So I started knitting last year near Christmas time, mainly to make some Christmas gifts. And why knitting and not crochet? Cause I cannot for the life of me keep the tension while crocheting constant. A scarf always ends up being a wavy mess with holes and somehow too many stitches or too little stitches by the time I finish. Cannot even make a square washcloth… But somehow knitting is the easiest for me, and the patterns always make the most sense to me. I have found that after a few months I can now tell what each type of stitch in a pattern should look like. So pearl vs. knitted and the different increases and decreases. I even graduated to knitting in the round, and I am starting to acquire quite the collection of knitting needles of various kinds. The sad thing is that regardless of how many projects I finish.. I still seem to have more yarn than when I originally started with that month. You quickly realize you have a problem with buying yarn. So now I have put my self on a strict budget and rule that I have to use up the majority of the yarn I have bought before buying more. I also find that going out to buy yarn with projects in mind first helps immensely. Then you are more likely to use ALL of the yarn your buying, with some scraps left for testing.
I originally started with some scarves of various stitch patterns and played around with a few more difficult stitching patterns as well. Some of these being various herringbone and textured patterns. At this point, I have certainly mastered any sort of ribbed patterns and made a beautiful red and black scarf for my boyfriend. I think I re-started over 30 times and drove him nuts with how many times I managed to make a giant knot out of the yarn when disassembling the scarf to restart. It turned out very well after all of that fuss. It was done using a thin yarn, made mostly of acrylic and some wool. It has a nice stretch to it and is long enough to wrap around yourself several times, which is something we both particularly like in a scarf.
I also attempted to knit in the round to make a hat using the leftover yarn from the scarf. I tested the pattern with a different yarn than required and it worked out pretty well.. This red/black yarn is thinner than what the pattern required so I had to adjust the pattern which took a couple attempts to get just right. The height of the hat wasn’t a problem as too long is always okay for this style.
To test out my skill I also tried my hand at making mittens. Now the first time I followed the pattern exactly for a lady’s sized mitten it turned out way big even for my boyfriend… so I this is where I quickly learned to adjust the pattern to fit me or any adult with smallish hands. I will post my version of the pattern at another point in time, with the dimensions of mitten it makes. These blue mittens are one of the products of this experimentation. My sister has the original copy, as they were made as her Christmas present, which I think I restarted a good number of times. I found the hardest part of the mittens to be is when you start creating the thumb and then starting again on the body of the mitten. I always seemed to mess something up between those two points and would need to restart.
These three projects provided the majority of my learning experience and made some great gifts in the end. Next time I will post the mitten pattern, and maybe include a larger version that would be effective for a guy, with bigger hands. If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments or email me!