Knitting: My New Winter Hobby

Honestly, one of the main reasons that there haven’t been too many posts this winter is that I’ve been knitting. So perhaps it wasn’t the best idea, but with four feet of snow outside, I decided I wanted to learn how to do something that didn’t really require me leaving the house. Also… something I could preferably do while wrapped up in blankets and kittens. Whether or not I should have instead been grouting floors, painting master bathrooms, painting guest bedrooms, and finishing a certain mirror project I’ve alluded to in the past, is neither here nor there.

It all started when Jess’s sister, Michelle, visited us over Thanksgiving. She was knitting a lot. Pretty much the whole time except when she was eating. About a week later, Matt was like, “You know, you should try knitting. You’d probably like it. And I would like a never ending supply of socks.” I laughed it off for a few weeks, because me and yarn/thread/fabric don’t generally get along in a way that ends to things looking nice. Then in early December I decided, well why not and grabbed some needles and yarn from Joann Fabrics to try it out. It was hard and confusing. However, I was very proud of myself when I figured out how to cast-on from online tutorials.

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After that, the actual knit stitch was fairly simple. And I went to town.

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I’m sure you can see why it’s full of cat hair.

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And that Pixie needed revenge. However, that scarf, while I did get it to be around two feet long, was full of weird holes and I kept somehow adding stitches so that while I casted on 28 stitches, I ended up having 35. And the online explanations of why this was happening were, although accurate, confusing to somebody who had no idea what the hell they were doing.

So, I knew that there was a cute little yarn shop in the downtown area of the town I used to live in before we bought this new house. It’s called Skeins on Main, and it’s amazing for anybody in the area. I decided to go and check it out, and I found out that they offer classes. And, on December 23rd, the day before we were heading home for Christmas, they were having a three hour long drop-in class (meaning anybody could come and it was just pay by the hour). I. Fell. In. Love. I learned so much in those three hours. What was causing the holes. How to purl. How to bind off. How to undo knitting and purling when I make a mistake. How to pick up stitches. So I immediately signed up for the 6 week long course that began in mid-January.

I undid my entire black scarf, and rewound the yarn. I’ll maybe use it for something in the future, but that scarf just wasn’t going to happen (Also, I was using too large of a needle for the yarn anyway). The first project I completed after my newfound knowledge was a simple ribbed scarf.

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As you can see, this was turning out much better than I had hoped, and it only took me about 2 weeks. And it stayed at 24 stitches from beginning to end! So, why not go for broke. I had some very good friends who had told me over Christmas that they were expecting their first child this coming summer. So, I wanted to make them the most awesome baby blanket. I searched and searched after joining the site Ravelry.com, and finally found something I liked. This is the blanket pattern that I chose, though I swapped out the colors. That made it more of a round chevron blanket.

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I didn’t know the gender of the baby (still don’t, but hope to find out today, maybe?!) so I ended up choosing some slightly gender neutral colors, though they may be leaning more towards boy. These were also their wedding colors, so I thought it was a good trade-off since I assumed this project would take me months. And I knitted a gauge swatch to make sure my needles and yarn would work well for the project.

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Then, as you can see, I became a knit ninja, or kninja if you will, using double pointed needles to work outwards. Work went surprisingly fast and in only a couple short weeks I was swapping out from a 24″ circular needle to a 40″ circular needle.

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This was the scale of the project at that point. And in no time at all I was finished. It only took me about a month to finish this project. I was really proud of myself.

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I decided not to add the outer two color rings from the pattern, since I think that the blanket is large enough at the moment for a baby blanket at 40″.

Then, since Matt had been pestering me for the last three weeks that I was working on that project to make him a hat, I decided to. I used the Crenellated Hat Pattern that I found on Ravelry, and decided to make it in black wool, with a grey wool band.

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I’m planning on making myself a hat from this pattern as well, however, mine will have two colors in the crenellated part of the hat. I’ve experimented over and over with making this work without the weird dots that come from purling into a different color, and I think I’ve figured it out. More on that in the future. But first, I’ll be posting the finished bag that I’m working on right now, as I’ve only got the strap to finish up at the moment.

So, clearly Matt was right and I enjoy knitting. I’ve only been knitting for three months, but I’ve already learned so much and become hopelessly addicted. I’ll most likely do knitting posts every once in a while since it’s now something I spend so much of my time doing. Hope you don’t mind.

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