Unravel 2011

Unravel Festival of Knitting 26th-27th Feb 2011 Farnham Maltings

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Hello! I'm a knitter

I'm a knitter! I learnt to knit when I was little, but my nanny always cast on, and I never got far enough along to even consider casting off - scarves get boring when you're seven! But about a month or two ago, I picked up sticks (5.5mm straight Pony) once again whilst looking for ways to alleviate stress and anxiety and now I am here, having decided to write about the experience and help other new knitters along the way. 

So here's what I've learnt so far:

Casting on - was my first challenge, having never attempted this before. Now I can do the loopy-one (the basic), long-tail (just!) and my new favourite - knitting on. It takes a little longer, but I find it stronger than the loopy-one and quicker than long-tail, with which I am all fingers and thumbs

Knit and purl - remembering knit stitch, walk in the park. Purl came to me after a few quick interwebs searches and quite a lot of loopy tangles. Garter stitch, stocking stick easy from here. Ribbed patterns have taken a little longer, as they seem to require more dexterity...

Short row shaping - happened by accident, really! I wanted a small project to take to the in-laws over Christmas, and ended up with http://knittingonthenet.com/patterns/clothdoily.htm in red. I really loved it and it's now on my bedside table. It's a nice intro to lace too!

Yarn Weights - are the BANE of my life! Because this is new, I'm not keen on spending lots of money on yarns that I'll have to rip and eventually will split, so I've got lots and lots and lots of DK. Problem with DK, is that not a huge amount of projects are written for it, and I don't gauge...

Gauging - DO IT! I don't, I should, I will. 

Lace - is fun, and easy too. Pick a pattern with eyelets and try it.

Fair Isle - :D got this down, now. Previous failures include a "Star Wars" sampler and a not-quite spherical xmas bauble.

Cabling - again, really fun and you get a real sense of achievement with this one! Also a good excuse to get your first double pointed needles, says I who uses a stitch holder anyway...

I have favourite sites, I'm a member of Ravelry, I've made many mistakes, and had a few great achievements. I'll take some time to post up links to the sites I like, the patterns I've followed and the things I've found out soon.

I've just today picked up my first circular needles, and I'm working on a tote bag. I'm sure I'll have many posts of frustration to follow on this, especially since I've started working in DK white which I KNOW will not be durable enough and will pick up dirt big time. Oh well. What I am good at is perseverance! 

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