Adventures in Knitting

As you may have read, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to learn to knit, in order to knit a tiny bobble hat for innocent drinks’ annual Big Knit campaign.

‘Knitting??’ I hear you cry, ‘isn’t that a bit old-fashioned, and, dare I say it, uncool?’

Well, ‘old-fashioned’ is probably correct: the technique of knitting is thought to be over 1000 years old. As for being uncool, although admittedly it always used to be something your granny did, knitting has enjoyed a renaissance in crafty circles (and even the kids are doing it these days). Sites like Craftster and Ravelry have popularised a kind of open-source, sharing, friendly knitting community who create, swap and modify patterns, and offer help and advice. The creation of ‘Stitch’n’Bitch‘ groups in the USA is likely to have helped too, and indeed my favourite London-based knitting group is having to ‘rehatch‘ in order to cope with demand!

Anyways, I thought as part of that whole getting organised thing that I should start trying to knit now, instead of leaving it until the autumn then panicking. So I grabbed several of my craft books (I have a lot of them), read through the instructions for knitting in all of them, grabbed my needles and wool, cast on wonkily, managed to knit about ten rows and then did some surprisingly neat binding off. Apparently beginners have a tendency to gain stitches as they knit, and even though I dropped a couple of stitches along the way, I somehow managed to gain three stitches by the time I’d finished! I’m pretty impressed with my first attempt, and it can’t be too far from this to the tiny bobble hat I’m aspiring to, can it?

My first attempt at knitting

My first attempt at knitting

I’d be interested to hear if you knit, or want to knit, or used to knit. Any advice will be gratefully received!



3 responses to “Adventures in Knitting

  1. My Nan was a beautiful knitter, and my eldest sister, despite wanting to knit peach coloured matinee jackets – has the most lovely tension I’ve ever seen. She started me knitting as a child, although I never learnt to cast on or off. Dropped stitches had to be give to either of them or my Mum to pick up. I didn’t do much, but I enjoyed it.

    My tension is terrible – tighter than tight followed by too loose to try and counteract… I had my wisdom teeth out a few years ago, which meant staying with my Mum and Nan whilst I recovered. That week I inherited my Nan’s prized knitting needle collection. She was 92 at the time, and hadn’t knitted in years. Nan took great delight in once again casting on for me, and knitting a few rows. She showed me how to make the edges neat, and it was a lovely way to spend some time together.

    I’ve the intention to pick it up again, and to learn to cast on and off, after all, I have some lovely needles. In the meantime, if you get as far as knitting socks, I’ll be happy to test them for you 😉

    • Aww, I love gran-and-grandchild knitting stories! Sadly I missed out on that – and these mythical button boxes that everyone’s gran apparently has, grrrr! I did however show this little piece of knitting to my mother the other week and she said I had good tension, which is an improvement on the only other attempt I’ve ever made at knitting, where the tension was so tight after one row that I couldn’t even get the needle back in the stitch!

      I will let you know if I manage to knit some socks, but let’s stick with the tiny bobble hats to start off with shall we? 😉 Care to join me in my Big Knitting?

  2. Pingback: Day Twelve – 30 Days of Creativity 2012 | Becky Button

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