Friday, September 29, 2006

Blast from the past

Since I spent most of my spare time in Melbourne knitting, my dad told me there were a bunch of my mum's old knitting needles around. For all the crap my family hordes, my dad is definitely the best at making excuses for it and then turning around and producing the crap on demand.

Within 5 minutes he was back upstairs with a plastic bag containing three single needles of different sizes, (5, 7 and 8, I think) and some fuzzy acrylic yarn with unfinished knitting on one needle. It was mine!

When I first learned to knit there was a lot of starting things and just knitting for the fun of it. I never really thought about making anything because the idea of making whole thing seemed impossible! I'd always get frustrated with it after a while, hence the random knitting of nothing. I think my dad found my mum's needles and that yarn and I just started knitting it. So funny that he should give it to me again.

Here are one of those "projects" knitted on a size 7 and a size 8. I especially like this piece because I can see where I tried to do purl stitch. I seem to have alternated between purl and garter for a few rows to create stockinette, but I didn't really figure out what I was doing because I went back to just garter. When you are a knitter, the difference is as clear as night and day, but when you aren't you just can't see things like that. At least it shows my early learning stage which I love.

Simone's "Third time's a charm" hat (patent pending)

I thought about my blog so often but have been so short on time! Okay, one more purse was made for my friend Kristen for her birthday. The thing I like about bag making is that you can design it yourself easily enough and then if it starts shrinking, it's not a huge problem because it doesn't have to fit a person. It's awesome!

The bag for Kristen came out pretty well, though it's possible the strap is a bit too broad. I used buckrum for the base and sides which was a bit tricky to work with, but I managed! It makes for a good sturdy bag. I am having trouble with pockets though. I need to learn more about those.

As for the blog title, I say that because just about each hat I try to make takes a few attempts. Lots of frustration and tears. Well, not really tears, but I am pretty pissed off.

The biggest rule I think I have learned is not to start anything that requires alternating stitches unless it has your undivided attention! This has been my folly more times than I care to repeat, but when I first start something, it's hard to see the pattern, so there is more remembering and looking hard at the stitches to know which stitch to do! Thus, the screw ups. My first attempt at ribbing was a disaster. Not because it's hard, but if I'm not paying attention, I screw it up. Then once I got a good go of it, and into the basket weave, turns out it's way too big for even me, let alone the four year old it was intended for. So there are the first two starts. There were actually a few more, but I didn't get too far to count them. I was drunk one of the times, so we really wont count that one. Edan's hat was made with Blue Sky cotton in thistle colour.

Onto brother Kyle's hat. He likes green. Why can't Blue Sky just have a simple green that a little boy would like. Little boys aren't into 'Lemongrass'. Ugh. It would have made my life so much easier if they were. I got some of the Manos del Uruguay yarn. Very scary! It's of a lesser weight and needs size 4-6 needles, so it's time to panic since I'm all about the 8s up to this point. I started it anyway with size 8s but it was too holey, so I bit the bullet and went out for 6s. First attempt: failed. I did my gauge like a good little girl, and did the math. I'm bad at math, but I'm quite fine with the basics and a calculator. I thought I had it all worked out and made a good start. Then after about 4 inches, it was quite clear that once again, the hat was too big. Second attempt: failed. E even had a look and did the same math and came up with the same answer, so we still can't figure out how it got so big. I'm not THAT loose of a knitter! Why do patterns tell you do a gauge in stockinette when you are doing ribbing? In any case, I did this gauge in basket weave because I'm a fucking genius. Too bad it didn't work out. I took off about 20 stitches and started again and this time, we had a hat! Third attempt: A charm.

E finally showed me how to follow the stitches properly before I did Edan's hat, so the letters on these look much better. Still, doing a 'K' is a bitch. I certainly wont be making one for me!