When I think back to my first real knitting project it makes me chuckle. My Mother had taught me how to cast on and the Knit Stitch when I was about 5 years old, and during my few failed attempts at actually knitting something, I had accidentally taught myself the Purl Stitch. It wasn't until I was in my 30's that I was actually struck by a desire to knit, until that time I simply thought of it as tedious. Crochet was more my speed...literally, as it seems to go along at a lightning pace compared to knitting.
So back in 2004, I brought home a wee flock of 3 sheep, Frederick, Francis and Fiona and I desperately wanted to learn to spin so that I could harvest their beautiful fleece. And I did. But at that same time I was wondering if I should learn to knit, really knit, because I couldn't imagine what good it would be to have balls and balls of homespun yarn around the house and not really know anything to do with them. I wanted to make clothing but wasn't a fan of crocheted clothes, I really have always preferred the look of knitted goods. So a quick call to my Sister (a very fine knitter) to ask her how difficult it would be for someone who knew how to cast on and knit a stitch, to actually knit a sweater...like say a Lopi style sweater. She assured me that it would be easy peasy and off I went. I decided to buy some super inexpensive, bulk, acrylic yarn, a circular needle and a simple yolked sweater pattern. I found that that much knitting to get up the body of the sweater was excellent practice to get my stitches uniform...then the fun began. I had no idea how to switch colours for the yolk, and I assumed that Knit 2 Together was as straight forward as it sounded (much to my delight it was). The funniest part of all of it was learning to knit this sweater at work. I am lucky enough to work at a job where I can do this and even more lucky that one of my customers was quite useful in helping me decipher the colour changes and how they worked into the decreases. It ended up turning into a community event as each of my customers came in and wanted a progress report. In the end I ended up with a sweater that was way to wide in the torso and way to tight in the yolk and although so many people encouraged me to rip it and start it again, I decided to keep it just the way it was so that in weeks, months and years to come, I would have a barometer of how much I had improved and how far I had come. I love that sweater, all lopsided and out of whack, and I truly appreciated that even though my stranded yolk was way too tight, I had worked the pattern correctly and that encouraged me to stay with knitting and become the knitter/spinner I am now.
I have no difficulty now reading patterns, my stranded colour work is much more...well....stranded and even though I feel I have so much more to learn and so much more to improve upon, I do believe I can now knit anything.
I have written and shared my story as a participant in Interweave Knits, Your First Knitting Project , it's a contest where you can blog about your first knitting project and maybe win a lovely prize from Interweave........and below are the books I have chosen for my wish list if I win.