I really like to knit. And if I have to say so myself, I’m pretty good at it.
I started knitting a long time ago. My Nanny taught me when I was pretty young. She loved to knit and was really good at it and used to supplement her retirement income by selling her handmade knitted items. When my sister and I were growing up, our Barbie and Ken dolls did not have any store bought clothes. What my mom didn’t sew, Nanny knit. I still remember the blue knit bathrobe Barbie had and the pink one Skipper had. Great memories! Of course, my mom made my sister and I let me younger cousins ‘borrow’ all of our Barbie stuff once we outgrew it. To say the least, we one got one or two pieces back, they destroyed the rest. I don’t know that we’ll ever really forgive her for that!
I stopped knitting when I got into high school because there were just better things to do. I didn’t start knitting again when I got pregnant, again there were still too many other things to do. Then one day, a new co-worker decided that she would teach all of us to knit or crochet. I picked up those needles, learned the basics again, and have never looked back. My daughter has a tendency to make fun of the things I knit, she really just doesn’t appreciate handmade items. That first Christmas, she made a snarky comment that she bet we were all going to get knit scarves for Christmas. Well, I hadn’t planned on it but decided that she definitely would. So, I knit a scarf to add into every box or bag. She was so frustrated by the last present but I just had a really good laugh at her.
I’ve never done a knit along before. But I was looking at this one, and I do like the pattern so I decided to sign up. We’re doing the Textured Triangle Shawl from Red Heart yarn. The premise of a Knit Along (KAL) is that the pattern is broken down into sections and everyone in the group knits the same section of the pattern during the same period of time. This pattern is already broken down into four sections, so we’ll be knitting it over the next four weeks. Each participant posts a picture of their project at the end of each week.
I needed to buy the yarn and, since most of my knitting needles are still back in a storage locker in Columbus, the required circular needle. (I REALLY do need to get my stuff shipped out here.)
I figured I would just purchase the yarn listed in the pattern since I plan on just wearing it around the house. I should have thought that through. The only color left was black, everything else was out of stock. So, I ended up on my favorite retailer, Amazon. They had lots of the yarn, in just about every color imaginable. I really liked the teal and tangerine. However, they were almost $10 a skein and I needed at least three skeins. I ended up getting off-white. While I think the color is kind of boring, it will do with anything and everything I have in my wardrobe. If I like the shawl, I’ll probably make another one out of organic cotton, in a really cool color.
My yarn arrived today!
I am so excited. I immediately put together my project bag, which includes the yarn, needles, crotch hook for emergencies, and all that other stuff you need in your project bag, including the pattern.
As I said, I’m pretty excited. I pulled out the pattern, my needles, and the first skein of yarn. I got the needles out of the package and realized they were coiled pretty tight. The pattern begins with just two stitches. The needles are coiled way too tight to allow me to knit those first couple of stitches.
One way to loosen the coil of your circular needles is to warm them up. So, I turned on the hot water, filled the sink, and let them soak for a while.
This loosens up the plastic do it is more malleable.
Now it is time to get going on the shawl.
I tried to start the shawl right after I got my yarn but the very first thing in the pattern confused me. I was supposed to make a Garter Tab. I’ve never made one before and the directions in the pattern just totally confused me. They didn’t make any since. I went on the Marly Bird website because she said she was going to post youtube videos and row-by-row instructions. Unfortunately, they weren’t there yet. She actually waited until the start date of the KAL. Sigh
Once the KAL started, I went on the site and found the link to the youtube videos. Once I watched Marly knit the Garter Tab, it turned out to be much less confusing than I thought. After that, the first section of the shawl was pretty easy and I took off. But you know what they say about feeling too confident. It wasn’t long before I realized I had made a mistake somewhere along the way and I had to unravel the whole thing a start over. The silver lining to that is I got to do another Garter Tab so I’ll be really good at that next time I need to make one.
Luckily, it didn’t take me very long to reknit it. I almost forgot to post a picture of section 1 of my project but I started seeing the notifications from other people’s posts and hurriedly took the picture and posted it to Marly’s Facebook page for the KAL.
The same night I finished section 1, I started section 2. I really had to pay attention to the row count because this was a lacy section. I got a few rows in and discovered I made a mistake a few rows back. So, I had to take several rows out. Let me tell you, it is a lot more time consuming to take out the stitches when you can’t just rip out the whole thing. It took me two evenings to finish the 2nd section. I’m not posting the picture to Marly’s Facebook page until later this week because the 2nd week started the day after I finished the section.
After I finished the section I did notice another little boo-boo. I knit a couple of stitches that I should have purled. Oh well, there is no way I’m ripping out all those stitches. It will just have to be that little imperfection that makes a hand knit unique. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Since this is a knit-along, we’re doing this in sections. Knit Along Shawl – Part 2 to see how it looks at the end.