Monday, December 29, 2014

Wearable Enchantments - Not Even Close!

First Lesson - Half of an Ugly Pot Holder
Cast On - Knit -Purl - Bind Off

Second Lesson - Pink Square from Baby Hat Pattern
Cast On - Cable Stitch - Knit - Purl - Learning How to Read Written Instructions - Bind Off

Third and Fourth Lessons - Could be an Ugly Bikini (HA!  HA!)
Cast On - Learning How to Read a Chart - Yarn Over - Skip, Skip, Knit - Increasing - Decreasing

 My First Real Knitting Pattern/Project From Fall/Winter 2014 Knit Purl Magazine - Equation Cowl

 Where I am at Tonight - First Time Knitting in the Round

Teaching an old dog new tricks is not always the easiest task especially when you realize you are the old dog.  The history of my pictures above all started with the Autumn 2014 issue of Faerie Magazine.  This is the gift subscription magazine that some wonderful friend (still unknown to me) started sending to me over a year ago.  I absolutely love my Faerie Magazine and read it cover to cover each time it arrives in my mailbox.  But now thinking upon the gift maybe my secret friend is to blame for the unfortunate pictures above.

Envision me leisurely devouring this delicious magazine when I happen upon an article titled Wearable Enchantments featuring mystical knitted designs by Tiny Owl Knits (Stephanie Dosen is the pattern designer).  Stephanie optimistically shares that her organic and fey-inspired designs are a snap to knit once you have mastered a couple of scarves and a hat.  Okay, I give how hard can it be to knit?  She says it is a very easy hobby to learn.  I first wonder if I have any friends who would love to whip me up all kinds of magical designs but then realize that option is probably not going to happen.  Since I have zero knowledge about knitting and the closest I can claim is knowing how to cross-stitch I figure that I am going to need some help.

Tiny Owl Knits:

First I decide to pick up a kit titled "I Taught Myself Knitting."  Let me translate that title for you.   What it really means is that attempting to learn to knit from a book is like diving into crocodile infested waters.  Instead of being able to envision my new special talents of creating magical creatures all I experienced was being eaten alive by unfamiliar terms, confusing diagrams and more abbreviations than we use in healthcare.  It took me all of two hours to determine that learning from a  book was just not going to happen.  And the instructional video and on-line video's are also of no help to this old dog.  All they did was leave me confused, frustrated and seriously re-thinking my purchasing and friend begging options.

I knew it was time to turn to the Pro's.  I immediately called Knit Wits Yarn Shop on Fairview Avenue (near Eagle Road) and signed up for their beginner classes.  They have been in business for over 40 years.  I figured if they can't teach me to knit no one can.

Knit Wits Yarn Shop:

As of Saturday morning I have competed four lessons.  My samples are above and although flawed in more ways than I am willing to confess they have not kicked me out of the yarn shop yet.  They have even managed to continue to smile encouragingly when I have knit holes where there should not be any, have missing holes where there should be holes, have forgotten how to "cast on" for the hundredth time, forgotten to move my yarn from the back to the front and front to the back and even when I have attempted to correct my own errors causing more problems than I stated with.

They even have had a sort of blind faith in encouraging me to attempt my first real project.  I figured at the rate I was going we would be in pink yarn practice mode for eternity.  I practically floated over to Hastings to find a magazine that would contain the perfect beginner project for me.  Little did I know they have tons of magazines and it is overwhelming to find something that you think you can knit without it being a total knitted disaster.  I finally settled on a Cowl from the Fall/Winter 2014 Knit and Purl Magazine.  Since all of this knitting jargon is Greek to me I am sticking with my simple pattern and am ignoring 95% of what is contained in the magazine.  It's just too much to absorb my first time around the block. 

Cindy at Knit Wits helped me practice a sample of the pattern to set my gauge and then I moved on to casting and now I am knitting and purling.  Sadly back at home Sunday night I messed up and was forced to stop back at the store for assistance.  I think I may have some undiscovered flaws but I am charging ahead with the graph as I pray that my first attempt will result in a half decent cowl.  And please friends and family do not fret as this Cowl will not end up being anyone's Christmas or Birthday gift in 2015.

Reflecting on my knitting experience so far I would say that it has not been the least bit relaxing.  I am in total concentration mode, it feels like I have two left hands and I just do not understand why the yarn does not cooperate like it should.  Even with my rocky start I am bound and determined that this whole knitting hobby will not get the better of me.  Someday I will have my own Catching Butterflies Hand-Warmers, Magical Creatures Charm Bracelet, Moonbeam Duster and Midsummer Nights Dream Hat!  So watch out Wearable Enchantments some day you will be mine even if I have to beg a friend to make them for me.  I never said I was too proud to beg!

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