Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First Knitting Post!

So I know you're all thinking "the blog is called The Knitting Llama, but there aren't any llamas, and there isn't any knitting - I want my money back!"

Besides the fact that you're not paying for this, and never will have to pay for this, it really is time to say something about knitting. I knit. I taught myself about 7 years ago, when I started grad school, because I decided I needed some sort of portable hobby. I started pretty much where most knitters start: a scarf. While not the ugliest scarf in the world, since it was just off-white, it was too short and inconsistent in width, plus I had knitted it in stockinette stitch, so it would constantly curl up. Worst. Scarf. Ever. I still have it somewhere, though I'll never wear it. It's a symbol of accomplishment now, nothing more.

I stopped knitting for a time after that, mostly because classes and working got in the way, but I eventually started again, armed with this book of dishcloths. If you're using them to wash dishes, who cares if they look bad, right? The book got me started again, gave me confidence in my knitting ability, and taught me new skills; I now give this book to anyone I know who wants to start knitting. Making a dishcloth is relatively quick and easy, the yarn needed is thick enough and not fuzzy so you can see your stitches, and this book even has some relatively intricate cabling patterns - great for learning how to cable without running the risk of ruining something expensive and large. Plus, they make fabulous gifts for anyone, and for relatively cheap (depending on how much your time is worth, I suppose). When else can you essentially give your practice swatches as gifts?

My first full afghan was a present to my husband's grandmother. Not knowing any better, I knitted it with very cheap, not very soft acrylic yarn (Red Heart, I believe). The pattern was simple, just a diagonal stripe. It seemed like it took forever, as I had been making tons of dishcloths for the last few months, and I realized that a boring afghan pattern makes it really hard to want to work on said afghan. I think the only reason I finished it was because it was a gift; it would have been easy to give up on something for myself, since I didn't really like the colors all that much in the first place, and it wasn't soft in any way.

Since then, I've knitted socks, hats, baby afghans, full size afghans, and baby booties. Unlike this post, my future knitting posts will focus on types of projects, ideas, things like that. I just wanted to get some of the history out there, and let other beginning knitters know that it does get better than that first oddly-shaped scarf we all have hidden in our closets!

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