Goodbye, Absurdity: I’m now a Knit Picks staff member that knits

Oh, dear. The title says it all, I think? But rest assured, all the free-pile yarn that I score hasn’t been going to waste:  I’m a long-time crocheter. You know what else has been going on for a long time? My violent failure at knitting. You see, pride issues are persistent. Even with all the educational resources KP can provide, I refused help from my coworkers like sour, sour milk! My attitude in essence:  Yes, I’ll let you explain how to better improve my butterfly stroke. But no, I won’t let you see me flail and dogpaddle during my first visit to water. Moving along…

Last week, I took the “Beginner’s Knitting” class at Yarnia (a LYS located in beautiful Southeast Portland, my beautiful ‘hood). The lesson was perfect, and truly just the basics: long tail cast-on and knit stitch—with just the briefest/most horrifying glimpse of purl. At our instructor’s recommendation, I continued knitting when I got home that night, leading to the production of my very first proper swatch:

Hahaha, just kidding! That relative confection of beauty is actually my second swatch. Small children and tender hearts, turn away—here’s my true first swatch:

Accidental buttonholes are the best buttonholes, no? And if you see one shining and perfect row drowning in there, it’s because Kerin couldn’t help herself while giving me pointers. Nevertheless, here are three large truths that I’ve discovered thus far as a new knitter:

1.)  Continental Knitting was a personal REVELATION. Whether books or tutorials or helpful human being, it seems like a natural habit to teach beginners with the English (or “throwing”) method. However, after years of crocheting, my delicate brain wants the yarn in my left hand and the tool in my (dominate) right; I have serious doubts that the reverse would’ve ever worked for me.

2.)  More crochet-minded problems:  I was twisting my stitches on the first swatch, mainly because my yarn wrapping instincts are too strong. After Kerin described the ideal needle motion (“you want to just push the yarn towards you”), I was cured.

3.)  My favorite yarn to use in this tender, novice phase is Wool of the Andes worsted; it seems to provide great stitch definition, while still moving easily (but not too easily) on wood needles. The above swatches are both Wool of the Andes, in “Cloud” and “Silver” respectively.

This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning crochet! Quite the opposite, knowing both crafts seems to bring their distinctly nice qualities into clearer focus. Have any other potentially mind-blowing truths that might help me along the way? I bet you’ll never guess what my first project is: a garter stitch scarf, of course.