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Further down the rabbit hole (Or how I came to Knitting part 2)

April 13, 2012

Today I continue sharing my journey into knitting.

As stated in the last post I joined Raverly during the intense scarf making process of the 2010 holidays. Raverly in case you are unaware is a free social networking website for the fiber arts crafters. I discovered a knitting subculture that I had only dreamed about in the past. There was this entire community of people who were drawn to fiber arts. Groups of people with interests as varied as I could think of. It was as if the knitting world had exploded in the last five years, and I was finding out only now. I definitely felt the desire to catch-up and was excited at the idea of discovering everything I could about my “new” hobby. Thanks to Ravelry I felt inspired to try new things with knitting. To be fair I think I was reacting to the rectangle overload, and craved something round. I attempted another hat, with limited success (it did fall within normal human dimensions this time.) My next big task was mastering double-pointed needles. This occurred in February 2011. After some colorful language, I finally got the hang of it and was able to complete a pair of fingerless mittens. For someone who had re-picked up knitting less than a year ago, this felt like the most amazing things ever.

Squared Slipper

So square, and mysteriously lost in the move

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fingerless mitts

Very much not square.

Thanks to this positive experience I decided to tackle another pair. This time for a friend’s graduation. Learning from my past challenges I decided on a pattern that did not have a thumb gussett. It was miles above the other one. In less than two months I had improved even more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sans Thumb Gussett

Decidedly better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t believe the progress I had made. Having knit for about three years before my hiatus, I was amazed at how quickly I was able to pick things up. Being able to make something I felt comfortable giving as a gift (after the scarf response) was immensely satisfying. I dabbled in a few smaller projects, before feeling like I was confident enough to try a big project. (Why I felt the need for such a big project, I can’t quite say,) I took on the task of making a raglan cardigan. It was made out of acrylic (which was partially my downfall), but it turned out pretty well. For having never made something so large, I did find it fairly easy, (in part it was a fairly easy pattern.)

first sweater

My first sweater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The success of the project was curbed by my desire to be finished. I ended up knitting the sleeves a bit too short for my liking. I realized this after a few different attempts at wearing it. Unfortunately due to the limited sleeves, I didn’t wear it very often. I did attempt to increase the length, but this was after I had branched out further into the knitting world, and started to realize the limitations of acrylic for a sweater. (It doesn’t breathe very well, and tends to be rather heavy.)

My skills as a knitter were growing, by leaps and bounds. The next challenge I felt I could tackle was a pair of socks. These were also made out of an acrylic based yarn, and surprisingly I decided to make them for my husband (who happens to have size 14-15 feet,) they turned out pretty well. Just taking a long time to finish. Socks are an interesting item, they contain a lot of different challenges. There are few things in my life that have made me as proud as I was at turning my first heel of a sock. There is something about knitting in a three-dimensional way, that just makes you feel smart. At this point I was knitting again for just over a year, and here I was finishing socks. I do think knitting gave/gives me confidence. There is a sense of accomplishment that is achieved by using your hands that just helps to boost your ego (in a good way.)

First socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Socks were the big turning point for me, after knitting these, I felt that there was little I could not do in regards to knitting. I have knit other socks (mainly for me) and every time I turn the heel I still feel this immense sense of pride. My next task, was cables, and I have to say, they might be up there with socks. Cables are fun, challenging and ever so interesting to work up. During this time I also managed to get significantly better at making hats, I even made a hat and scarf set for my stepmother’s birthday. I have no idea if she liked, I have no idea if she uses them, but they were some of my favorite things to knit. They were some of my best work up to that point. It does bum me out to think they may have suffered a similar fate as the scarves from 2010, but I realize that once they are given it is up to the person to decide.

Knitting has given me a sense of calm in a stress-filled life. It has helped me to become more patient, as well as allowing me a way to challenge myself. Thanks to knitting I have gained confidence, skills and interest in the fiber arts.

tune in next time for the final chapter (to date) of my adventures into the fiber arts world.

From → Knitting

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