Knitting dreams

I have fallen in love with knitting.

Sunday night was spent on rows 1-16 of the cobblestone pattern for this knitted hat while watching Game of Thrones; I followed up last night with a dozen more rows and an old episode of Sherlock. In other words: finally achieving my ideals of pure DIY geekery.

Despite a few initial stumbles, I’m quickly falling in love with knitting. I like that it’s small and portable and quiet, and now that I’ve sort of gotten the hang of it, I’m enjoying the Zen of slowly counting off stitches and rows, so much so that I’m assembling quite a backlog of sewing projects that are sitting forlornly on my craft table while I curl up with my ball of yarn every night. I should really do something about that, but instead I’m dreaming about what comes next for me and my knitting needles. Behold, an ambitious gallery of future knitting endeavors:

1. Pretty in Polka Dots Hat, Knits by Britt
2. Aidez Cardigan, Berroco
3. Hudson Bay Inspired Crib Blanket, Purl Soho
4. Knitted Fox, The Bushcrafter (on Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!)
5. Herringbone Cowl Purl Soho
6. Chunky Cable Knit Hat, Lula Louise

Twisted stitches

Good save, knitting newb.

In the process of deciphering what “SSK” means so that I can knit a hat (yay!) instead of a neverending scarf of boredom (boo!), I discovered that I somehow taught myself to knit through the back loop instead of through the front, like a normal person. Whoops.

It’s okay, though! This is apparently a thing some people do on purpose, so I can pretend it was intentional.

New hobby! Halp.

In which I take up knitting and realize it’s a massive time investment.

I spent some time this weekend at Gather Here, which is one of my favorite happy places. I was there for a marking pen, but I ended up walking out with my first ever set of knitting needles and ball of yarn. As if I needed a new hobby.

I couldn’t help it—I was seduced by a fluffy, nubbly, mustard yellow cowl made out of the softest, thickest yarn I’ve ever seen. I practically begged the woman at the counter to help me become a knitter, and she set me up with a pair of size 7 needles and told me to go touch and smell everything on the giant wall of yarn to find a hank that spoke to me.

Hello, beautiful.

Before you can start knitting, you have to wind the yarn, a process involving this crazy contraption, which is apparently called a swift.

So fun.

After it’s all wound up into a ball, you can take it home and start knitting, by which I mean googling “how to knit” and “what does ‘cast on’ mean” and “difference between ‘knit’ and ‘purl.'” I found Knitting Help’s “Complete Introduction for Beginners” to be the most helpful in getting me up and running.

After I knitted a few rows, though…I got bored. The thing about sewing is that you can sew a few straight lines and end up with something totally functional and usable. Knitting seems…less immediately rewarding? I joined Ravelry, which seems to be the place to find cool patterns, and realized that in order to make anything awesome, I need to know a lot more than just how to knit and how to purl (and also need to have more tools than just a plain set of straight knitting needles).

Which is fine, actually—I think a fluffy cowl is still in my future, once I work out the whole circular knitting thing. In the meantime, I’m amusing myself with a simple basketweave, which keeps my hands quietly busy (machine quilting: not really something you can do when someone is napping in the same room) and is still sort of fun, even if I’m not sure what to do with with the square I’m making (very red, very fuzzy dishcloth?).

Baby basketweave

Relatedly, does anyone have any suggestions for a beginner-level knitting project that’s not a dishcloth (or, um, a scarf, aka a very long dishcloth)?