Learning how to knit

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Over winter break (being a student is great sometimes…) I learned how to knit! I first tried to learn on my own about two years ago. I had a skein of yarn, two needles, and Youtube at my disposal, but that didn’t cut it. For this attempt, I enlisted the help of my sister-in-law, who has been knitting for a few years. Just before Christmas, she spent an evening teaching me. I was hooked within ten minutes, and by the end of the week I had a scarf.

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This scarf is knit with a garter stitch – the most basic of basic stitches. Every single row is knit. At this point, my brain couldn’t handle learning another stitch, so the knit stitch was all that was in my repertoire.

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While this scarf is far from perfect, I am quite proud of it. I wore it through multiple airports all the way across the country on my way home from break. It started off 26 stitches wide, and got up to almost 35 stitches wide at one point. Once I figured out how I was adding stitches, I was able to get it under control. It’s pretty easy for me to tell which end I started with and which end I finished.  Because of this learning curve, the scarf ended up on the short side. That’s ok, I still wear it!

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Learning how to knit has been a long process for me. Just this week I mastered the purl stitch, which will open up a world of possibilities. I can’t say that knitting comes naturally to me, but I find it really relaxing. I am now working on a dish cloth. Why am I spending hours of my life making something just to wash dishes? I really have no idea, but I’m enjoying the process.

The pattern is called Nana’s Favorite Dishcloth. It is a simple pattern, with knit and purl stitches in a variety of patterns alternating rows to form the pattern you can see below. Despite its simplicity, I’ve had to restart it about four times. I had the hardest time figuring out how to alternate between the purl stitch and the knit stitch. A couple of Google searches later, I learned that I had to move the thread from the front to the back, or back to front, when switching between stitches. It’s still not perfect (you can see where the two parallel lines make a jump), but it’s just a dish cloth, so who cares.

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My long-term knitting goal is to make a pair of socks. Socks and tights are about the only two items remaining in my wardrobe that I have not attempted to make on my own. I think it would be really great to be able to make everything in my wardrobe. Whether I choose to do so or not is another story…

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