Since starting here at Knit Picks I’ve been itching to start my very first knitting project! Being surrounded by all this beautiful yarn and talented knitters, it’s hard not to be inspired. My first project was actually a lot easier than I thought. I have a lot more to learn and I’m far from perfect, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was for me to pick up knitting. Before I dive right into my project, let me fill you in on my crocheting experiences. Just like any craft practice makes perfect and I’m excited to start my next knitting project!
The Early Years
I was introduced to crochet at the age of 8 by my great grandma Ruth. My mother used to help her out by cleaning her apartment, and in the summer I would often tag along to spend time with my great grandma. This often included watching The Price is Right and her crocheting huge colorful afghans. One day, I was curious about her craft and she was very excited to teach me her ways.
She grabbed an old hook, a small skein of leftover yarn, and taught me how to single crochet. My tension was way off and I kept getting frustrated that mine didn’t look like hers. I asked her how many times I had to do this, and she told me at least a hundred times! That seemed like forever at my age, but nevertheless every time I came over I would add to my long chain of single crochet. Finally I had made 100 chains and I was so proud of my work! She tied it off for me and we hung it on the wall – she said it was perfect! Even though it was far from perfect with the chains going from super wide at the bottom to super small at the top. I made a bunch more long chains and progressively got better.
I only got that one summer of crocheting with her before she passed. It’s a memory that will stick with me forever! I wish I could say I stuck with crocheting. As most young kids, I was quickly distracted, and had little patience to finish any projects. Besides a little headband project that my mom inspired me to make I didn’t really branch out until I went to college.
Crocheting for Survival
I went to college in the White Mountains of New Hampshire – it was by far the coldest climate I had ever lived in. One day the wind chill was -20 and I had to walk to class. Once I got back to my dorm I called my mom to complain about how ill-equipped I was to live in this type of weather. She told me if I couldn’t afford to by a new hat or scarf maybe I should make something. The next day a care package of brightly colored chunky yarn showed up. I was inspired and determined to make myself some warm winter accessories!
It took me about a week to finish my first scarf. It was the thickest, most warm scarf I had ever had, and I got a lot of compliments from my peers. After that I attempted to make some questionable-sized hats, often giving them to people who actually fit in them. I wish I could say I still had that scarf but as my travels after college brought me to Southern California I had no need for warm winter wear.
Beginning to Knit
At first beginning to knit was difficult for me because I was such a perfectionist. When I would drop a stitch I would want to rip it all out and start over again! I never really finished any project, until the day I started working for Knit Picks. There is a bounty of yarn at your fingertips here. Once I mentioned my interest in learning how to knit for real, our Marketing Director Jennifer Fish set me up with her version of a beginner kit. Her kit included some of our Dishie yarns in various blues and greens (my favorite colors), the Interchangeable Sunstruck Needle pack, and some fun but easy dishcloth patterns.
The first pattern I tackled comes from our 52 Weeks of Dishcloths pattern book, Neutral Stripes by Alison Backus. Only I used the Swan, Mint, and Kenai colors in Dishie yarn. For me beginning to knit I casted on too tightly and had difficulty with my second row. I did drop a stitch here and there, but I pushed through because I knew my team was waiting to see my results. I’ve never knitted with a pattern before and learning how to count the ridges was a learning process. I managed to finish my dishcloth in just 3 days. I did take a break to take a day off in between because my hands got a little sore. I will say I felt my hands get more used to the repetitive motion each day!
Continuing to Knit
I’ve never knitted or crocheted with such high quality yarn before. It really does make a huge difference! Most of the yarn I used before came from the bargain bin. Often times it would split or pill, but this cotton yarn was sturdy, yet still soft on my fingers. I can’t wait to work my way up through the knitting process. My goal is to be able to make a baby hat by Christmas. For now I’m happy with beginning to knit dishcloths. It helps to have a wide variety of patterns at your fingertips, If your beginning to knit like me I strongly suggest you check out our 52 Weeks of Dishcloths pattern books!