Friday, December 5, 2014

That moment you go "Ooh!"

I mentioned in my last post that I would be visiting La Maison Tricotee's booth at the Nutcracker Market. So I did go that day and bought a pair. You can see it in the picture below on the right, next to the one I bought last year. I was aiming to buy another small pair, but this is just as good. The owner promised more were coming in January/February.

While I was there I also brought up the fact that I'm trying to learn to knit in order to make a gift for a friend, but was having some trouble. When I mentioned the book and the pattern I selected, all three girls (and I'm not kidding about this) promptly told me that with my (none) experience and the time I had it was impossible. It was quite an "experience". They were all standing with their knitting in hand, their needles constantly moving while talking to me. They said it would be very difficult for me to finish, much less start the pattern. Did I forget to mention I picked a lace knitting pattern as my first project? They gave me suggestions and possible alternatives. One of their suggestions was to pass by for a clinic session (5$ for 15 minutes) where someone would sit with me and see if I'm a quick learner, and based on this they will allow me to register for 4-class workshop (costs about $185, all materials are included) where I can make a shawl. The shawl looks quite nice and there is an option to add beading. So I left the booth disappointed, but with some options. I decided to sleep on it and make a decision the next day.

Wednesday morning I woke up and the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. I understand they were trying to be nice by informing me of how hard it would and to forget it, but I was still angry that they would assume I couldn't do it AT ALL much less with the deadline I gave myself. I was also angry at myself for not being able to even do a two needle cast on. Anyways, while ranting about all this to my mom, I mentioned my trouble with the cast on and showed her the video (just to mention, my mom used to knit when we were younger, but doesn't really remember all of it anymore). As she was telling me that I should easily get this stitch as it was a basic one, I realized that I was missing a step which explains why my stitches kept getting tighter and tighter. This was my first "Oooh" moment. That night I went back to my needles and by the end of the night I was able to stitch this:

Now my tension was still a off and I was having trouble reading the pattern, I was using YouTube videos to figure out the different stitches and couldn't understand why I had extra stitches all of a sudden. I set it aside and decided to start fresh tomorrow.

Thursday, my goal was to figure out reading a pattern correctly. By this time I've restarted the same rows at least 10 times and I'd like to think that my stitches are getting better. It took a bit, but I figured out how patterns work and I could stitch a row and still have the correct number of stitches left on the needle. The problem this time was that all I saw was purl stitches and no knit stitches. I tried different variations, but still got an ugly mess. On the bright side the lacy holes were all in the right places.

Ugly mess

I had another rant session, this time with my dad. By the way, my dad never learned to knit but he was surrounded by sisters who did and grew up watching them knit. With all these knitters in the family, you'd think I'd be have grown up knitting. Anyways, while I was talking to him I got my second "Oooh" moment. I should be doing the knit stitch on the right side, but when I'm on the wrong side I should be doing the purl stitch.

So in a week of knitting for an hour or two every night, I learned how to do a two needle cast on, the knit and purl stitch, how to read a pattern, change rows, the yarn over and the sl1 k1 psso stitch. Not bad for week's work. So my question to those three ladies: Do you think I'm a fast learner now?

Note: Again, the owner and the girls at La Maison Tricotee are really nice. They have an amazing selection of threads and knitting stash. Once I make a decision I will probably buy my thread from them. I just don't like being told I can't do something just because I'm a beginner.

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