I’ve spun a yarn or two here at Fork. Some nights are a little more yarny than others.
I decided a while back, that I would knit at night. I thought it would be a good idea to do something other than eat when I watch TV.
So, on a rare outing to Super WalMart, I gamely bought a 7 minute instructional CD, a $3 skein of yarn and a pair of knitting needles.
The CD can be paused but you can’t back up or fast forward. I watched it all the way through at least 10 times before I figured out how to cast on.
Knitting, it seems, doesn’t seem come naturally to me.
If you’re not a knitter but are thinking of picking up the hobby, I’m listing a few of my hard learned lessons.
And guys, if you, too, want to learn to knit, don’t be shy. I just Googled men who knit and there are quite literally thousands of blogs and websites by and for men knitters. There are even retreats for knitting men.
These hints are gender neutral.
1 – Relax into it. I began by pulling the stitches so tightly, I had to get a pair of tweezers to pull at the yarn so I could get the needles in and out. Punching, jabbing and plucking, it took me 30 seconds or more to knit 1 stitch. We won’t even talk about purling!
2 – Beware of sticky clothing. There’s a Velcro strip on our Gate Guard vest. I was continually getting the yarn stuck all over myself. I ended up having to pull the vest off over my head. I recommend clear duct tape. I can’t fasten my vest now, but the yarn no longer sticks to me.
3 – Stitches are like rabbits. They’ll multiply if you don’t keep your eye on them. The initial 40 that I’d cast on, propagated row by row until I had 86 across in the end!
4 – The gentle UV glow of the TV may not provide enough light (see #3)
5 – If you’re watching TV, you might want to consider something like Bones, where you’ll just miss skull scrapings, oozing organs and maggots when you look down at your project. I don’t recommend DWTS where you miss the whole point if you’re not watching.
6 – Forget the book. Reading and knitting is an advanced skill, unless the book is really boring. I dropped stitches with every plot twist.
7 – Don’t throw your needles. Working as a gate guard at a drill site, when the bell rings, I jump up. Reckless tossing of your project can scare the dog and lead to many a dropped stitch.
8 – Watch your feet. I frequently managed to step in a loop of working yarn, dragging the entire endeavor down the steps and out the door with me. If I hadn’t been tweezer-knitting, I’m sure I would have had little heaps of knits and purls, falling off the needles, trailing across the road.
This is a picture of my first attempt.
Yes, that is the entire skein of yarn.
The exact number of yards in a skein varies. I didn’t keep the wrapper, but I can tell you that this does indeed represent yards and yards and yards of yarn.
No, I don’t know how all that yarn got compacted into 14 inches by… well…it’s kind of hard to say. Depends on where you put the tape.
I’ve learned so much from knitting that it exceeds my 500 word limit. More philosophical knitting truths next time.
Remember: As ye sew, so shall ye rip. ~Author Unknown