In honour of finishing my first knitting project, I’ve decided to put my link to Tami’s at the top of my page today.
Oh yeah, baby.
Craft: Knitting (check it out!)
Pattern: A Little Bit Bohemian
Yarn: A Stash Addict 4 ply. NB: I bought it from her before the shop name changed!
Notions: 1 stitchmarker from The Knitting Goddess. More than a little help from my friends.
Making this scarf has been a real experience. When I decided last summer that I was going to teach myself to knit at last, it was exactly this kind of project I had in mind. I know I’m not the only crafter who talks about their materials speaking to them, and as soon as this skein arrived, I knew it wanted to be knitted rather than crocheted. Don’t ask me how, I just…knew.
Since I started it so long ago (some time before Christmas), I can’t really remember why I thought this would be a good beginner’s pattern, but it’s definitely proved to be. The increases and decreases are nice and simple, and since it’s all garter stitch in between, you can get a really nice rhythm going. Also, as it’s worked side to side, no row is too long, and with just an 8 row pattern repeat, it definitely felt manageable.
In fact, I only had one complaint while making this, and it had nothing to do with the pattern, nor my fledgling knitting abilities. It’s more to do with guidance that is given to beginners. Now, I’m not a stupid woman. Daft, possibly, but not stupid. And as a crocheter, I’m pretty familiar to working with yarn. But when I came to start knitting, I found it remarkably difficult to find anything that told me what this mysterious called a Yarn Over was. Through my work and my teaching, I end up writing quite a lot of complete beginners’ guides, which I never actually call idiots’ guides, but lots of people do. And when it comes to these things I always say that as soon as you make something idiot-proof, the world just builds a better idiot.
I think what I’m trying to say is that if you’re writing for or teaching beginners, you really shouldn’t make any assumptions at all. None.
Fortunately, because I’m used to working with beginners, I had no embarrassment about being one myself, going to my knitting friends, waving my work at them and wailing. Which was just as well, really. They’ve been a huge help, and although there’s a tiny hole somewhere in the garter stitch, even I’m having trouble finding it now.
And for my next trick? Well, apart from finishing up some long-standing Works in Progress, I’m going to cast on a couple of knitting projects to go with my shawl beginning with E. More on the knitting next week, but this is the shawl so far, and all this talk of classes and beginners got me thinking:
When I put out shawls or scarves to show people in classes, the question I get asked most commonly is ‘how long did that take you?’. Now, every crafter knows that sometimes projects need to hibernate for a while in order to get finished properly, so it can be difficult to say exactly how much time you spent on an object. But since I’m tired of beginning my answer to that question with “er….”, I’ve decided to time myself. I actually got my Elise entered onto my Ravelry project page, so I’ll know how many days it took, and I’m also scribbling on the pattern how many minutes I spend on it in one go. Hopefully at the end, I’ll be able to say “X hours over Y days”, which might give students a better idea of how long crochet takes.
Has anyone tried that before? Or would anyone care to join me in my counting adventures? I’d be intrigued to know how long crafting really takes!