Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Practice, practice, practice

My practice piece

Having been bitten by the knitting bug, I was determined to put in a lot of time on my practice piece. Maybe I’ll knit the whole skein while I’m at it!

Um, no.

I had no clue how long a skein would take, so the veteran knitters reading probably got a good laugh from my naïveté. Also, I knitted my share of mistakes, and the errors compounded as I continued.

Keeping the proper number of stitches in a row was a challenge, although I might be able to put some of the blame on the lower weight yarn splitting. I was supposed to have eighteen stitches per row. Sometimes I did. Other times I had as few as fifteen and as many as twenty. Don’t ask me how I did it.

There was a bald patch or two and a tumor-like growth at the end of a row where I must have made the same mistake again and again. Stitches tended to be too loose or too tight on the needle, meaning I had room to drive a truck through them or had to force the other needle into them. One mistake I know I made repeatedly was having the stitch that was supposed to jump off the left needle jump onto the right needle. I’d get to that point and forget where it was supposed to go, so why not have it join all its other stitch friends? Because it's wrong, that's why.

I would get frustrated—perfectionist tendencies will do that—but rather than making me want to quit, it made me try harder. Oh, I kept messing up, but I was undeterred. Problems aside, I was having fun losing track of time while knitting and listening to my iPod.

I had it bad--I even dreamed about knitting that first night. Basically the dream was how to do the knit stitch. I did it much better than in my waking hours.

I had a lot of questions—sixteen, to be exact—most of which started with “what do you do if…” I wrote them down so I’d remember to ask them at the next lesson. I knew I wouldn’t be perfect right away. If I could spot what I was doing incorrectly and ask questions, then I would be able to avoid them and, just maybe, fix them.

To be fair, I was pleasantly surprised how some of the rows looked. My practice piece looked like something only a mother could love, but it had served its purpose. Practice was over; the time to knit for real was here.

Next…my second knitting lesson.


At 1:27 PM, Blogger kdk said...

It's very daring of you to show your first practice piece. :) I'm sure everyone will be impressed when they see what you went on to do after just a couple of days of practice. I know I am.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

I figure anyone who's seeing this will take it easy on my work...for now. But yes, something much better than this sad rectangle is on the way.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

hahaha - i swatch only a mother can love...how cute! i think u r doing a fab job and i can't wait to see ur current wip (work in progress)! i'm definitely intrigued to continue tuning in...

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on taking the plunge and joining the knitting world. I found you through Kirsten's blog. I'll be back to see how you're progressing. When I learned to knit (about 9)I tried to convince people that the holes in my practice piece was a pattern that was meant to be there.


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