Old Dog, New Tricks

I’ve really done it now.

I tried to ignore the temptation, telling myself over and over I didn’t need to get involved. Despite the ever-present peer pressure, I had actually done a really good job of saying “No!” and meaning it.

Until now.knitting

That’s right, friends…

I’m finally starting to learn how to knit.

What’s that, you say? That’s not a big revelation? Well, perhaps not to you, but it seems like a big step for me. I only started crochet about…I think it was two years ago? Maybe three? I haven’t been doing it for very long, whatever the time frame. And I’ve been spinning for even less time. I’ve been quilting for a number of years now and sewing…well, I don’t actually know how long I’ve been sewing, anymore. I remember doing some embroidery and cross-stitch back in fourth grade, and I vaguely remember sewing on a button or making badly fitting clothes for my Barbie back in third grade. Suffice it to say, I’ve had a fair number of textile skills in my back pocket for some time. I really didn’t see the need to add more to my list. Certainly not knitting.

It’s not that I don’t like knitted things. I love them. I have my share of sweaters and knitted gifts that friends have given me over the years. In fact, my current go-to winter wear this season has come in the form of a knit hat made by my friend Angelica, some delightful knit mittens made by an acquaintance (using the first yarn I ever spun on my wheel, along with commercial yarn), and a knit cowl made by one of the Stitch n Time ladies, out of wool from the Colonial Farm sheep.

[The omnipresence of purple in my wardrobe is something of an inside joke by this point. Oddly enough, the folks who made those items are unaware of that fact.]

I was happy to leave the world of knitting to friends and family, and focus on fine-tuning the skills I have already acquired. I mean, I know how to crochet, but there are definitely stitches I haven’t mastered yet. And I’ve only been spinning for about a year and a half, and only half of that time on a wheel, so there’s also plenty to learn there. And, though I’ve been sewing and quilting for years now, there is always room for improvement. So, with all that to focus on, did I really need to add knitting?

Apparently, I did.

Although, perhaps it was inevitable. Afterall, Mom gave me a couple of booklets, some yarn, and two sets of knitting needles for my birthday one year. I think I probably would have started at that time, but a few days later the world turned upside down and I set aside a lot of things for a while. I hate to waste a gift, though, so those needles did eventually come out.

Last night, to be exact. I still can’t figure out where I put the booklets Mom gave me – I remember thinking “I’ll put them in a safe place” but, like everything else I put in a “safe place” I can’t remember where that might be. So I looked up a tutorial on YouTube and set about learning the basic knit and purl stitches.

[By the by, I highly recommend that tutorial. Large needles, repetition, clear picture…excellent work.]

I’ve only just started picking this up, so I don’t expect to become a fantastic knitter anytime soon, but I was pretty pleased with how my stuff looked – right up until I managed to slip two stitches off my needle and not figure out how to pick them up again, and then tried to alternate between knit and purl. I’ll get there, I’m sure, but probably not for a while.

This pattern is my ultimate goal. badgers-and-mash-hat

Isn’t it so cute! It’s got badgers and mushrooms! (and youth under a certain age probably won’t have any idea what makes that funny)

Also, there are these house_pride_socks_039_medium2

And thesedscn0529_medium2

And this.honeybadgerdontcare_medium2

But all of these will be far in the future.

[Can you tell I’m a proud Hufflepuff?]


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