Do you ever fall off the bandwagon when you are trying to learn a new skill or accomplish something? This is something I tend to do frequently in my life. Fall of the diet bandwagon, fall off the Dave Ramsey bandwagon, fall off the FlyLady bandwagon … and my latest failure … falling off the knitting bandwagon. Ok what is a $@%#@ bandwagon anyway? Basically it just represents failure to me.
Knitting is something I truly enjoy, and truly want to get better at. So why is it so hard to stick with it and finish ANY kind of project at all? Well I am bound and determined to try again. Dear blog, please help me to stay motivated as I share my learnings, my successes (and failures) with cyberspace. I am going to make an attempt at beginning knitting again, and I will try to forget about the fact that my last post wasn’t back in 2008.
Wish me luck fellow knitters! Let’s jump back ON this bandwagon together!
You may have noticed I have neglected to post recently. I have been trying to continue on my scarf project (AFTER I recovered from my son tearing it off the needles) but knitting is sooooo slow for me. This is what happens every time I try to learn to knit, and this is where I usually give up for a few years until I decide to try again. Not this time! I swore I would keep going so I decided to scour the Internet for some quick knitting tips in hopes of upping my knitting speed. Here is what I’ve found so far:
These size 50 knitting needles will make 3 to 4 strands of yarn fly through your fingers creating projects in a fraction of the usual stitching time. The bright red color of the needles lets you see your stitches easily and their light weight is easy on your hands.
Size: 14 inches in length
A free 4-yarn, 1 hour scarf pattern is included on the back of the package
This book promises to provide 9 fabulous patterns that can be done in 1-10 hours or less. Now THOSE sound like quick knitting projects to me! I might have to work on some quick easy projects just to get my self-esteem back up so I don’t feel so much like a failure. To get the needles AND book would be under $20 so it seems like it would definitely be a good investment for someone like me who has serious problems ever finishing a project. I will keep trekking on with my eyelash yarn scarf but I am definitely going to look into getting this book and the Speed Stix.
My daughter Jodi has invited me to post on her blog since I am always looking for someone to talk knitting with and my eleven year old daughter is getting tired of hearing about my escapades. I’ve learned a few lessons this past week that I thought I would share with you as they are important even for beginning knitting projects and it’s always good to analyze your knitting problems when they occur.
Knitting Problems – Not checking your yarn’s dye lot or dye batch number
I am in the middle of making one of my famous Felted Bags and it uses multiple skeins of yarn in each color. I did a normal yarn change and got a few rows into the new skein and realized I had a big problem. I bought these skeins at the SAME TIME from the SAME STORE! Look how different the colors are in the blue strip. I have always known that you should check the dye batch numbers but they usually seem to be the same when you grab two skeins off of the same shelf. Needless to say, I will be checking this for sure from now on.
Just thought I would share that. Even though I consider myself to be a pretty experienced knitter I still find myself making silly mistakes like this that are easily avoidable. When I come across something like that I will make sure to post here (if Jodi keeps letting me).
Have any of you had this knitting problem occur in one of your projects? I’d be interested to hear your story!
My darling children have been intrigued by mommy’s new hobby. I have been working on the easy knitting eyelash scarf for several days now. My daughter Lexi always grabs the empty needle and tries to put it into the scarf. She wants to imitate Mommy. My son Mikey on the other hand is a typical destructive boy, always wanting to grab my yarn and run.
Last night I made the mistake of staying up too late watching political coverage on t.v. while knitting. I left my project sitting on the couch thinking nothing of it and went to bed. Well of course the kids decided to wake up WAY too early just because they have this 6th sense that tells them I stayed up too late. So I did what any good parent would do and turned on Dora the Explorer and sneaked back to my bed hoping the kids wouldn’t notice for a while.
A little while later (won’t mention exactly how much later) I emerged from my room still a bit heavy-lidded and found somewhat of a disaster in my house. My skein of eyelash yarn was wrapped around the wall separating the kitchen from the family room, my needles were thrown into the fireplace, and alas, my scarf was ripped off the needle, half unraveled, and hidden behind the couch cushion. I think my son might have realized that I wouldn’t be too happy with him when I found the evidence.
Considering how long it took me to knit that first 12 inches of scarf … I think I will need to protect my projects a little better in the future!
Don’t laugh but I found a fun new project! I was originally going to do the Starter Garter Scarf from the book Getting Started Knitting. But as I was teaching myself the knit stitch in both the English and Continental methods, something changed my mind (Instructions and videos will be posted soon!). The Continental method is very difficult for me and as I started on the scarf using my standard worsted weight yarn it just looked HORRIBLE! I got the English method down pretty quickly and easily as I sort of remembered it from learning as a child so I really wanted to keep practicing the Continental method.
I decided perhaps if I used eyelash yarn the uneven look I am achieving using the Continental method might be disguised. So off I went to the yarn section of Walmart and found some really cute eyelash yarn which even includes a little pattern on the back. I was so excited I purchased two skeins and rushed home to get started.
Well of course it couldn’t just be a SIMPLE solution. I quickly discovered that the Continental method is even HARDER to do with eyelash yarn … but I was correct in that you can’t tell how horrible and uneven the project looks. I am continuing on with this scarf because it is going to be so cute (I just love the colors I picked). But I am alternating between practicing the Continental method and using the regular English method just to retain my sanity. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!
I’m on my way! I used knit instructions found in the books Stitch ‘n Bitch and Getting Started Knitting and taught myself how to cast on knitting. I also watched a great tutorial video at knittinghelp.com which gave me a tip on how to cast on without doing a slip knot (which seems to make your first stitch less lumpy.
How to Cast On Knitting – Video
Here is a video I made showing the technique I learned. I thought it would be fun for you to see me learning and maybe help someone else learn as well. And yes I’m in my pajamas, I do my knitting practice late at night when the kiddos are in bed.
Knit Instructions – with photos
In case it is easier for you to follow along with pictures, I photographed the casting on process as well:
Step 1: Measure out approximately three times the width of your project and hold the yarn at the point forming an upside-down “U” with the short end towards you.
Step 2: Slide your thumb and index finger between the two yarn ends and grasp the tails with your bottom fingers.
Step 3: Slide the knitting needle underneath the yarn and hold tight with your right hand index finger.
Step 4: Pull the yarn down leaving a loop by your thumb and a loop by your index finger.
Step 5: Bring the needle up through the inside of the loop on your thumb.
Step 6: Bring the needle down through the inside of the loop on your index finger.
Step 7: Pull the needle (with the new yarn loop on it) back through the loop on your thumb, going back out the way you came in.
Step 8: Slide your left thumb out of the loop.
Step 9: Pull the yarn end taut with your left thumb (not TOO tight though).
Step 10: Repeat for the # of stitches you need for your easy knitting project. Make sure you leave the cast-on stitches loose or you will have a hard time knitting the first row.
I am so excited to finally get started on an easy knitting project! I have been scouring the internet, picking my mom’s brain, and hitting the library in preparation. I was able to get the large straight knitting needles from my mom and I have decided to use them for my first project. I will be keeping the interchangeable knitting needle set just because it is so cute and handy and I’m sure I will use it later. The silver ones are size 11 and that is what I will be starting on.
The scarf I REALLY wanted to make as my starting project uses a special yarn called “eyelash yarn”. My mom started making these adorable scarves because she saw them for sale at the store for around $20 and thought she could make it for under $5. Well the final product is so cute, but since it uses eyelash yarn I don’t think it will be great for my first project. I am going to use a normal yarn that I happen to have on hand because I think it will be easier to work with and keep track of what I’m doing.
My First Easy Knitting Project!
You wouldn’t think it would be that difficult to decide on a project. But I am a perfectionist and tend to get obsessive about things. I have seen a few “Garter Scarf” patterns which is what I want to start with. It only uses the garter stitch which means it’s straight knitting. Nothing fancy. Easy knitting at it’s finest. But my Stitch ‘n Bitch book calls for size 17 straight needles and a super bulky yarn, neither of which I have on hand. So I found a new book at the library called Getting Started Knitting which is actually great too. It has a Starter Garter Scarf pattern which looks so easy. It calls for size 8 needles on medium yarn but I will just go for it with the size 11 and see what happens.
Now that I have the pattern chosen, and the yarn & knitting needles on hand, I think I can actually begin to work on learning the stitches. Stay tuned for my adventures in learning to cast-on and start on the garter stitch. I will definitely keep you posted on my progress. This is so fun!
Once again I jumped the gun a little bit. I went over to Michaels craft store with my 40% coupon in hand. I was determined to buy myself some knitting needles, because you KNOW you can’t start knitting without some needles! When I got into the store I realized that there were about 100 different styles, sizes, etc. of needles and I didn’t have any idea which ones I should buy since I haven’t even picked a project to start on yet. I talked to a clerk to ask her opinion and she saved the day.
The clerk led me to the Boye Needlemaster Kit 200 and I was immediately in love. I’ve always loved little sets and these interchangeable knitting needles seemed amazing to me. Here are the product features:
* Can make circular needles, flexible straight needles and stitch holders
* Includes interchangeable aluminum needles of sizes 2 – 15
* Separate cables in lengths of 20”,24”,29” & 36”
* Includes stitch markers and a black zippered case to hold needles
I figured if I got this kit I wouldn’t have to buy new needles for each project I work on. The set was regularly $45 but I had a 40% off coupon so I figured I did pretty well. However, when I got home and called my mom, she told me that for my first projects I would have a much easier time using some very large, straight needles. How sad. My new kit is an easy knitting failure. But I am going to borrow the large needles from my mom tomorrow. I’ll post about them when I get them!
When I was a little girl I can remember getting a spool knitting kit and being thrilled that I could learn to make an afghan like my mom was making. Needless to say I was a bit surprised when the result turned out to be a small woolen tube. Being an optimist, I decided I could make it into a barbie scarf so I kept going. However, then my big brother looked at it and told me that was stupid because it was a tube. So I retorted that it would be a sock instead. And then I started to cry because I didn’t know how to make the toe part. Well I have now had two babies and my mom has made some of the most incredible gifts for them and I have this yearning desire to be able to do the same thing. My mom has sat down with me many times and tried to teach me the art of knitting, but I get too frustrated because she is so GOOD! So I am determined to teach myself this skill and wanted to share what I learn with others.
Alphabet blanket my mom made for my daughter
What Does My Husband Think of Easy Knitting?
When I told my husband that I wanted to learn to knit at first he laughed at me, and then he told me it was cute. I could be a little quintessential house wife who has perfect children and knits all day long. Well he decided to be funny and buy me this book called “Stitch ‘N Bitch”. I opened it up and read the back cover which says in huge letters “KNIT HAPPENS”. I rolled my eyes and told him to quit making fun of me. A few days later I actually cracked open the book and I LOVE it. It has all the information I need to get started, as well as a bunch of cute cute patterns that actually look manageable. As I work through some of the fun projects in this book I will share them on this blog. I told my husband he was my inspiration for the blog and then HE rolled his eyes at ME.
Where is Easy Knitting Heading?
I have so many ideas for this blog and I’m really excited to get it going. Some of the things I have planned are to give step by step instructions with pictures, instructional videos, easy patterns, photos of finished products, knitting news, tips, links to great resources I find on the web, and much much more. I especially want to highlight some of the special items my mom has made. I really am amazed by and proud of her. Hopefully you will find this little adventure to be fun and information. Feel free to chip in with advice, tips, commiseration, or just to say hi. I would love for this experiment to become a group effort so that I can learn from others as we go along.