Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm knitting!

I am learning to knit. Not because I'm tired of crocheting, but just because, as there are some things you can do with crochet that you can't do with knitting, there are some things you can do with knitting that you can't do with crochet.

Specifically: socks. I want to learn to knit socks.

(Yes, there are crochet patterns for socks but, frankly, they're mostly terrible. A few are okay, but none I've ever seen look good.)

So I spent a few hours on Ravelry one evening, and planned myself out a mini knitting course that starts with the very, very basics and works up to knitting socks.

My knitting experience was very small: I learned the knit stitch as a child and made a square or two. A few years ago, I tried it again and couldn't figure out how to purl. That's it.

So, here's the plan, and my progress thus far.

1) Relearn how to cast-on and knit; learn to purl.

To do this, I went to Knitting Help and used their videos to learn these three things. I'm knitting continental, as I'd heard it was both faster and more natural to crocheters, and wow! what a difference there is in terms of ease between continental knitting and the English knitting I learned as a child. Love it!

And I couldn't figure out the purl stitch with just a book, and couldn't do it with just the video, but when I looked at the video AND had my trusty old needlework encyclopedia open beside me at the same time, I was able to figure it out.

2) Learn how to knit ribbing (i.e., a pattern of knit two, purl two that's used in lots of patterns because it's super-stretchy). This was tricky, because every time I switched between the knit stitch and the purl stitch, I ended up with extra loops on my needles. But eventually I figured out that I was bringing the yarn around the needle instead of between the needles, and I achieved this slightly-wonky ribbing:

But, hey! it's real ribbing! Super-stretchy and everything.

3) I was ready to start a first project, and I wanted to make: A) something I'd actually use, B) something that let me practice ribbing and C) something that'd let me practice short rows. So I cast on for a Calorimetry.

And I finished it in two days!

From the side, you can see that it's basically a large knit headband, but from the front it looks like a hat:

It's actually a really nifty thing because if you've got long hair, you don't have to mess it up the way you do when you shove it under a hat. You can just stretch the Calorimetry over your hair and button it at the nape of your neck. Lovely!

4) Next I'm planning on knitting a very basic newborn hat, in order to learn how to knit in the round on double-pointed needles.

5) Finally, a sock! Albeit a teeny-tiny, Christmas-ornament-sized sock. But it should let me practice all the different parts of sock construction (heel, gussets, etc.) in miniature before committing to a full-sized sock.

6) Finally, a real sock! This is actually a sock class, with super-specific, detailed instructions on each step of the pattern. This is absolutely the level of detail I'm going to need, I think, if I've any chance of getting a wearable sock out of this.

So, that's my new project! I'm loving it so far. It's so much fun to learn something new, especially something that's related to something I'm already so familiar with (i.e., crochet). Knitting is a whole new thing, of course, but it really feels like I'm just expanding my options in the yarn-y world I already enjoy so much.

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

1 comment:

Mother_of_Mischief_Makers said...

Brilliant! Youre making me feel really useless lol I reaaaally have to finish my son's scarf and get onto the next one! ( have four to make and yet to finish any), I had knitted one soo long, past the length of my arm, was so excited about it. Then Me 3 year old decided to rip it off the needles! I had no idea how to put it make on and nearly cried lol, I've sort of lost heart at the thought of having to do the whole thing again, hence why I still don't have one single finished knitting project! :(