Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It all started with a pair of sticks

I taught myself how to knit when I was in the tenth grade.  I think that speaks volumes to the kind of teenager I was; while other kids were out going to parties, playing sports, and doing whatever else it is that "normal" teens do, I was teaching myself how to make a scarf.

I have always been crafty*, ever since I was a little kid.  I was a big fan of the Klutz books that taught me how to do face painting, hair wraps, and make friendship bracelets.  Those were my favorites.  I spent many car rides with embroidery floss and a clip board to anchor down my creations.  I experimented in different color combinations, eventually getting pretty good.

note: this is not my photo.  I made this exact bracelet, but can't seem to find any pictures of mine.

When I was in high school, I decided I was ready for a new craft challenge.  I first wanted to try quilting (yes, I know, I am a dork).  I bought a sewing machine at a yard sale and armed myself with some fabric scraps to practice on.  It did not take long for me to realize that sewing machines are not my friend.  Every sewing machine I have attempted to use has ended up in some state of disrepair by the time I'm finished.  

So, quilting was not my craft.  

I went into Michaels determined to my new niche.  After stumbling into the yarn section, I had found a new adventure.  Armed with a skein of Lion Brand yarn, a shiny new pair of aluminum needles (that were probably not the right size for the yarn), and a book that was supposed to be my key to success, I set off on my way home to attack my newest project. 

The actual book that (sort-of) taught me how to knit. 

I have no idea how I did it, but somehow I figured out how to knit on my own.  It was less than a week before I had started working on a basic garter stitch scarf, proud of my independence and accomplishment.  

I wish I had a picture of my first scarf to show you.  While I was technically knitting, it was bad.  Real bad.  Forgot how to knit mid-stitch and sometimes wrapped the yarn the wrong way bad.  Fortunately, I have since frogged it to use the yarn, thus making sure that no one will ever see the atrocity that was my first attempt at knitting.  

After this attempt, I retired my sticks for a while.  The downside to teaching yourself how to do something is that you lack a mentor or resources to help you progress.  While I had (mostly) figured out the garter stitch, I couldn't quite get the knack of purling, I couldn't read patterns, and I didn't even know where to go to find patterns other than pricey books at craft stores.  

When I got to college, I found my very own group of friends who were both artistic and crafty.  One of my friends was a knitter and offered to re-teach me and another one of our friends.  We spent many nights drinking, laughing, and of course knitting.  This is where I really learned to knit.  We shared resources, helped each other understand complicated new patterns, and made some pretty nice FOs.  

Myself and my best friend from college, knitting together in my dorm during winter break

Now, I like to think of myself as being pretty skilled with a pair of needles.  I am far from being a pro, but I knit almost daily and have made several FOs that I'm pretty proud of.  

My beautiful fiance holding up my most recent project.  Ignore the ends that I had not yet woven in. 


This is probably way more than you wanted to know about how I learned to knit - but I think that's a pretty good tone to set with my first blog post.  This will certainly not be the last time that I tell you more than you need to know about something.  

I hope you enjoy this blog and everything that comes out of it.  I have wanted to start a knitting blog for a while, and I have some pretty cool stuff planned - such as giveaways, polls, reviews, and more!  Please make sure to comment and let me know what you think, any ideas you have, or just to say hi.  


-Chelsea







*Not to be confused with artistic.  Artistic people create masterpieces with paint, pens, clay, etc; crafty people utilize popsicle sticks, yarn, and beads.

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