Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Knit Picking

Dear God, I suck at knitting!

I learned how to do it (although I use the term "learned" loosely) about two years ago, and still it eludes me.

Oh, I can do your basic knitting and your basic purling.... I can increase and decrease... I can cast on and cast off. What I cannot seem to do is anything more complex than that. No fancy stitches, no pretty patterns, and certainly no cable knitting (for those of you non-knitters reading this, that little technique requires more than two needles. [WHAT?!? I only have two hands!!] All I can say to that is - ACK!).

See, I'm essentially the queen of the basic scarf. I've made... maybe a dozen scarves in the past two years? I've also knitted very basic baby blankets (as in just knitting and purling row after row after row...), and a few basic hats (ribbed, which is just knitting a few stitches and then purling a few stitches - repeat). Nothing to shake a stick at, certainly, but also not anything terribly crafty or interesting. And, quite frankly, not flawless either. I don't make many mistakes, but when I do, I tear the whole piece back and start over. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get my edges to look very neat and clean even if the rest of the piece looks halfway decent.

So, anyway, I was at a new neighborhood knitting group tonight, expecting to be one of a few other relative beginners, only to find myself surrounded by knitting pros, not the least of which is my friend Stef. Seriously. I should just give up my "Super Woman" title and give it to her now, because she is the master of all things crafty - knitting, stained and normal glass making, beading and jewelry making, woodworking. It's sick. SICK, I tell you.

Anyhoo, one of the other ladies was asking me questions throughout the evening trying to assess my skill level. I think I finally had her convinced by the end of the evening that the bottom line is that I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to knitting, so improvising is entirely out of the question, and even following a pattern is pretty dicey for me because I don't know half the stitches in a pattern half the time! Nonetheless, she had faith in me and my ability to learn.

She handed me a pattern for an absolutely lovely scarf and said she thought I'd be able to make it. I eagerly took it from her outstretched hand and glanced it over. Looked simple enough to start with: cast on 171 stitches, knitting and purling, blah, blah, blah.

But then - oh - nope, sorry: It's done on circular needles (I'm really not a fan) AND it has a thing in it called "slip stitches."

Wha...? Oh, you don't know that that is either? Good - now I don't feel so bad!

With a look of extreme shame, I shrugged my shoulders and handed the lovely scarf pattern back to her explaining that I was all good up until the mention of circular needles and the weird thing called "slip stitches." She laughed and said that she might have to show me how they work next time. Amen, sister!

By the end of the evening, our leader suggested that we all try to make the same project at some point, and the thing she thinks we should all make is a felted tote bag. Like the GORGEOUS one that my friend Stef (aka: the new - and much improved - Super Woman) brought to the meeting, which she assured us was "super easy." (Sure, for a Craft Goddess, maybe!) We'll see about that.

Frankly, I have my doubts...

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