Sunday, October 31, 2010

Get a Hobby 2: Knitting

Even though there are plenty of things left to do around the house (finish the scrapbooks; host the Empty Nest Yard Sale; rearrange the two 'empty' bedrooms; paint the two 'empty' bedrooms; prepare for the holidays; finish cutting down the trees- wait, that's Hubs' job; finish putting up the gutters in the back--wait, that's his again; remodel the bathroom BEFORE we fall through the floor---wait, guess who's job that is; and I won't even go into the privacy fence, timing belt on my car, the front and back doors, the front porch...) I like to have something to do at night when I'm not working on household chores and projects.  Thus, the birth of another hobby---knitting or, as I like to call it, the most frustrating thing I've ever attempted.

I have taken up knitting before when the girls were still at home because someone said that when she took up knitting, she lost weight.  I knitted scarves (some of them are in the photo above).  I chose scarves because they were easy (certainly NOT because we need scarves down here in the lowcountry) and I just knitted them using what I called knitting (apparently the actual name of the stitch is 'garter stitch'.  Who knew?) and I enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, the weight loss part did not work for me.  I simply learned how to stop knitting, put something in my mouth, and start the knitting again--sort of like knitknitknit, pop something in mouth, knitknitknit, etc.  Due to the time constraints of having four daughters who were all very involved in different activities coupled with the fact that I was not very good at it, the kitting hobby did not last very long (the popping something in my mouth hobby is still going strong--one doesn't need much time for that one.).  Now, however, I have AMPLE time.  Unfortunately, the level of my ability with this particular hobby has, basically, remained the same.  In other words, I'M STILL NOT VERY GOOD AT KNITTING!  I have a hard time choosing the correct yarn (this includes color, yarn weight, and worsted...WTH???), needle size, types of needles (and PLEASE do NOT talk to me about those needles that are connected by that thin plastic thingy), and even deciding what to knit.  Then there are the patterns (and, do NOT fall for the ones that are marked EASY because they ARE JUST NOT THAT EASY), and the plethora of STITCHES.  It's like a Knitting Hell!  Let me just add right here that any of you out there who knit and are good at it--You are amazing and I covet your creativity and ability!  If you are at all wondering why I have not quit, my answer is this: I have no idea.  I should, yet I persist (maybe it's because, with a competitive nature such as mine, I compete with myself...and inanimate objects.).   

I actually did find a pattern for a baby blanket that I really liked (I'm still hoping for those grands) and thought I could handle.  It is the cutest thing!  It has 6 inch rows and each row has 4 hearts across it.  So I started.  I was able to pull up online tutorials for stitches that were unfamiliar to me.  The pattern repeated itself after 24 rows so I made 24 note cards that had the row number at the top and the pattern of stitches underneath (because I can't remember which row I'm on or keep count of the stitches without the cards) and I got all the way through half of the FOURTH heart row (that's about 20 inches long) before I messed up or, before I realized I had messed up.  Somewhere.  And I didn't know where because another thing I can't do is tell where a mistake is, take the knitting out to that point and begin from there.  Heart shaped baby blanket, therefore, was NOT completed.

FINALLY, I found a relatively easy pattern for a baby blanket (and this time I was doing it for Hubs' cousin and his wife who were expecting) that I thought I would be able to handle (maybe I was just too ambitious with the heart one.).  I made some mistakes with this one too, but it's the kind of pattern where it doesn't show up too bad...or else I was simply NOT going to look hard enough to see the mistakes.  Cousin L and wife L loved it!  AND I knitted a little cap to match (it's right there on the left.).  A project completed!

Feeling pretty darn good about myself from the baby blanket, I decided to make each daughter and the most wonderful son-in-law EVER an afghan for Christmas.  How's it going?  I'm not even a third of the way finished with the first one.

Do people appreciate good intentions as Christmas gifts?

Oh, and I AM going to start that darn heart shaped blanket again one day, and I WILL finish it!  I'm almost sure of it!


  1. I am sending you bucketloads of encouragement. Keep knitting! You're doing everything exactly right and that is to actually knit something. It's like learning to play the won't happen if you don't practice.
    If you have a local yarn shop (LYS) that has a knitting group, think about joining. You'll get motivation, encouragement and good advice. And maybe a discount on yarn. Well done for hanging in there - and for setting a goal. Let us know how you're doing evry now and then.

  2. I crochet because I *think* it's easier than knitting. At least to me. I still have about 1/4 of a baby blanket completed that I began for my niece (who is now 13 years old!) I also have more than half of a baby blanket that I started over a year ago for my first grandson. He is 7 months old today! So you have inspired me to drag that one out and finish it before he turns 8 months old! And I guess I'll give up on my niece's blanket. :)

    Like you, I have wondered why I even do this. Glad you put it into words for me - competing with the inanimate object I guess...

  3. Hi,
    Thank you for making me smile!
    I admire your determination. I learned to knit as a little girl. We had to in school - don't ask! I have knitted since then - on and off. Let me tell you knitting is not easy. Yes, the basic stitch might be easy - but what you are attempting is admirable!
    Happy Halloween!

  4. Happy Halloween. Here from the bloghop. I follow you, please follow back

  5. LOL! Ok, I´m definitely NOT starting to knit. That sounds so complicated and I don´t have your competitive nature.
    And, yes, I think you´ll have to look for Christmas gifts for the others. Good intention does not really count with the "youngens". :)

  6. I crochet, but I cannot do as well as you much less know how. I so need someone to teach me. I don't know the terminology to follow a pattern, so I'm stuck. My mom taught me a few stitches & I learned a few over the years, but trial and error, error and trial. I've got to come back here more often. HAPPY HALLOWEEN my new friend, and thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow is Monday's Music Moves Me at my blog a meme I started. It's tons of fun. Hope you play along.

  7. Hi, Thanks for stopping by my place....I'm following you back. I'm originally from South Carolina around the Greenwood, Clinton, Laurens area....we always loved visiting the low country though, especially Charleston and the beaches in the summer. We moved West when I was only 13 years old but I will always consider myself a Southern sisters both feel the same way.....once a Southerner, always a Southerner. I can't wait to browse around your blog! Elaine :)

  8. Hi, I'm your newest follower from Creepy Crawl Blog Hop. I love knitting and crocheting! I taught myself how to knit after my first knee surgery, and how to crochet after my second LOL Happy Halloween!


  9. Good luck with the project. Love the off-white baby blanket. It's beautiful! I'm planning on knitting and and felting EASY handbags. After that, if there IS an after that, then I'm moving on to a baby sweater. We'll see. LOL

  10. I tried grabbing your button but it's not working for me for some reason. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. I feel sorry for everyone after Mike leaves. The only thing I can knit is slippers and the only thing I can crochet is granny squares. So everyone will be warm at least.
    Good luck on your blankets. I hope that you have a great week. Take care and God Bless!!!

  12. Thanks so much for all the encouragement! It is needed and muchly appreciated! I look forward to seeing and hearing about all your projects as well! I have worked on the button issue but have no idea if I solved the problem or made it worse! Julie, you can knit slippers!!?? I'm impressed! There's no way I can do those! Or socks! Just call me scarf the blanket lady! LOL

  13. I agree with Stephanie, just hang in there, practice makes perfect. Ignore mistakes! My Mum was the most fantastic knitter ever, she learned when she was THREE! But that was between WWars, and they were poor, so she used to knit her length of yarn, then rip it and knit it again, over and over.
    Not suggesting you do that, but the more you knit, the better you become at it.

  14. Thanks for stopping by from the Halloween blog hop :) I have to say, your scarves are great. I think any new interest takes time to master but you are on your way. I wouldn't mind one as a Christmas gift...LOL! Now following :)

  15. I think it is awsome that you are knitting. I think what you have made looks awesome. My daughter just started crocheting. She made me a scarf, a skinny one, for my trip to Chicago.
    I think they make great gifts.


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