Monday, 27 February 2012

Learning to Knit

A little while ago I decided to learn to knit.  Like a lot of people I learnt a bit when I was young, but I forgot everything I knew!

I picked up Knitty Gritty as someone recommended it as a good beginner book.  Here are some of the projects I attempted from it.

Here is the most simple knitted project you can make:  A simple garter knit scarf!  You can tell (well, I can anyway) that I made this when I was still really sick, I look so pale and tired.  Hooray for not feeling terrible all the time anymore!  

It's so soft and squishy, merino cashmere wool!
Next, I made some baby booties and fingerless mittens- pretty simple stuff:

Some little knitted round shapes for brooches- I gave these to my Mother :)  I added the little felt leaves and button bits, they aren't in the book.

I tried two other projects that didn't work out- one was just average, and the other was a disaster!

First the "meh" project, some simple fingerless gloves- I thought they looked a bit "home-made" and overly simple.. I only made one.

And oh ho ho... the biggest disaster ever... my cabled knitted bag.  So guys, this is what happens when you get a bunch of scrap yarn in different weights, and try to make them work together while making mistakes such as trying to knit it all on the same size needles (resulting in a speed of one stitch an hour making stitches in a bulky yarn on a small needle- this results in a lovely brick-like hard knitting surface, and sore hands).  The theme of this project is "what was I thinking???" Haha, I can't believe I kept on going as long as I did.  Then my various colours of scrap yarns started running out.  I finally had to give up- I'm so glad the yarn ran out because if they didn't, I might have completed this abomination!

Are you ready?  Okay, now I've hyped it too much, you probably can't tell from the photos its true hideousness- but trust me, it is.  Hahaha!
It's supposed to have straps at the top and be sewn up the sides- but I didn't get that far.

Like my obnoxious colour combination?

Here you can see the true horror of its form!
Do you like the bit on the right where I started using the right size needles with the dark purple and lavender bulky yarn, resulting in a bulgy misshapen mess?  lol!

And one more picture, just so you can picture what the end result would have been:
Yep, that was going to be a strap! 
Yep, this bag was going to be incredibly obnoxious!  I was ready to embrace that but the ugliness just kept getting worse and worse, lol!
And that's what beginner projects are sometimes like!  It does feel good to laugh at it though!

Well, I'm looking forward to trying out some more knits in the future, hopefully more complex ones too!  I have my eye on some projects on Ravelry.  Oh, and you can see all my projects on Ravelry here if you are interested in the details.

So if anyone have any great knits to recommend, or have your own 'fugly bag' experience to show, let me know!


  1. Hurray for knitting! My first love! I think your projects look great for a beginner!

  2. Yay! These look great! As for the bag, well... we all have our "well, I guess I learned a lesson!" projects! My first sweater wasn't from a pattern (just notes from a much more experienced knitter's finished sweater, really). It was striped, but I didn't know about jogless stripes, so it looks all wonky and uneven, not to mention I used a new strand of yarn every time I made a stripe, so although I finished knitting it, I never worked up the nerve to weave in the 700 loose ends that I left! I can't even frog it! There aren't enough long pieces to make it worthwhile! But... I learned a lesson (several, really!). :)

    1. Ha, nice story about your sweater! lol! I would love to make a sweater someday, but for now I'm going to stick to something less daunting :)

  3. Hi,
    I'm learning to knit too and using this same book. I was going to give the cable bag a try but judging by your experience I think I'll try something else!! The glove looks good, you should make the other one :)

    1. It's not really a problem with the cable bag pattern, lol! It was all because I tried substituting crazy yarns and trying to get all the different weights working together. Not a good idea I learned....

  4. Hi Jo,

    I'd love to feature this blog post on my website as I think it's really interesting for knitters to hear from others about their experiences with my learning to knit from my book, Knitty Gritty - Knitting for the Absolute Beginner. And also for me! I love to see how knitters interpret my patterns.

    As for the cable bag, I LOVE what you've made. Experiments are risky, but forget a bag, this multi-coloured cable knitting looks like it would make a great scarf for the dull winter days. A nice alternative to plain stripes. I might try knitting one myself!

    Email me direct if you'd like to continue this chat.

    All the best,

    Aneeta Patel
    Author of Knitty Gritty

    1. Thanks! So awesome to hear from you. Emailing you now :)


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