I have a lot of friends who are into the fabric arts. Jenn is an accomplished crotchet ninja and she once tried to teach me (at my request) how to utilize the single hook to craft things.
I failed in the sense that I couldn’t get over the initial hump of figuring out how to move the hook in a manner to catch the next loop and create the continuous knots. I found it to be extremely frustrating and decided crotchet was not (knot!) for me.
But, as I said, I have a lot of friends who do this sort of thing and a lot of them knit. Knitting struck me as a bit easier to accomplish (on a basic level) so I asked my friend Annie to give me the basics.
Et voila! Six weeks later I ended up with a finished project. I found knitting to be an order of magnitude less difficult to figure out than crotchet, albeit I was working on something very simple, a scarf. Of course, this is Georgia so I didn’t expect to have an opportunity to wear it until next year. But, the fates intervened because we were heading to New Jersey to cheer on Annie and her husband Mike at the Long Branch Half Marathon which was also my opportunity to have Annie teach me how to finish the final row (cast-off, in the knitting vernacular). So she taught me how to do that, and the scarf got some wear during the trip due to the chilly wind.
This scarf project was very simple, just a continuous knit stitch (a garter stitch as the pattern is called) and it let me practice knitting quickly and well, and also the different ways I can screw up while doing a knit stitch quickly and not-well. I learned that it’s easy to drop stitches (“I could have sworn that last row was 39 stiches?”) and that if you’re not starting the row right it’s easy to add stitches (“Okay, now what the hell? 40?”).
I learned methods for “fixing” a dropped stitch several rows back. You can un do all the knitting back to the screwup, or you can “work it up” and knit it back onto the needle. That was what I tried to do, but it wasn’t entirely successful, as shown in the image. It’s only a small flaw in an otherwise large scarf, so I’m not worried about it.
My next task is to pick a new project with a greater level of complexity. Annie taught me how to do a perl stitch (opposite of the knit stitch) and I now know enough to be really dangerous when it comes to reading the knitting shorthand. I imagine that I’ll be asking for assistance from people as I run into things that aren’t making sense to me.1
- Amusingly, Annie tried to teach me via FaceTime how to do the cast off. That didn’t work so well and I ended up with this crotched tail heading off into no-scarf’s land. I put the project down until I could see her at the marathon and we could fix it together.” [↩]