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