Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On knitting.

Two nights ago I was searching the internet for crochet garment patterns when I decided it was time to learn how to knit.

Don't get me wrong, I adore crochet but I have this urge to make some everyday jumpers and cardigans for my girls and I and the crochet patterns available just seem bulky and dated.

So yesterday morning we went to the op shop for some knitting needles. There was a whole jar full of them but most of them didn't have pairs, a whole lot of them were those double ended needles and then the rest were too fine for a beginner like me. I bought the thickest needle that had a pair and the quilt above that has been named 'the quilt Mum lies and knits on while the girls are on their scooters at the skate park quilt.'

I started by knitting a beanie but got impatient with the fact that it was taking so long to get anywhere and that I can already crochet beanies. Then I found a pattern for a cross over top and started on the largest size. Because of the size of the needles I'm still not sure if it will fit Miss Pepper or an eight week old baby friend of ours.

I like the rhythm of knitting.
I like the variety of patterns available.
I like saying '...at the end of this row.'
I like how neat and uniform knitting stitches look.
I like learning a new craft.
I like that knitting is making me think.
I like the range of gorgeous knitting patterns there are out there.

I don't like how much stuff you need for knitting; end stopper thingies, row counters, circular needles, stitch holders, cable needles, needles with pairs...
I don't like how last night I found a hole in my knitting and it took me hours to undo it, put all the stitches back on the needles and then knit it all up again.
I don't like how many stitches there are to deal with at once. With crochet it is really only one stitch at a time, if you drop it, its easy to find it again.
I don't like how mysterious it all seems to a beginner. A bit overwhelming really.
I don't like how slow I am at it.

In the time that its taken to knit half a garment, I've trawled many knitting sites bookmarking patterns as I go. I feel a bit excited about the possibilities.

I hope you are enjoying whatever it is you are making at the moment.

47 comments:

  1. you look like your going really well- esp for someone who doesn't usually knit! And dont those colours look good!

    Id love to crchet, but I have tried and tried and tried, with no luck :(

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  2. This site will change your knitting life: http://www.knittinghelp.com/

    Also, as a crocheter I find knitting continental style very similar to crochet, it is also quicker.

    Enjoy the ride!

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  3. Your knitting is gorgeous! I've only attempted the simple scarf but I do love it! Thanks for the invite on Saturday, sorry I missed you all, it would have been lovely to meet you in person, maybe next time. I had a great day pottering about Daylesford with Mum, the town was buzzing, such a fun atmosphere..enjoy your week!

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  4. Golly gosh - if you only started a few days ago you are by no means a slow knitter! I've only recently put down my hook for needles and am also enjoying the neat little stitches. So far I've made a little jumper for the baby and have moved on to a hooded jacket for the baby - need to finish it in 9 weeks. Happy knitting x

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  5. Good on you Kate! I totally understand what you mean about the differences between crochet and knitting and there really is a lack of nice crochet clothing patterns out there.
    I was taught to knit as a child, but only the very basics and I learnt crochet as an adult. Crochet seems easy to me, knitting doesn't. I have been contemplating knitting a vest for Cohen. The wool arrived in the post yesterday, so if I get some quiet time I might give it a go.
    Good luck with your piece. Can't wait to see more. :)

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  6. Looks like you've mastered it already! Love the colours so keep it up. I hope you are having some relaxing time with the fam.
    Ab x

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  7. It looks fantastic, I have many unfinished knitting projects cause...... Hmmm who knows. I agree with everything you said, wish I was faster too. Love the colours :-)

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  8. I am the winner of the most hopeless knitter in the world trophy and I say your knitting looks great !

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  9. looking good!!!!
    Now you have a whole new world of knitting in front of you =D
    Enjoy!!!

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  10. Kate your knitting is divine!! Well done for giving something new a go :-) PS I still have trouble with patterns and all the technicality of it all. Love the colour of the wool you are knitting with :-)

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  11. you started 2 nights ago and as a beginner you knitted that! I am impressed. I managed a bodgy scarf for my then 4 yo and it took ages and was only in the other beginners stitch (is it garter I cant remember thats how bad I am) and she wont even wear it (too itchy) so know its around the neck of an old doll in the toy box oh the humility of it all

    I am right at the beginners stage of sewing and having that same love/hate dialogue with myself loving the newness of it and the ticking over of the grey matter as I explore something new to me and LEARN something that has nothing to do with parenting in some ways and yet a lot to do with it others as I think of all sorts of sewing projects to do with and for my kids, and then theres the downsides and one of the very things I was lamenting last night (as well as the mess sewing creates) is ALL THE STUFF you need - aahhhh the cost and the drama of where to store

    But then I make something with my little girl (like the most precious softies we made out of her drawing of The Fox and the Child from the movie of the same title) and I think it is well worth it

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  12. I'm knitting too! I absolutely adore Ravelry for knitting and crochet inspiration. I'm not good on the crochet front - I can't do anything besides make stitches (I can make bags to felt) - I've never learnt how to decrease and increase etc....I should get me a quilt and a book and go down to the park and learn how to crochet! Goodluck - it's worth persevering cause the end results are wonderful.
    l
    x

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  13. It looks great and gets faster :)..I love your your yarn!!

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  14. Looks fantastic Kate! Congrats on teaching yourself a new craft. I love knitting, but am quite slow at it but the feeling you get when something is all finished is lovely. Love the quilt. Hope you are well. xx

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  15. As a fellow beginner knitter, I hear ya sister on how s-l-o-w it seems at first. Having said that it seems to me yo've got a fair whack of knitting done there? How long has that taken you?

    Oh and I'm so with you on the "at the end of this row" deal ;)

    Knit on!

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  16. Wow Kate you are really so clever knitting away on a garment and not trying a scarf first off. Your stitches look very even too. Now next time you lose a stitch just undo the row down to the stitch and use your crochet hook to pick it back up the rows instead of having to reknit it all. When you come to visit I can give you some knitting needles too!

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  17. yay your good!! Did you cast on yourself!?? I just can't do it, and I think because I've always had someone to start me off, I never learn! You are going on another tangent! I love tangents, at the moment I am thinking of going on a return to finish my quilt tangent at the same time as looking at all my old clothes and imaging what they could become. Bet its cold down there, its freezing up here in sunny QLD. love your knitting!

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  18. I am currently refusing to learn any yarn related crafts.
    I DO NOT need another stash!!
    (But I do love that yarn you're using. Gorgeous colours!!)
    Andi x

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  19. That is amazing for a beginner project. There is a way to pick up a stitch without undoing the knitting back to pick it up. You need to have someone on hand to show you the tips so it does not seem as bad.

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  20. i think i will learn to crochet first. xo.

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  21. Ah, new skills Kate, the way you do things it won't be long before you are a very accomplished knitter, not even looking; at the needles and wool as you knit 1 pearl 1!
    Look forward to seeing photos of wonderful, woolly , wintery things that you have knitted for the family.

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  22. how in the world have you managed to knit something so gorgeous on your first shot while i am still plugging away at dishcloths and slouchy hats? i am about to try my first baby jumper too... fingers crossed. xx m.

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  23. Knitting is soothing if all is going well :)
    Thats lovely wool that you have chosen, good with it all, I finished the back of my vest last night, front to go.

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  24. Oh YOU! I am still on my 3rd 'knitted bowl' (after 6 months of picking up / putting down - un picking starting over cos' it's all wrong etc. etc...,Look what you have done already....Is there a needle craft that you cant do? Well done Kate. (She says, as she turns a fabulous shade of green.........)

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  25. You seriously do need a new hobby! I love the wool you have chosen, it reminds me of a tequila sunrise. Maybe that could be our craft group drink du jour in summer ok? Hope you are having lots of fun xo

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  26. I'm impressed! Knitting instruction are way too hard for me to understand. I still haven't gotten the nerve to try knitting or moving past the one crochet stitch I know yet. hehe...once I man up I hope to be on the same path ;)

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  27. wow, i think you must be a knitting natural!! my first attempt (a scarf) took me a few months to make. you have half a garment (complicated item) already! well done :)

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  28. Kate if you started that yesterday morning sometime and have it to that stage this afternoon you are a much faster knitter than I! Doing really well by the looks of it, glad you are enjoying something new.

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  29. In the last few days, I've done - and felt - exactly the same thing. I gave up on small needles and smooth yarn and went for instant-gratification chunky scarf, made in less than 3 hours! But I love-hate it, and want to learn more... so that I just love it.

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  30. i love your list of likes and dislikes as a new knitter! i love to crochet, but i did learn to knit recently and had many of the same feelings as you about it. i can't wait to see what you knit! i really want to knit socks but i'm still too nervous about my novice skills to attempt it.

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  31. Good luck, I've been rying it for awhile and just not getting along w/the sticks....but I want to make socks

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  32. Yikes are you serious? You're a natural. I've never in my life seen someone knit something so fast and so beautiful as a beginner ... sensational ;-)
    BUT ... I've heard say you're usually either a knitter or a crocheter ... knitting has all the faults and more you've listed. By the looks of things you'll be doing both ;-) You're a genius Kate. XO

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  33. It's gorgeous!! I couldn't have said it better myself though...I agree completely with your pros and cons..

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  34. One day my husband was being a bit superioe about something (as husbands do!)- so i handed him a knitting pattern and said 'if you're so clever, what does all that mean?' He guessed the knit and purl - the when it cam e k1, sl1, psso - his interpretation was p*ss *ff - rude but very funny!! Good luck with the knitting - if you need any help, just e-mail me (ADonald466@aol.com)

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  35. I'm impressed. Slow? I don't think so, it once took me 4 years to knit a jumper - I eventually gave it to my Mum to finish. She recently tried again to teach me, by the second row I'd gained 3 stitches and couldn't work out how. It feels foreign to me.

    Kitting and I aren't friends.

    I'm with you on the patterns though, finding good crochet clothing patterns is tough.

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  36. Wow! You just started a few days ago and already yours looks like you've been knitting for years. Keeping your tension even is not an easy thing to learn. All of your "likes" and "don't likes" are shared by other knitters but when you hanker for the feel of needles in your hands it's time to pick them up and start something new. I know of people who go to charity shops and buy old sweaters, take them apart and use the yarn to make new. This is a great way to use nice wools that are very expensive in the knitting stores. Cashmere, etc. become affordable.

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  37. That is great! i tried to learnt knitting but it took so long and I am too inpatient but I agree I do like the idea of being able to make jumpers etc for Busy, beautiful wool you are using too, if this is your first try I can only imagine what you will be coming up with soon. x

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  38. there is something wintery and comforting about knitting. your is progressing very well. for an emergent knitter your stitches look perfect. if you drop a stitch find the little blighter and using one of your finer trusty crochet hooks loop it back through each abandoned thread of wool until you catch up to your current level then hook the stitch over your needle. viola.
    sounds complicated but easy peasy.
    if you can find a copy of an old woolcraft book they are knitters gold. i would be happy to photocopy the knitting section and mail it to you. just send me your details.
    klik clack, have fun

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  39. Hooray, a new knitting convert! Your tension is beautiful, I never would have guessed that this was your first project.

    Don't worry too much about the accessories, just as long as you have two needles you'll be fine. I agree with Michelle: a 'Woolcraft' book is a good friend to a new knitter.

    I feel similar apprehensions about sewing, although I'm trying to work up the courage to have a go. Knitting seems so safe by comparison: the needles are blunt, you can unravel your mistakes and reknit them, you don't have to cut out or pin anything.

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  40. If this is yourfirst project you ROCK - your tention looks great - Good luck and I hope that the positives outway the negatives:)

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  41. Great colors and very neat knitting for a beginner! Well done for persevering with the challenge. There is something about this time of year that encourages and inspires knitting.

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  42. very good work! I learned to knit before I learned to crochet (only 10 weeks ago!) but have never tried a jumper or anything too difficult! it is time consuming but is so satisfying and while I love a good crochet hat, knitted ones are so much comfier! keep it up! It looks great so far!

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  43. Holy cow woman!!! if you got that much done then you are FLYING!!!

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  44. I think by the look of that you'd still beat me in a knitting race, and it's really neat, too!!

    I agree, though, it's definitely slower than crochet, but knitting seems to allow for more shaping and structural options. Not sure why - is it just that crochet patterns are written as boxes??

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  45. You are so clever!!! I truly admire how you can teach yourself new crafts. Bravo Kate!

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  46. Congrats on a new craft, your progress looks lovely! And the yarn? Gorgeous colors. I started knitting last year and love, love, love it. Am trying to remember how to crochet (I made a scarf once, many years ago).

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  47. How pretty your yarns are great..
    I love it..
    Indeed, it makes me to love more knitting and crocheting!

    It's my passion over the years to knit with circular knitting needles and I love working with them because they are really suitable with my knitting projects.

    This is great for knitting on the road -- you can't drop a needle when it's attached to your work!

    Thanks for sharing..

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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