Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My Second Knitting Lesson

Kristin holds weekly knitting lessons for girls at the yarn store where she used to work. She came straight from this week’s session to meet me at Starbucks for my second lesson. I can’t say how quickly I’ve picked up what she’s taught me compared to the learning curve of ten-year-olds, but I’ve got it all over those girls when it comes to being patient and refraining from foot stomping.

I was excited to show her the progress I’d made on my practice piece and get her opinion on how I was I doing. I knew it had numerous mistakes. (If I could see them, I wasn’t going to fool a regular knitter.) What I wanted to know was if it looked like I grasped how to do the knit stitch even if I hadn’t executed it properly every time. To my relief, she was satisfied with what I’d done.

After she answered all the questions that had come to me in the course of practicing, it was time to learn how to bind off and cast on. Both seem easy enough, although as I write this a week after being shown the techniques without needing to use them, all bets are off whether I could do them.

At this point it was time to start My First Project. I decided that the super bulky scarlet chenille was the best choice for my first scarf. I liked the color, which should make it more enjoyable to work on, and it’s for one of my brothers. Better to hone my skills on one of theirs than my parent’s scarves. I hope everyone who gets a scarf uses it, but let’s face it, my mom, dad, great aunt, and sister-in-law are most likely to appreciate my efforts. I can hear one of my brothers saying that it would have been cheaper and taken less time to buy scarves. (Yes, this is the same sibling who resisted giving an answer for his favorite color because of the seemingly countless shades.)

I got out the violet US 11s, cast on twelve stitches with some help, and started knitting. I know how the stitches are supposed to feel as I’m doing them, but I’m hesitant to look away from the needles just yet. Kristin and I talked while I began the scarf and she continued work on a sweater. Conversation while knitting isn’t out of my league, but apparently I needed to listen or talk a bit less. Occasionally I’d find that something I had knitted wasn’t as it should be. This led to a lesson in how to undo stitches, which is the sort of knowledge that will certainly come in handy.

Kristin brought a Knit Picks catalog so I could see some of the yarn options out there beyond the limited choices at JoAnn's and Michael's. She explained the differences in the weights and what kinds of yarns will be the best for my projects. Apparently there's no shortage of options.

By the time we called it a night I had knitted a nice little square. It’s not much, but it’s a start. When I got home, I wanted to work on it a little more. Wouldn’t you know it, I ended with an extra stitch on the first row I tried to complete. I wasn’t very happy about that, but with a screening scheduled for the next night, I knew I would have a chance to have Kristin fix it and put me back on the right track.

Next…a covert knitting repair in a parking garage may lead to a blown cover already!


At 9:58 AM, Blogger kdk said...

Hey -- speaking of yarn options...when are we going to go yarn shopping? Maybe we can go out for a bit on Friday afternoon, since we don't have any screenings on Thursday or Friday. Or are you going to be catching something at the Grand?

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

i'm soooo enjoying reading about your lessons...keep 'em coming : )


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