Our local Hancock Fabrics store closed earlier this summer. For weeks, there were ominous black-and-red signs in the window announcing the store’s “Final Days”. Other signs proclaimed that everything in the store was drastically reduced for quick sale. What textile junkie could refuse that kind of offer? (Not this one, obviously!)
On one of my scavenging forays into the doomed store, I found how-to-knit books at 75% off. Knitting needles were also on the block, at prices cheaper than #2 pencils*. So I decided to teach myself how to knit. Crochet, which I took up last year, is still enjoyable, but I often get frustrated at finding an awesome pattern — only to discover it’s for knit. Well, it’s no fun being left out in the yarn world. Back at home, I pulled out my new pair of Clover bamboo single-points, dug a ball of cheap yarn out of my stash, and set down to figure things out.
Unfortunately, the beginning knitting did not go so well. My new tutorial book used a very convoluted cast-on technique (similar to knit-on, but not described clearly or concisely). It also was written for “right-handed knitting”, which I think is a total misnomer. Being a crocheter, I was used to holding the yarn in my left hand. It now seemed very awkward to hold it in the right. And then, having to move the needle from my right hand to the left to throw the yarn was really klutzy. I kept dropping the yarn, slipping the needles out of my work, twisting stitches, adding loops – you name it. I committed all the beginner mistakes, and then some. I dutifully practiced for about three days, but ended up getting more frustrated with each lopsided row.
Fortunately, there is a ton of information about knitting online. I figured the most helpful thing would be to actually watch someone knit, instead of trying to follow a diagram. There are scads of videos of people showing you how they like to knit. I bet there’s even a knitty-porn site somewhere. People tend to do wicked things with yarn when they’re left to their own devices, you know.
In any case, the (G-rated) knitting videos proved very useful. I figured it out, at least well enough to follow a simple pattern. The answer, for me, was simply to knit with the Continental method (holding the yarn in the left hand). That was a major breakthrough, and everything just fell into place after that.
Unfortunately, now I can’t stop knitting. I knit constantly. If I’m not knitting, I’m thinking about knitting. I’m looking for patterns. I’m counting stitches in my sleep. I’m feeling up yarn in the store. It’s horrible. But if you’re reading this, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.
Even though it’s only been a couple of days that I’ve been able to distinguish a knit row from a purl, I’m proud to say that, yes, I knit. And not only am I a knitter, but now I have a snappy little blog to tell you all about it, too. So if you have stumbled on to this blog somehow, please feel free to tell me a bit about your own knitting or crocheting journey. I do love a good yarn.
*I understand that #2 pencils are also known as Emergency Knitting Needles to the severely addicted**.
** I have recently stashed multiple packages of sharpened #2 pencils in my vehicle, purse, and nightstand.