Home » Gate Guarding » Spinning a Yarn

Spinning a Yarn

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.

I don’t know how to knit.

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.

Beginner's luck...

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


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13 thoughts on “Spinning a Yarn

  1. Pingback: LinkedIn … More or Less « FORK IN THE ROAD

    • Gaye, since you know me, I’m sure you can picture my complete ineptitude! It never occurred to me, obviously, that I should count now and then. I was amazed at how the needles kept getting fuller and fuller! 😀

  2. Bob & I were gate guards from Feb 1 to Apr 10, thanks to Kit & Jerry. Now back in Michigan for the summer. We read all of the gate guards blogs faithfully. I knitted 2 afghans while gate guarding. A simple (no brainer) afghan: Lyon Brand HomeSpun varigated yarn…Circular needle..Size 10 or 13…Cast on 100 sts…Plain knit (no purl). Buy 4 0r 5 skeins, depending on if you would like to put fringe on it. I can relate to your scenerios, ie: beware of sticking clothing…I also had a velcro vest. Watch your feet when the alarm rings and the knitting gets thrown…Knitting really helps pass the time. Keep trying…you WILL get better!

    • Geri – thanks for the encouragement. So far the closest I’ve come to knitting in a circle has been when I left a long tale after casting on and about 12 inches later, confused it with my working yarn, knitting the top and bottom together. That made quite a circle! 🙂 I hope to someday live in the land of afghans again. I’ll look into it!

  3. You live in such a hot climate, not sure how practical that skill will be for you.. mittens anyone? But very entertaining, Deb, I can picture you trailing yarn out the door. (=;

    • Linda, the beauty of it is that I don’t make anything! That way there’s never an awkward gift moment. I just knit long rows and squares. ;D

    • Yep. Should have gone that route. I could even have learned how to knit and play the drums at the same time! Saw that one tonight! 😉

      • well, if all you can make are squares take all 17 of them and sew them together and you’ll have a nice blanket for Henry or a butt pillow. That way no one gets to see it. HEHEHEEEE.
        The gray one could be made into the mouse toy with just a bit of felt and a regular sewing needle. or give to a cat friend. my reply to #6 is: get books on audio tape. ah, well, practice makes perfect.

        • My middle grand daughter will be 3 this month. She wants “a box of goodies” for her birthday. I think I’ll send her the squares with letters and pictures and candy etc… attached. She can throw them without breaking anything and the make good packing material. 🙂

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