Monday, August 4, 2008

I Have Learned to Knit!

I've been wanting to learn how to knit for a while now (maybe a year or more) but haven't had the time that I wanted to devote to it. Since we've been in the Netherlands, I've had more time on my hands than I really know what to do with, so after giving it a month to stew, we went into Den Haag (the Hague) to pick up some yarn and needles. 30 euros later, I was the proud owner of 2 size 7 (4.5mm) plastic knitting needles, two balls (skeins) of light blue cotton yarn and four balls of light light cream cotton yarn.

I had in mind a very nice little cloth with Texas in the center of it since that's about as close to knitting a heart as I'll go. After starting over about 4 times, I was finally doing really well and things were looking good until Andy came over and wanted to see how things got done. At some point after that I realized I was off and would either have to start over or give up. I gave up, and this is what I got India (or Africa, depending on which side is facing up).

At that point, I was pretty tired of that pattern and decided I wanted to just make a little checked cloth and made up a pattern on my own. When I got lost in the middle of that, I decided I didn't really want to do that anyways, so I started looking for simple patterns using size 7 needles and came up with an "Awareness Ribbon Soap Sack" that seemed useless and useful all at the same time. I didn't realize it when I picked it, but the pattern requires decreases and yarn overs, but they weren't significantly harder than either the knits or purls. You can sort of make out the knitted ribbon in the middle of it, but overall it looks more like a baby shoe than anything.

*If I had wanted to make a baby shoe soap sack, I would have made the baby shoe soap sack that I found a pattern for earlier, but which I cannot now find to link to. *sigh* If you actually read the pattern, you'll notice that I was supposed to use a knitting hook that I don't have to tie everything up. I improvised by "knitting" some yarn through the edges to hold things together, and with any luck the soap won't fall out while we're using it!

So that's what I've been doing for the last 4 days. Very exciting, I know. I have discovered many many items I want to knit, but I'll have to wait for bigger needles and different yarn. Until then, I'll probably make another soap sack or some other equally useless item as well as dish cloths/towels out of these two patterns: Mistake Rib Dishcloth (I'm supposed to use bigger yarn, but oh well) and Sand Stitch Towel and Cloth (not in those awful colors).

I also wanted to toot some horns (not mine) for websites that were helpful. I mostly figured out how to cast on and make the knit stitch from Learn to Knit and the knitting page. The "turning the stitch" found on the site was especially helpful in figuring out how to get the stupid yarn to stay on the stupid stick while I was pulling it through the other stupid yarn. 0=) Worldknit had especially helpful images for the purl stitch. Finally, when k2tog in the soap sack pattern, the site's abbreviations page was also helpful.

*Yes, I have a nasty/lovely habit of arbitrarily breaking up paragraphs just to make them short. No, I don't intend to change that for blog writing. =)

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