Starting to knit

My Gram did a lot of knitting, crocheting, embroider and sewing along with many other things.  She would knit, crochet and sew my doll clothes. I remember a red poncho with fringe that I had (LOVED IT). When the poncho got too short, she just added too it making it longer and added a new edge of fringe. I thought that was the coolest thing – it fit again. She would always have something she was working on. Hot pad holders, doilies, sweater, socks, hats, mittens, afghans, …you name it, she made it.

When I was young I learned the basics (knit and purl) but never did anything with it. Crocheting was a different story. She showed me how to make crocheted snowflakes. We never looked at a pattern, I don’t remember knowing what each stitch was called, I just remember she would hand me a snowflake or a doily that she had made (all different kinds and patterns) and I would look at it and make one. She would show me how to do the stitch and off I would go until I came to a point I didn’t know how to make the next section and she would show me a new stitch. I had so many snowflakes (still do!)

Last year I found a woman on Craig’s List to re-teach me a few crocheting things. That helped a lot. I know what the stitches are called now and also can read a pattern (sort of).

In one of the local community education programs they are offering a six week knitting class. I signed up. We have just finished week three and I am thrilled with what I have learned so far. The teacher is good, we are all learning and progressing.

Week one was solely spent on casting on stitches and then the knit stitch. I couldn’t remember how to cast on, so that was a big help. The knit stitch I could remember, but know I am comfortable with it again.

Practicing the knit stitch

Week two we just continued on and learned the purl stitch. I had done this before, but a very long time ago and although I couldn’t remember how to do it, it came back quickly once she showed us.

learning to knit and purl

We just continued on our same piece. You can see the first part (on right) is where I started knitting. Then it switches and that is where I started to purl (on left). I went back and forth between knit and purl a few times I see if I could see what it looked like. Near the end of our second class she gave us a simple pattern to practice. This created a simple basket weave looking pattern. Neat!

combining knit & purl to create a basket weave

I started the basket weave looking pattern with another ball of yard when I got home.

more basket weave using knit and purl

At the start of week three I had to slip that above work off my needles because she wanted us to try a new pattern. I didn’t know we were going to do this and I want to still continue on with that basket weave pattern so we slipped it off my needles (cringe!) but the teacher said she would help me get it back on next week. Lesson Learned – bring an extra set of knitting needles to class all the time! (I guess there is a clip or something you can use to capture all the loose stitches and keep them safe until you want to start it again later…looks like a big kilt pin – O now Gram had one of those, I might even still have it somewhere)

The new pattern we started in week three is a robe of a doll. The concept is that we learn to read a pattern and follow the pattern, we will learn to decrease and increase and actually finish a project – a robe for a doll. I think it is a great concept.If we all started a sweater for ourselves it would be such a big project that we wouldn’t get it done in class. With the robe for a doll, we will!

a doll robe pattern to learn combining techniques

I need to have eight inches of this pattern finished for the start of class on Thursday. It is coming along well. I am learning to follow the pattern, watch TV, shift my markers, watch TV, look at the pattern again… (actually it is more of a “listen to TV” than a “watch TV” at this point)

I am excited to learn the next part. I wish I would have learned this from my Gram, she was a good teacher of things. But I think she is smiling knowing that I am learning now.

One of the things I really want to knit is socks. I can’t wait. I am going to knit SOCKS finally! (soon I hope) Just in time for summer. ha

Sincerely, Emily

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5 Responses to Starting to knit

  1. Jane says:

    Wow, from knit, purl to making a robe is a big jump. What about an easy hat first 😉 It is nice that you found a course to get you knitting again.

    • I am thrilled at how well I am doing. I am also amazed at how easy this doll robe is (so far!). When I finish it I will take a photo soon and post it so you can see. I agree a hat would have been an nice project to begin with too. As I peak ahead on the doll robe pattern it looks like we will learn to decrease and the learn to make the sleeves and put everything together. I can’t say that I won’t get lost or confused in this next section, but so far I am doing alright. I was going to try to proceed on my own, but decided not to push it and will wait for class to be shown.

  2. I am still at the stage of making scarves. I have lots of scarves. I would benefit from a class. My daughter-in-law has knitted everything from baby clothes for friends to a winter coat for herself, but she doesn’t use patterns, so she has a hard time teaching someone else. She just decides what she wants to make and makes it, I wish I had that talent!

    -Brenda

    • Hi Brenda – You live in scarf country, so scarves are good, but I guess you can only use so many scarves. My Gram could knit like your friend – just do it, no pattern. I wish I had learned more from her, but I am glad I am learning now. I am getting a lot out of the class.

  3. Pingback: Knitting Scarves for Special Olympics (or crochet) | Sincerely, Emily

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