I’m not going to sugar coat this make. I’m clearly not a knitter. This was my last knitting attempt, started in March, but only just finished. That’s right, she who can whip together entire outfits from scratch in a week, took almost a year to finish this slowly festering dress. And I cheated. I gave up towards the end and just casted off at the length that it just so happened to be. I had to look up how to cast off, and I think I may have actually reduced the stitch numbers in the row before I successfully casted off.
Despite it’s hole ridden, amateur appearance, Miss Three is completely and utterly smitten with this tunic. She has been wearing it every day, over everything that she owns. I’m glad now that I purchased a quality pure wool yarn to make it, because it’s lovely and soft and her little tummy is warm.
So for the sake of full disclosure, I really feel that I should share my knitting progress. It started off with a bang. And I really, REALLY want to love knitting, especially with all the amazing inspiration coming through on my blog roll. But I suspect my patchy knit-work is going to be limited to road trips.
But I did manage to complete a few little projects. Check out the beanies and scarfs on this lot (note: a yellow beanie and unfinished scarf is missing from this photo). I should also mention that this photo was taken about a month ago on the first day we arrived in Kansas, to mountains of snow and below zero temperatures. And yes, my stubborn children are not wearing shoes or gloves…or coats!
After my delirious success at finishing a beanie, I decided to start out on a more ambitious road, but perhaps it was a little above my skill set. I downloaded a design off Ravelry to make a little dress for my littlest one, the Maxi Top by Elena Nodel It started well…
But it is a bit of a mess. Just look at all the holes in it. The underarm section is pretty messy too. I just couldn’t work out how to do some of the stitches in the pattern. The striped scarf was much more fun. I was freestyling stripes, having just figured out how to change colours without tying knots in the yarn. But I have to admit that this one is unfinished because I just got bored. I
n any case, since my sewing table is now back in action, the knitting has lain delightfully dormant for the past few weeks. But I won’t throw it away yet. I plan to salvage both articles in a few weeks when we head off skiing for the Easter weekend. I’m wondering if I can stitch those holes closed or maybe sew some beads/sequins/buttons over them…I love a good challenge!
Through sheer perseverance, I am actually beginning to enjoy this knitting malarkey. I’ve just finished my first beanie. And yes, I am super proud of myself. It’s real beginnersville here!
Thanks to you guys, I’ve also discoverd Ravelry. It has become my go-to for all things knitting. I searched for what looked to be the simplest possible beanie pattern by Purl Bee, and yes, it was simple, but also a great hit with Miss Four. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get the type of yarn and stitch tension right, but I don’t really mind the ‘homemade’ look for a beanie (although I’m sure it would look better with the starting point at the back!). It was also my first go using circular and double point needles.
I’ve got a few more little beanies and scarfs to knit for my other girls over the next week or so (I’m preparing for a Kansas Winter, or what remains of it). And after this, I have a more ambitious project planned!
But before I sign off, I must confess to another
splurge necessary purchase. In the after bask of having completed my first real knitting project, I convinced myself that I was worthy of some better knitting equipment. A Knit Pro carbon circular needle kit is on it’s way to me in the mail. It took me absolutely ages to decide what type of needle I should get and in the end, my choice basically came down to the needle sizes in the kit (those that I don’t already have). I had no idea you could choose from bamboo, plastic, metal or wooden needles. What type of knitting needles do you use, or wish you had more of?
And if you are wondering what 60kg of vacuum packed sewing paraphernalia looks like…
This is my important stuff all packed up and ready to hit the runway. Oh, and it doesn’t actually include any of my clothes. It is merely the important things….fabric, patterns, select notions, and my Pfaff! How do I manage this luggage haul you ask. Well, that is what three little girls come in handy for…believe it or not, their luggage allocation is still 46kg each, which I am carefully managing of course….mwah ha ha…
I think I already knew this, but I’m pretty sure I will never be a serious knitter. I know it’s early days yet, but I just don’t think I have the patience.
But I am pleased with my progress so far. My knitting ambitions were never very high. I learnt how to cast on and do a basic garter stitch when I was a child. So my knitting history to date is several unfinished scarfs of various lengths and widths; unfinished because I lacked the knitting drive, and unfinished because I never learnt how to cast off.
So at the moment, I am actually quite pleased with myself, despite the simplicity of my goals. I now know how to purl, to knit ribbing (after a few false starts), and to do a sockinette stitch. I’ve also managed to master the cast off. I have started my very first scarf that I intend to actually finish. And then I have some simple beanies in mind for my next knitting project.
This super simple project has been a good way for me to try out different stitches and stitch patterns. Miss Four is not very discerning. The scarf will be pink, so therefore it already ticks all the boxes for her. I’m sure she won’t mind my practice knitting segments in it!
But before I go, I have to tell you the funniest and best thing about this knitting experience. My three little girls have never seen me knit before, so as I pulled out the needles and began to cast on, I heard Miss Five exclaim at the top of her voice, “Quick everybody, Mummy’s knitting! I’m going to watch!”. And then all three girls hurriedly dragged chairs around me to watch. Knit, knit, knit, knit….”It’s taking a long time Mummy!”…