Kicking off the knitting adventure

Aware that I have set myself some ambitious challenges for the New Year, I have made a start at learning to knit. As you may remember, back in September during Zero Waste Week, I dabbled with it a bit, using a children’s book to master the basics. It all looked quite straightforward.

Knowing that I wanted to take knitting further, I got a few adult library books out on the subject and…whoahhhh! Suddenly my fantasy of clicking away, while watching Eastenders, to produce a fantastic bespoke piece of knitwear, was shattered. Knitting, it turns out, is a serious skill, and what’s more it requires proper concentration – a commodity which I’m sadly lacking.

I’m doing this though! I’m going to learn to knit, so I’ve bought another book (using the services of hive.co.uk if you’re interested).

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It’s a beauty. It only arrived on Hogmanay (or New Year’s Eve if you’re not in Scotland), so I’ve not had time to fully road-test it but, so far, it looks like there’s a lot to learn and this is the book to teach me!

However, taking no chances that I will fall off the knitting wagon, I’ve also booked myself onto a weekly class. Ultimately, I am a social creature, and if I want to succeed I’ll do better if I have someone to ask and people to chat to as I learn.

All good…

…until I decided to actually knitting ‘something’ as opposed to rows and rows of different stitches for practice. Now, in my naivety I thought that if you wanted to knit something you just found yourself a nice pattern, picked some pretty wool, cast the required number of stitches onto your favourite needles, and got knitting.

Not so.

It turns out that for a beginner like me, who doesn’t have the experience to make my own educated choices, the instructions are pretty much spelt out for me – sometimes right down to the make and colour of yarn I should use, the size of needles and the tension of the stitches. Tension?!

Crikey.

Okay, I accept I have a lot to learn. As you know though I’m determined to learn to knit, and nothing is going to stop me (!), but you may remember from previous posts that the whole point of this challenge is to produce ethical items. To me this means UK wool which (I hope) guarantees that those producing the yarn have been paid fairly, and that limited transportation (and resultant pollution) has taken place.

I’ve therefore spent more time today than I had expected, trawling the internet to make sure that I can match a beginner’s pattern with wool that meets my specifications. I think I’ve finally done it. Sadly, I didn’t get as far as finding a local shop to purchase said wool from, but one step at time, eh?

I’ll post an update soon with my progress, but here’s a picture of my first item – a beautiful blanket for our lucky Lego figures.

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Hmmm….with a quality product like that, maybe I should open an etsy shop 😉

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17 thoughts on “Kicking off the knitting adventure

  1. Every lego figure needs a blanket like that 🙂 I tried knitting a jumper once really unsuccessfully and gave up trying to do anything complicated after that. I knitted a couple of throws though which was much much easier. I basically knitted a series of scarves and then crocheted them together. They are so warm and snuggly and we use them all the time – well worth the time and effort! If you can knit a square you could easily knit a scarf without any instructions – just make sure it is wide enough to start and keep going until it is long enough! You have actually tempted me to go and get some knitting needles and start knitting something now!

    • Thanks for the advice – I love the idea of knitting a blanket. I’m always freezing plus homemade blankets are undeniably special. Hope you’re knitting’s going well!!

  2. Happy New Year!

    When I was younger, my mum taught me to do some basic stitches, and I managed to piece together a pot-holder. When my gran was around, she was a prolific knitter and I would watch in amazement as garments appeared, one after the other; I’m sure she must have had special fire-proof needles! What’s more, this would be done while simultaneously watching Coronation Street and gassing to her friends on the phone. Practice makes perfect, I suppose.

    All the best to you for 2015, and good luck with this new venture 🙂

    • Hello Gus and Happy New Year to you too!

      I think you’ve hit on something. Knitting is a lost art that so many in our grandmothers’ generation could do easily with so many years of experience. I want to teach my kids the basics (once I’ve mastered them!) It’s a useful life skill.

      Good luck in 2015.

  3. Well done for starting on your resolutions already! That blanket looks fab! Every Lego figure should have one.
    Good luck on the classes. Once you start those you’ll be flying. Good luck and well done x

  4. Pingback: Kicking off the sewing adventure | westywrites

    • Thanks for reading. I have updates on both the knitting and sewing, must put them up very soon! Classes are a great way to learn more…and socialise as well of course!!

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