Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I can knit.....

Maybe that title is stretching it a bit but I can knit squares and rectangles. My 13 yr. old niece was visiting for about a week 3 years ago and was knitting on a 4-H project. I watched her for a day or so and asked her if she could teach me to knit. My mother used to make the knitted dish cloths and I always had a ready supply but since she can no longer knit due to her Parkinson's disease I needed to find a new supplier or learn to knit them myself.

My mother had tried to teach me when I was in high school but I really didn't catch on and never liked doing it back then. I am left handed so that presented another problem in my eyes at least. Never felt the urge to knit again until the last few years.

We went shopping the next day and I purchased a set of knitting needles and some yarn to make a dishcloth and C. set about teaching me to knit. She knits using the English method where you carry the yarn in your right hand. I learned with her help to knit and to purl and made my first dishcloth, just knitting back and forth until I had a square - I was so thrilled!

After she and her sister left to go home I spent time on the Internet looking up beginning knitting websites and came across this wonderful website with short videos. It was here I learned there was another method called Continental where you carry the yarn in your left hand. I never felt the English method was comfortable and used so much wasted motion and the Continental method was more on the lines of crocheting. Watched a few of the videos over and over with my needles and yarn in hand and I finally got the hang of it. This was the method for me.

Another thing I found on the Internet was the pattern for the dish cloth that my mother knitted on Knitting Pattern Central which is full of free patterns. Click on Dishcloths, then on Grandma Black's Dishcloth for the pattern. My mother could probably talked me through if we were sitting side by side but she lives 2 1/2 hrs away and I wanted to do it RIGHT NOW!

I could knit a dishcloth in one evening while watching TV after a while. I knitted and knitted and knitted dishcloths. Gave them to all my friends and family members. Now some of my friends are disappointed if I give them a gift and a dish cloth is not included!

I have probably knitted 60 to 70 dishcloths in the last 3 years and most of them have been with that Grandma Black's Dishcloth pattern. Lately I have been experimenting with other ideas. I really didn't know how to purl with this Continental knitting method so made myself learn to purl by watching the videos on that stitch over and over. The checkerboard dishcloths are 5 knit stitches and 5 purl stitches then change stitches every 5 rows - the peach colored one is just like ribbing with 3 knit and 3 purl all the way.

I really would like to learn to knit something else now. I did make scarves for our kids, son in laws, grandchildren, and my mother a couple of years ago plus the one for the youngest grandchild this Christmas. I am seriously thinking of learning to make socks. Not sure I can learn that from the Internet or books or if I need to find a class.

I am presuming I can use something other than wool as it makes me itchy (think I am a little allergic to it). Will have to check out the yarn shops in Hastings and Grand Island and see what they offer for classes.

Until later....

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