Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Good [Handmade] Stuff: knitting for dummies (meaning me)

Granted, I know that one child is much easier than two or three or any more children than one. I know. All of you friends with multiple children have been clear on this point. But, there is a challenge I have run into with having just one child--every day, I find myself just sitting and watching. Sit and watch Pete play with his cars, then sit and watch him at playgroup, then sit and watch as he plays outside. I used to try to read, but after Peter grabbed my book and threw it on the ground a dozen times, I decided that reading was out. And I do like being interactive with him, which is hard to do while reading Anna Karenina. I resolved to pick up knitting for the sixth time and really get it this time. I've had one-on-one lessons in the past, which were good, but working with someone made me feel self-conscious. There's only so many times you can ask "will you do that again" before your teacher starts to think that you are an idiot. But, we live in the information age! No people required! I love the video tutorials at knittinghelp.com and have lost track of how many times I've watched the cast-on tutorial. Good times.

After I dedicated a cheap skein of yarn to getting the basic stitches down, I was ready to try something real. Ooooh! Naturally, my first project was a scarf. I can't say how many scarves I have started over the years, but this is the first one that I've ever finished and I was pretty happy with the results. The pattern can be found here.

After feeling a boost of confidence and a slight obsession to continue to knit something, I took a stab at some baby booties and a hat as a gift for a friend's baby. Really, knitting for babies is the most instinctive motherly activity there is. It's so natural to want to create things to keep baby toes and heads cozy during the winter months.

The booties are really simple, from the book Knitting for Baby. I love the hat so much. It reminds me of what pilgrim babies would wear coming across the ocean on the Mayflower. The pattern is from the book Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. And neither of these things required knitting in the round.

So, now, the slight obsession has evolved into a full-fledged weirdo addiction. I keep my little ball of yarn and needles in my purse always and pull it out in the car while Shane is driving, while talking on the phone, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I knitted through a whole game of Scrabble. Which I lost. Really lost. Anyway, maybe my enthusiasm well simmer down with my current project--I am attempting to make a sweater, which may be over my head. We'll see how it goes!

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