I kind of covered why I started to knit in my about me section. The short version is that I watched too much TV when I was in middle school and my parents said I could only watch TV when I was doing something else at the same time. The something else I chose was knitting. I picked knitting because I had seen my cousin doing it a few months before and because I knew that it was something that was done sitting and didn’t require oodles of attention.
I don’t think I really covered the how I learned to knit part. I do have relatives that knit but that didn’t help me much because they all live too far away to be helpful. I bought a how-to-knit-kit from the craft store. It contained instructions, yarn, and the right size needles. The instructions made no sense to me. The needles were awful and plastic. The yarn was in juvenile colors. I went back to the craft store, bought new supplies, and started again. The directions explained casting on in a way that I understood but the knit instructions made no sense to me. I just fiddled with my knitting until it looked right to me. That’s how I learned to knit.
I bought Stitch’n’Bitch and that when I sort of realized that I had more options with knitting than funky striped scarves. The only patterns I had seen before were aimed at older knitters and didn’t really speak to me. The quirky illustrations and casual language made Stitch’n’Bitch more appealing to someone my age. I learned how to purl from that book but that was about it.
These are the next books I got and they are what really brought me to the level that I’m at. I actually kind of hate the Knitter’s Handbook. It’s boring, ugly and dated but it is an amazingly useful reference book. You’re probably looking at the other book and thinking that I photographed the wrong one. A crochet book is actually what helped me develop the most as a knitter.
I learned to knit my junior year of high school in my trig class. A friend who also knits taught me immediately after she learned. She used to refer to me as her crochet prodigy because I picked it up quickly and became more skilled than she was. I bought the Happy Hooker and learned even more. I loved crochet because it was quick and painless. One mistake wouldn’t cause everything to unravel. Ripping back didn’t involve letting all of my stitches dangle off the needles in peril. I was a lot more adventurous with crochet. Knitting patterns always intimidated me because the few times I tried them, I screwed things up because I didn’t understand yarn and gauge. I had no fear with crochet because it wasn’t a huge time investment if I had to restart a project. I really started using patterns with crochet. I think of all the knit/crochet books I own, I’ve made the most projects from this one.
I eventually got tired of crochet because I wanted to make garments and the crochet designs that I liked were all too bulky for California weather. I went back to knitting primarily but I had a better understanding of reading patterns, yarn and gauge.
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