes back when you start to talk or write about it? It is all still a bit hazy but I should have probably explained that I learnt as a teenager, from friends not so much a previous generation. The yellow sweater was not my second project but still pretty early.
    And you are right: things have certainly changed. I keep casting on new stuff/finishing a project every so often: I am astonished and delighted that I progressed way beyond any expectations I had years ago!

  4. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who doesn't have clear memories of starting to knit! Mine didn't come back when I was writing either.

  5. Some stuff just seems lost in the murky depth of time. It seems strange that I don't remember more about it, I know I did quite a bit of knitting, but no: I have no clear memory. At some point an old friend will mention something and then it will pop right back into my head.
    [I changed my profile picture since my last response.]