Sunday, August 21, 2011

My first scarf {and some knitting resources}.

I suppose it's about time for a knitting update. First of all, I wanted to thank everyone who has left encouraging comments with advice, videos, and other links. My friend Alannah in Canada went so far as to offer to fix something for me if I sent it to her. :)

So, the last time I wrote about knitting, I was just starting a scarf out of garter stitches. But my scarf had some sort of growth disorder and extra stitches kept mysteriously appearing on my needles. *cough* I sent out a plea here on the blog, but being too impatient and anxious to wait for a response, I Googled my problem.

I found out what I was doing wrong, and the comments that were left here confirmed it. When starting a new row, I was pulling the working yarn over behind the needle instead of in front of it {or something along those lines}, which makes it look like you have an extra stitch. And when you knit that loop, you do have an extra stitch. Plus I was accidentally picking up a few extra stitches in the middle sometimes, too.

I started being really careful and counting my stitch before I started each row, just to make sure I hadn't added any. After a lot more practice, I've improved now so that I don't have to count my stitches that often. Most of the time. :)

And a few days ago I finished my first scarf!



The yarn is the kind I bought to practice with- a $3 Red Heart Super Saver skein. No use in buying fancy, expensive yarn when I'm just starting. :) It's a worsted medium weight, I think? {You guys know I'm a beginner here. So if I'm make mistakes when talking about knitting stuff, just disregard them, please.} The label said to use size 8 (5 mm) needles, but I just used what I have- size 11 (8 mm). It's about 15 stitches wide, and I just measured the length by one of the scarves I already own.


But because I'm being completely honest about my beginner knitting skills here, I had to take a picture of this. This is the not-so-pretty end of my scarf. It's the end I started off with, when I was accidentally adding stitches. I didn't want to go back and redo it all, so I just decreased to get back to the number of stitches I started off with. I was so anxious to get back to 15 that I decreased a little abruptly, resulting in this little wave thing. But that's okay. This is my first scarf- it doesn't need to be perfect.


Also, I think I dropped two stitches (both of them at the very beginning. In about the first 10 inches of the scarf). At least I assume that's what happens when you end up with a little hole in the knitting like this?


I also started practicing purl stitching. and then combining knitting and purling into these stitches:


So far I am really enjoying knitting. Unless I'm making mistakes, it's really relaxing. I'm such a perfectionist and control freak that sometimes I just have to tell myself to calm down and not go crazy when things don't work out perfectly the first time. And I really love that it's a super portable hobby. Embroidery is portable, too, but it can sometimes be inconvenient to be unwinding and cutting floss, threading needles, etc. I've taken to sticking my yarn and needles in my bag when we're going somewhere, because it's easy to knit in the car. Only when you're the passenger, of course. :)

Sometimes I do feel a little overwhelmed with everything there is to learn, especially when it comes to things like gauge and knitting in the round.

I thought I would list some of the online resources that have been really useful to me as a beginner knitter. The online crafting community is really an incredible thing! There's so much helpful information out there.

Videos:
This one and this one are the first two that I used. The first one is nice and slow, but the second one helped me understand a certain part easier.

An anonymous commenter pointed me to a series of knitting videos found here. Even though the "host" is sometimes cheesy, they're really helpful. I could not understand purling until I watched the video about it from this series.

I've also watched some of the videos from here.

Websites:
Ravelry. You can't really see anything until you create an account. I've only just skimmed around a little since I made my account, but I hear this is an amazing resource for knitters and crocheters.

My cousin Amy let me know about this knitalong for beginners. It's being cohosted here, but her blog seems to be down at the moment. This knitalong is for a sweater. Yes, the idea of knitting a sweater is terrifying to me. :) But I think I'm going to give it a go. I think that I will learn a lot, even if things go horribly wrong and my sweater is unwearable.

Books:
Out of the three knitting books I got from the library, this one called Speed Knitting has definitely been the most helpful. It also includes the cutest patterns out of the three.

Well, that's where I am so far. I bought some pretty green yarn the other day and I want to make another scarf, but I'm still trying to decide what stitch I should use.

I'm hoping to buckle down and get a lot of sewing and crafting done this week. The last week or two have been less than productive for me, especially when it comes to sewing and working on my Etsy shop. I've just realized that this Christmas will be my first holiday season with my shop, and I want to come up with some really cute Christmas items. I need to be brainstorming and planning now! I'll try to pop in this week with some crafty posts showing you guys what I've been working on. :)

Until next time,

94 comments:

  1. Oh, you know that I wouldn't mind fixIng anything for you. You did a great job for your first knitting project! I find that knitting is so relaxing, too. I'm so glad that you learned! And thank you for the link-up :) An email is on the way!

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  2. That hole is a yarn over, if I'm looking at the pic right. That happens when you wrap the yarn around your needle but you don't knit it. You also have an increase of stiches....

    But good job! It's fun to see your progress :)

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