Inspired Projects

New year, new hobby

Christmas at Coronado 2012

Yes, that’s a sea kelp scarf M collected for me…so thoughtful…

This past holiday season was lovely.  And exhausting.  Kicking it off with oodles of family at the farm for Thanksgiving, we then left town for nearly all of December, traveling to San Diego and NYC and upstate New York.  We saw all of our siblings, parents, nieces, and lots of cousins, aunts & uncles, and even some gray whales (whale watching — what a Christmas gift!!!), but it feels good to be back to the “normal” swing of things again.

As if gardening, canning, baking and learning to use woodworking tools weren’t enough, I have undertaken to try my hand at knitting again.  I learned the basics a few years ago from Mom G, but frankly, everything I’ve ever tried to knit has come out terribly wrong.  Either I mistakenly miss stitches and create ugly holes, or make the gauge too tight, or I run out of yarn, or for whatever reason just get discouraged and quit.

(I’d show you those ill-fated attempts, except I’ve trashed or unraveled them all to eliminate the reminder of my impatience.)

My mom gave me some circular needles this sumer and M gave me a few skeins of delightfully turquoise wool and some needles for Christmas, so I’ve decided I’m going to have to stick with it until I make something that actually comes out like it’s supposed to.

Over the holidays, knowing I’d be on planes and in cars have plenty of idle time, I brought along some supplies and a very cool but somewhat ambitious pattern for a novice knitter.  I found this great looking bandana cowl pattern from Purl Bee, and figured it would be a good learning piece.

Unfortunately, all the fancy needlework steps confused me.  Though I tried to follow the instructions, I must have learned some step incorrectly, because when I finally completed the thing it was clear that I’d been adding waaaaay too many stitches on the increases. Instead of a jaunty neck cowl (as pictured on the lovely pattern page) it looked like a sloppy tube top. Or a huge diaper.  Either way, not pretty… but I did learn some new things.

My messy project

This is how it turned out…pretty goofy.

It also boosted my resolve to keep trying.  I sought out a much simpler pattern (this baktus scarf) and hopefully I’ll be willing & able to share it soon.  By following only one simple repeated pattern, I’m thinking it’ll be hard to screw this one up (though I realize that such claims are dangerous).

Eventually, maybe I’ll try some of the other patterns I’ve botched…nothing motivates like the satisfaction of a job done right.

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One thought on “New year, new hobby

  1. Best of luck with your knitting, Becky! That triangular scarf is a work of art. Wonder how it looks on the body. I love the method she described for finding the halfway point — just weigh the yarn before and during the work. So simple! Will you use your turquoise yarn for it?
    I remember when I was in my 20s I decided to knit — there was a teacher on the faculty who knitted amazingly beautiful sweaters, skirts, tops. She said she would teach me. I (alas) only knit a few rows and then gave up. I was used to sewing (on a machine), where a typical garment could be made in one day or less; it was clear that knitting would take weeks or months, and I was too impatient. I gave my friend all my yarn (a dark turquoise). So I still sew…after all these decades. (I started on a sewing machine when I was about 12.)

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