Getting My Knit On

About three years ago, a friend (Miss Mardi), her girls and her momma came to stay with us for Thanksgiving. I saw that her mom was knitting dishcloths and I said that I had always wanted to learn how to knit. Before she left she showed me how to cast on and knit stitch. She left me a lovely pair of bamboo needles from her set. For about three weeks I knitted swatch after swatch over and over, ripping it out and started again because once I reached the end of my swatch I didn’t know what to do. I even let my step-mom attempt to teach me what she knew.

Needless to say that idea didn’t last very long and I put the needles away.

Then right before this Thanksgiving, I got the notion in my head that I’d like to try my hand at knitting again and so I hunted down the needles that Momma Irene left me except I could only find one of them. I got a little too fixated on finding the missing needle and tore the house apart. Still no needle. Well I couldn’t very well knit with one needle right (turns out I’m wrong about that but whatever) so I made my way to Pat Catans (the best craft mega store ever) and picked up a very inexpensive set of bamboo needles. You know, in case I lost interest yet again.

The next step was to find a place where I could learn. A task that I learned would be harder than I thought.

You’d think that living out where I’d do there would be a few knitting clubs or at least lessons at my local library right? Wrong! The closest one that I could find was almost 40 minutes from home at two county libraries. The next two that I found offered classes at $50 a class not including you buy their needles and yarn… My budget said no to that.

I remembered seeing a little yarn shop in Lodi (a mere 12 minutes from home) and I needed a reason to check it out so one night (right before Brian left to go hunting) Bebe and I took a trip to Black Locust Farms Fine Yarns.

I met Cathy (the owner) and found out that for the price of a set of needles and a skein of yarn, she’d teach me the basics. I picked up a set of Brittany size 8’s and two skeins of Plymouth 100 percent wool yarn. I was going to start out making a scarf for myself. I’ve been back twice since that day to knit with Cathy and some of the other ladies that are regulars at her store.

I’m not sure I’ve found “my place” in the knitting community just yet (I’m still on the hunt for knitters more… *ahem* my age) but I’m having fun learning. In between knitting with Cathy, I made a small place for myself at Ravelry.com (I’m nicholes… pretty easy to find me if you’re a member there too).

That was just over three weeks ago. Since then I frogged my scarf and had to start over but see how far I’ve come!?

Can you see the seed stitch pattern in the middle?

I’ve learned three different ways to cast on, how to knit “continental (which is more comfortable for me I found and keeps my tension from looking like a knotted cat), the knit stitch, the purl, and a combination of both called the “seed stitch” which I’m using in the scarf. Cathy has been great and patient with me. I’m hoping to move on to dishcloths, pot holders (probably should have started with those huh?), hats, socks and eventually blankets, ponchos and shawls.

The most amazing things I’ve learned about knitting is that it’s not as hard as I’d thought. It’s therapeutic; it calms me and forces me block out the world around me. I have to focus and concentrate. I’m hoping that I can translate that level of focus to other aspects of my life and work.

A few other things I’ve learned is that yarn can be expensive (either that or I have expensive tastes). Wooden (either birch or bamboo) needles feel 10 times better in my hands than metal, there is a difference in yarn, (I had no clue. Thought all yarn was the same!) and how easy it is for me to say, “I’m just going to finish this row…” and then knit three more rows after that.

I don’t consider myself an “old dog” learning new tricks and I’m sure someone that I know is going to tell that knitting is for old people but here’s my thought… I want to learn this so that I can pass it to my daughter and maybe a granddaughter or daughter in law some day. It would be nice to have something more tangible than a blog url to leave behind to my children. My grandmothers (all of them) never lived long enough to teach me or for me to take an interest in learning how to knit or crochet. I’m hoping to do for them what they couldn’t do for me… I think it would be nice to look down from the heavens and see my granddaughters knitting for their own children one day and know that I taught them that.

OK enough of the sentiments… back to the needles!

About Nichole Smith

Nichole Smith has written 763 post in this blog.

Founder of Chaos in the Country and (original) The Guilty Parent blog, Nichole is a professional writer, blogger, social media strategist, and collector of yarn, books, and pretty paper.

Comments

  1. How wonderful! I love knitting and have an amazing giveaway that you would love coming up. I learned to knit by paying for classes and sitting in on knitting groups, but I think the most helpful thing ever is this great website KnittingHelp.com that has free videos.

    I added you on Raverly, I’m “sweetknitter” I can’t wait to see how your scarf turns out!
    Christi recently posted…Coupon-1 Off Murphy USA Gift CardMy Profile

  2. Too bad Lodi is kind of a hike from Oberlin. I meet up with some knitters at The Feve sometimes, and at Smith’s (http://smithsknitshop.com/). We’ll have to meet up for knitting sometime!

    Your scarf is looking good … keep it up!
    mzundercover recently posted…Finally finished!My Profile

  3. Welcome to the wonderful world of knitting. I learned to knit year ago when I was in elementary school. I have knitted on and off all these years. After my little guy was born I picked it back up and have not stopped. My biggest obsession are wash cloths since they knit up quickly. I give them as gifts for everything. Happy knitting and see you on Ravelry.
    Beth @ TheAngelForever recently posted…Chanukah 2010 with familyMy Profile

  4. I am with you completely! I decided to learn to knit when I found out I was pregnant. That was over three years ago – I have finished numerous hats, sweaters, scarves, christmas ornaments, etc…. I LOVE IT! I know what you mean about finding help or even just a fun knitting group. I used to love my class where I could listen, learn and share not only about knitting but LIFE. You find out so much about people in your knitting group, sharing common interests with people who probably wouldn’t have any other reason to talk to each other. I wrote a post about knitting therapy a long time ago – you might find it interesting. I am in the under 40’s group of knitters, but it is really an ageless craft.

    Here is the link to my post – http://themommiesnetwork.blogspot.com/2010/03/knitting-therapy.html

    Happy knitting! I look forward to seeing more of your projects.

  5. YAY! I’m so excited that you’re knitting!!! It’s just an amazing craft to learn and so relaxing! Let me know if you need any help at all!!

  6. You have to read a book called The Knitting Club – they have it at the library!!!

  7. If you’re talking about the 3 book series, The Friday Night Knitting Club, then yes. Yes I have read it! I actually read all three. I think there should be a 4th one.

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Getting My Knit On

About three years ago, a friend (Miss Mardi), her girls and her momma came to stay with us for Thanksgiving. I saw that her mom was knitting dishcloths and I said that I had always wanted to learn how to knit. Before she left she showed me how to cast on and knit stitch. She left me a lovely pair of bamboo needles from her set. For about three weeks I knitted swatch after swatch over and over, ripping it out and started again because once I reached the end of my swatch I didn’t know what to do. I even let my step-mom attempt to teach me what she knew.

Needless to say that idea didn’t last very long and I put the needles away.

Then right before this Thanksgiving, I got the notion in my head that I’d like to try my hand at knitting again and so I hunted down the needles that Momma Irene left me except I could only find one of them. I got a little too fixated on finding the missing needle and tore the house apart. Still no needle. Well I couldn’t very well knit with one needle right (turns out I’m wrong about that but whatever) so I made my way to Pat Catans (the best craft mega store ever) and picked up a very inexpensive set of bamboo needles. You know, in case I lost interest yet again.

The next step was to find a place where I could learn. A task that I learned would be harder than I thought. (more…)

About Nichole Smith

Nichole Smith has written 763 post in this blog.

Founder of Chaos in the Country and (original) The Guilty Parent blog, Nichole is a professional writer, blogger, social media strategist, and collector of yarn, books, and pretty paper.

Comments

  1. How wonderful! I love knitting and have an amazing giveaway that you would love coming up. I learned to knit by paying for classes and sitting in on knitting groups, but I think the most helpful thing ever is this great website KnittingHelp.com that has free videos.

    I added you on Raverly, I’m “sweetknitter” I can’t wait to see how your scarf turns out!
    Christi recently posted…Coupon-1 Off Murphy USA Gift CardMy Profile

  2. Too bad Lodi is kind of a hike from Oberlin. I meet up with some knitters at The Feve sometimes, and at Smith’s (http://smithsknitshop.com/). We’ll have to meet up for knitting sometime!

    Your scarf is looking good … keep it up!
    mzundercover recently posted…Finally finished!My Profile

  3. Welcome to the wonderful world of knitting. I learned to knit year ago when I was in elementary school. I have knitted on and off all these years. After my little guy was born I picked it back up and have not stopped. My biggest obsession are wash cloths since they knit up quickly. I give them as gifts for everything. Happy knitting and see you on Ravelry.
    Beth @ TheAngelForever recently posted…Chanukah 2010 with familyMy Profile

  4. I am with you completely! I decided to learn to knit when I found out I was pregnant. That was over three years ago – I have finished numerous hats, sweaters, scarves, christmas ornaments, etc…. I LOVE IT! I know what you mean about finding help or even just a fun knitting group. I used to love my class where I could listen, learn and share not only about knitting but LIFE. You find out so much about people in your knitting group, sharing common interests with people who probably wouldn’t have any other reason to talk to each other. I wrote a post about knitting therapy a long time ago – you might find it interesting. I am in the under 40’s group of knitters, but it is really an ageless craft.

    Here is the link to my post – http://themommiesnetwork.blogspot.com/2010/03/knitting-therapy.html

    Happy knitting! I look forward to seeing more of your projects.

  5. YAY! I’m so excited that you’re knitting!!! It’s just an amazing craft to learn and so relaxing! Let me know if you need any help at all!!

  6. You have to read a book called The Knitting Club – they have it at the library!!!

  7. If you’re talking about the 3 book series, The Friday Night Knitting Club, then yes. Yes I have read it! I actually read all three. I think there should be a 4th one.

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