Monday, April 11, 2016

I'm a Knitter!

   One of my goals in 2016 was to learn how to knit. While I'm musical, I've never considered myself artistic, and I'm definitely not crafty. But sewing and knitting are two things that have interested me for a long time. And since I don't have a sewing machine, I signed up for a two-hour class at Michael's. The class assignment? Fingerless Gloves.
   Prior to this class, I hadn't even held knitting needles before. Heck - I don't think I had even seen knitting needles in person. I was completely clueless as to what I was doing. My instructor did a good job of teaching me how to cast on (putting the yarn on the needle) and also how to do the knit stitch, but I was all over the place. I hadn't felt so uncoordinated in a long time.

How is this going to be gloves? 

Starting to get the hang of it.

   Unfortunately, with only two hours for the class, I could only do so much. No way was I going to get anywhere near finishing the project. But that was OK because I had already signed up for another, more intensive (but still beginner) class, at Haus of Yarn. This is a local yarn store (there are yarn stores - who knew?) and they offer a pretty large selection of classes. My friend Kathy (yes, the Kathy who just qualified for Boston), joined me. The class met on Tuesdays for two hours for three weeks. The project for this class was a hat. 

Everything you need to knit a hat.

   At the first class, we learned how to cast on and and the knit stitch, and I was doing OK with those since I had gone to that other class. But then we learned the purl stitch which just completely threw me for a loop. I had to keep ripping out stitches because I'd find holes in my knitting and the perfectionist in me just couldn't handle that. So I would rip everything out and start over. I think I did this four times before I finally just said "Screw it" and just kept going no matter what.

Getting started...

   The next class was pretty much us asking questions about knitting and really getting started with the hat. Then we left and worked on the hat as homework. By the last class, we were supposed to have everything knitted, and we would spend class time seaming the hat together. Well, unfortunately, while I thought I had my hat finished, I actually didn't and needed to spend most of the last class knitting a few more rows. The good news was that no one else had theirs finished either so we all just hung out and knit. Sandra, our instructor, showed us how to finish everything up, but we'd actually have to do it at home. THANK GOD for You Tube videos. Between the classes and those videos, I was able to finish.

Almost there!

I made a hat!  
(Designed by Ann Norling - Pattern #41)

   The hat looks pretty good huh? I'd love to take all of the credit, however, I'm fortunate to have an expert knitter who works at my office who helped me whenever I got stuck (Thanks, Bonnie!). I also made several trips to Haus of Yarn for help. Apparently, it takes a village to knit a hat.
   Here's the crazy thing though. I'm totally addicted to knitting now. I look at things people are wearing and I'm like "oh - I can totally make that." Which is hysterical because I totally can't!  I can't make a sweater!  At least not right now. I have, however, mastered the dishcloth.

"Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth"- Designer Unknown.

   I'm working my way up to scarves and Mom requested an afghan, so I need to get going on that. However, I just ordered a bunch of dishcloth yarn (100% cotton, of course) because I have several patterns I want to try. Plus, dishcloths are small and I need the practice. Don't be surprised if you get one for Christmas though. I did go back and finish my fingerless gloves too. Yes, they are basically just tubes with thumbholes, but I've actually used them at my office because it's freezing there. 

Not that pretty, but very functional.

   This entire knitting experience has made me appreciate stepping out and trying something new. I know is probably sounds silly to be afraid of taking a knitting class, but anything new can be intimidating. But I LOVE it! I even have knitting calluses! I can see how this will be something I do for the rest of my life. The only downside so far is that it's cutting into my reading time. And y'all know how much I love to read! 
   In non-knitting news, my calf is 100% and I'm feeling like I'm close to where I was fitness-wise before the tear. The Dairy Dash is this upcoming weekend and I'm racing the 15k. Any race with ice cream at the finish is a great race to me! Hope to see a lot of you there!

I'm running the NYC marathon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! Help me save a life today! Donate here!