A Chick with Sticks – Teaching Myself How to Knit

A Chick with Sticks – Teaching Myself How to Knit

A couple years I tried to learn how to knit. It’s frightening how long ago it was but I really tried my best and the result was absolutely terrible. Why knitting? Well a number of factors played into this. I got a cross stitch toy as a child and loved it. In Form 1 I had to take a Needlework class which, if memory serves, I failed. We were supposed to make an apron that would be used in Home Economics, later called Food and Nutrition but it was still a pile of cut cotton by the end of the term. Regardless this lead to an obsession with embroidery and then crotchet but I had to abandon them all for schoolwork, which I was very sorry about.  Seriously, when we studied medieval history about noblewomen spending most of their days doing embroidery and stuff, I figured I was born in the wrong era. Knights, chivalry and crochet all day sounded awesome! Unfortunately like so many activities I’ve loved, it had to be put away. Over the past couple years, I noticed that a few Facebook friends are avid knitters and one of my friends’ mom has a fantastic online yarn store called Americo Original, which I fully intend to patronize. Their stuff is so pretty! Considering my past history with sticks and skeins, I decided to give it a go. My original intention was to knit a Doctor Who scarf for my nephew but he was more interested in one with Gryffindor colours.  Okay then kiddo, that should be even easier!

Big Long Scarves

Doctor Who and Harry Potter are big scarf aficionados.

As per my usual methods, I started by buying a Nook Book called The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting (Mary Ellen O’Connell, Nancy Queen) and then a trip to Michael’s for some supplies which included buying Boye’s I Taught Myself Knitting. I got a big skein of gold yarn to start the project and intended to get the burgundy yarn when it was time to switch over, but no. Instead of a scarf-like-looking umm scarf, it was more of a fluffy collar. Every time I finished a row, the thing got wider instead of longer! No there’s no photo because I untangled it today and really didn’t want to immortalize the failure by putting it on the internet. This led me to one of the great lessons about knitting (crocheting too) which is that you can unravel the whole nightmare and reuse the yarn for something completely different or as in my case, start all over again.

Books about knitting

The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting and Boye’s I Taught Myself Knitting are two good places to start.

I was really, really bothered by my inability to knit and put it out sight, so therefore out of mind. Seriously, it was in the garage. That is until I received a beautiful prayer shawl which my sister’s co-worker made himself. That’s right, himself – he’s a proud and prayerful knitter, my people! This inspired me to grab my bag of knitting stuff and seriously study my Nook Book to see where I went wrong. After sorting out it all out, I started over and it wasn’t long before I realized my error. It was a proper Eureka moment and I was pretty much beside myself that the skein was turning into a scarf. Holy cow, I can knit! I decided to end it as a potholder and then start over fresh to make a scarf. Although there are some janky bits here and there, it’s still my first handmade article of clothing, so I’m happy with it. Besides the love will make up for its imperfections. My sister and I went to Michael’s to get some more yarn because I’m going to do at least two more scarves before moving onto the next project. I want to use the Frankenstein scarf to try out another stitch that will be for the other scarves. I stopped myself from buying any more because I’d be up to my eyeballs in yarn and then probably start stressing about it. At this time knitting is very relaxing and gives me a chance to sort out the hurricane of information rampaging in my head. Knit, knit, loop, loop, change hands, brilliant thought, finish row, write it down and go back to knitting. Oh yeah, I’m going to rock this craft like a medieval noblewoman!