Monday, October 8, 2007

Crafty Girl Wannabe - Day 1

Since I started blog hopping, I've admired posts by crafty girls. Those women whose posts are filled with yarns of all sorts, beautiful textures and colors. Is it wrong to want to be one of them? They create scarves and sweaters, gloves, hats, dresses, shawls, blankets. So many things of beauty starting with just a vision. I see them on the train and sitting in the doctor's office - knitting away so happily. I wonder who will be the lucky beneficiary of their talents.

My mom used to sew and knit when I was young. She made me the prettiest purple poncho. It was my absolute favorite. I must admit to having some thoughts of knitting a poncho after seeing Martha Stewart's when she was released. She looked amazing!

Over the years I've bought yarn, knitting needles, and "how to" books. I practiced by knitting a few rows. Decided that my hands looked horrible knitting, lacking the beautiful fluid motion that I saw in others and that I couldn't do it right. I gave up and put my needles and yarn away. One thing about me that I may have mentioned before is that I'm always freezing. Unless it's at least 75 degrees, I'm chilly. I need lots of scarves, sweaters, and socks. Fall is here and I've been thinking about some cute skinny scarves.

I spoke to a friend a few months ago about how I'd been looking longingly at all the knitting blogs, wishing I could knit like them. Then she told me that she knit! I had no idea that she was a knitter! I let loose a stream of all my knitting attempts, stops and starts and the things that I wished I could make. She said that socks were really easy and so were scarfs. Scarves? I'm having problems with this plural. What do you think? Scarfs or scarves? I guess both are technically correct.

Anyway, it seems that my problem was that I was buying ugly cheap yarn just to practice on. She recommended buying yarn that I loved, something soft that felt really nice to handle, and trying a simple scarf.

So this weekend I went yarn shopping at Michaels and felt like a total imposter standing in the aisle, but I'm committed this time. I guess I sort of looked like I knew what I was doing, because a woman walked over with her husband and kids and was saying that she wanted to find out about a knitting class. She asked me if I knitted. I told her that it was my first time trying for real and I was winging it. We wished each other good luck.

After about a half an hour of looking and touching all the different yarns, I decided on one. It was just as fun as shopping for food! Except I didn't feel quite as competent. I bought two skeins, because I wasn't sure how much I'd need. Is that the right word? I need to learn knitting lingo. All you knitters out there, any words of wisdom and encouragement would be welcome and appreciated! I bought Nature's Choice Organic Cotton in Almond. It was a little more expensive than some of the other yarns, but it feels really soft, looks substantial, is made in the USA and it's organic.

Last night while watching Brothers & Sisters, I started knitting my scarf. I'm not using a pattern; I'm improvising like when I cook. I need to get used to the feel of it first. I can't handle a pattern yet. I casted on 12 stitches, but somehow there are 14 now. I guess I mistakenly added two rows. Oh well. I'm not going to get discouraged. I'm going to finish this scarf and wear it. I think I should be able to finish it within a couple of weeks. I'm going to knit while watching TV and commuting on the T. I'm becoming the crafty girl I always wanted to be!

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BipolarLawyerCook said...

Good luck! I am a terrible knitter, but a not-bad crocheter, although the scarg I started this summer is totally stalled. Hope to see the finished product!

Emon said...

I'm seeing a lot of A train riders - one guy among them - knitting these days, plugged in to their mp3 players. Is knitting a new form of meditation I've failed to notice take rise? You must share your final product. :)h

Nicole said...

Hey Anali!

I followed the link to this post from Emon's blog. My mom sewed a lot of our clothes when I was younger and was also very good at embroidery among other things. I didn't inherit the "crafty" gene but I learned to knit anyway. My grandmother taught me when I was younger and I forgot over the years. She re-taught me a few summers ago and although I really had to struggle to catch on, once I did, I became addicted! Don't give up, you'll get it!

If you haven't already, buy the book "Stitch n' Bitch." It's great and one of the easier books to learn from. It's definitely not easy to learn from a book but I have learned most of what I know from books after learning just the basic knit and pearl stitches from my grandmother.

Just so you know, cotton yarn was a little bit harder for me to work with when I was starting out because it doesn't really stretch. Although cheap acrylics don't feel that great on your hands, you might want to find a nice acrylic/wool blend to practice with.

I think I'll dig out my needles and yarn today, I've been feeling the urge to knit and it's been quite a while. Good luck!

suttonhoo said...

yay -- how fun -- you're an example to us all!

Cynthia said...

Looking forward to your creations! I love that store - Michaels.

david santos said...


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amisha said...

wishing you lots of luck in the knitting!! so excited for you that you decided to give it another try.
i completely agree that you should have yarn that you love to start with... and honestly yarn that you love, always, makes knitting a joy. bad yarn will make you resent your project which is no good! it's worth the investment both for the joy of the process (after all if you didn't want the process you could just buy the finished knits), and for the joy of the finished item as well.
my advice as a knitter of a few years is to stick with it... the first thing always will be a little wonky but that is also endearing! you should have seen me when i first started to knit. i used "knitting for dummies" and i was a bit of a wreck... got so frustrated so many times and was throwing the project across the room. my first project was a thick cotton bookmark :) not the smartest but e actually used it... dear man! but there is a point... it will come... when it all just "clicks" and it is amazing. can't wait to hear more about your knitting adventures!!

Nance said...

I used to knit like you: therapeutically and in envy (lol). I was pregnant with my first son and decided to knit a small blanket. He's 22 now and the blanket is still on needles and about 5 inches long.

Oh well.

pom d'api said...

Good luck!!!! je ne sais pas tricoté. Me

Tera said...

The creative side of my brain is totally out of order! I'll leave that to you experts!

Lotus Reads said...

Sadly I'm not very crafty but my mother is and my youngest daughter definitely has her aptitude for crafts. S is only 12 but an excellent knitter and she sews beautifully too! Congrats on picking up a new hobby Anali, may you derive heaps of enjoyment from it.

Anali said...

bipolarlawyercook - Thank you! I'd like to learn to crochet too, but I guess I should focus on one thing at a time. I hope you pick up working on your scarf again.

emon - It is kind of meditative. I knitted on the train yesterday, until some woman sat so close to me I couldn't move my hands.... Anyway, I have heard that more men are knitting too. I read about a couple of men's knitting circles. Also, my grandfather was the one who taught my mother how to knit! And thanks for the link!

nicole - Thank you for suggesting "Stitch n' Bitch!" I looked it up and it sounds fun. I'll have to get it. With all the knitting and sewing my mom did when I was little, I really should know how to do it all by now. I guess the baking is what interested me most at the time! ; )

So far the cotton feels pretty nice, but for my next project, I'll look into the acrylic/wool blend. I hope you share your knitting with us on your blog too!

suttonhoo - Gosh, thanks! ; )

Anali said...

cynthia - I have to go back to Michaels soon. I had no idea the yarn would run out so quickly. Also, I guess I need to get some yarn sewing needles.

david santos - I hope they arrest that guy.

amisha - I'll take another picture of the scarf soon. There are a few holes and it's a bit uneven, but I'm feeling a little sentimental. It's my first project and I'm going to wear it even though it's not perfect. Maybe only when I'm at home... ; )

nance - You can finish it for your grandkids!

pom d'api - Merci! Maintenant je sais le mot pour tricotage!

tera - I'm no expert! But it's fun!

lotus reads - S sounds like the coolest girl! Is she the one who went to cooking camp too?

Gypsy Purple said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful comment....I`m glad to be back....missed you all and can`t wait to see al the new posts and wonderful things


Anali said...

gypsy purple - Great to see you back! ; )

Lotus Reads said...

Thanks, Anali, yes, S went to cooking camp and is a wiz at baking!

starry nights said...

Anali..I love to knit and I think it is very relaxing.I knitted a baby dress for a friend and am now making a baby sweater.I love to make small stuff because I am eager to see the finished product.Good for you.I love to knit scarves/scarfs also.

Anali said...

lotus reads - I hope maybe she'll share some of her baking on your blog one day! ; )

starry nights - Oh so you can help inspire me! I'd love to see some of your work. Maybe you'll show some pictures one day? ; )

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