Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Me.....Knitting?!?!?!!?!

I finally took the plunge and completed my first proper knitting project!!! There was lots of stress, pure frustration and childish tantrums!!! But I got there in the end and am "oh so proud" of my first knitted project.

I've had a strong desire to give knitting a try for a few weeks now. Firstly I was hugely impressed by some of the knitting work I had seen Dennis create, and secondly I couldn't help but notice all of the knitting inspired Christmas ornaments that were in the shops last month.





Knitting inspiration was everywhere!

I finally got around to giving it a try and started by just playing around with the basics. I watched videos online and read books to help me figure it out.
I was told that the continental style would suit me as I was used to holding the yarn in a similar way when I crocheted. This was the first hurdle, I struggled to hold an extra needle!!!  STRESS EXPLOSION!!!! Figuring out how to hold two needles and keep any kind of tension to the yarn seemed almost impossible! The yarn would hang all loose, which meant my needles kept falling out!!! I tried so many times but it just wasn't happening!
The knitting needles ended up being put away for a few more weeks!!!

I let my temper simmer down and came back to knitting with a slightly different approach. I asked some of you on my facebook page for guidance and tips that would help me along the way. Many of you kindly suggested different methods, needles and yarns that would perhaps make my attempt at knitting a little easier. I tried many different things but the biggest help was to change my needles from metal to wooden ones. I found metal needles very very slippery and therefore kept on dropping my work. The wooden needles seemed easier to grip and made my knitting a little tighter and more manageable.

Wooop! So I could finally hold the needles and yarn, now to try some stitches! After watching videos about the continental style method of knitting and not fully understanding, I finally gave in and asked Dennis to show me how it was done. He was very patient with me (just like when he taught me how to crochet) and he kept showing me until I finally started to get it. Knit stitch was fairly easy but the purl stitch was extremely hard at first. It really took a while for me to get that. I kept trying and worked little swatches to practice with.


Once I was a little more confident with these simple stitches, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and give my first project a try.
I searched Ravelry for a fairly simple pattern and after a recommendation from Dennis I settled upon "Daybreak" a  shawl pattern by Steven West.
I picked some suitable yarn in some slightly darker shades than I normally work with. I planned on making this for myself to wear and didn't fancy rainbow colours :-) I chose some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. It is sooooo lovely and soft, I knew instantly that this would feel amazing wrapped around my neck on a cold winters day.



Off I went to start my new project! At first I needed a few attempts to start it off. It was a little tricky, but once I got going there was no stopping!


Before long my project was growing and I was becoming slowly but surely faster and more confident with the stitches.



I was loving how the yarn was feeling when worked up, It felt almost silky smooth! I was also extremely pleased with the colours as they started to grow and stripe together. Blue, grey, blue, grey, blue......



There were a few loose baggy stitches every now and then and I dropped a few stitches once in a while. I tried not to let it bother me and just continued to keep going with the project. My initial reaction was to pull all of my work apart each time that I made a mistake. I started to realise I would get nowhere if I did that every time a mistake happened. As the project progressed and stretched out, I realised that my stitches were actually starting to look pretty even. I also noticed that any mistake that was made could also be corrected with the help of a trusty crochet hook. Learning by doing!

Before long I was reaching the end of my project. The knitting part was all done, it was just time to block it and stretch it out to the desired finished shape. I did this by making my project wet and patting out extra water. I then placed it on a large beach towel (to soak up any excess water) and blocked it with pins to the mattress on my bed.



It dried out nicely and each section ended up looking pretty even.


My first knitted project was done!!! I'm so happy with it! So happy that I even decided to model it in a picture for you! You have to bare in mind though....
A dancer, I am. A crocheter, I'm that also.  A Model......I'm not!!! Here I am looking randomly in some direction trying to look a little modelesque. It didn't really work! :-( Anyways, Ignore me and take a look and my scarf! I'm so very proud of it and I LOVE wearing it. The Debbie Bliss yarn is so soft and warm against my skin and I am extremely happy with the colours!


I'm totally chuffed to bits with this project and I can't wait for the next! I'm already on the look out for something simple that will challenge me with a few different stitches. I'm not sure what that next pattern will be yet, but I'll keep you posted!
Until then I have a fair few crochet projects that I MUST finish!!! Once again, my pile of unfinished projects is quite rapidly getting bigger!! EEEEEK!!!

Thanks for popping by!!

72 comments:

  1. Congrats on coming over to the knitty side! The Steven West shawl was a good choice especially teaming it with the Baby Cashmerino -oooh so soft!! It looks great on you and its a knit to be proud of. I'm looking forward to hearing about your next installment of knitting exploits too! xx

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  2. Adorable...the scarf AND the model! Great job!

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  3. Frickin awesome!!!!! So nice to know I'm not the only angry knitter out there lol. Thanks for the tip on the wooden needles, maybe I'll try that instead of these slippery mental ones. I too struggle with holding 2, and don't even get me started on the whole purl stitch, dropped stitches bit. Your project turned out beautiful and Im totally jealous ;)

    xo the Rebel

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  4. Great work! I use those needles too - they're awesome!

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  5. Hope you didn't fall in love with knitting too much.... cause I love your crochet work so much.... !!

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  6. I can't believe this is your first knitting project!! Looks brilliant!

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  7. Congrats! It looks great--you should be very proud of the accomplishment!

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  8. It really is awesome that you were able to get a handle on knitting and complete a project. I have tried several times to knit just a basic scarf and it always looks awful. I end up having to unravel it and learn how to knit all over again (because I also never remember how to do it). Your shawl looks amazing and is inspiring me to finish my own lame scarf so I can move onto that awesome project!

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  9. Great work! I can´t wait to see more!

    loves,
    Samantha

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  10. Matt! Gorgeous..I have been eyeing this pattern also..You did great. I just signed up for a craftsy class for lace knitting.. Im so excited. You look great in it you must be proud. Knitting does take a lot of patience. Your are so hansome! Hugs from Florida!

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  11. You were very brave to choose this shawl for a first knitting project. Most people would have chosen a simple scarf, and I must say you did extremely well. The colours look great on you too. Once you get the hang of knitting with round or regular needles, you should try double-pointed needles, they open up a whole new world of possible projects! And if I can master them, you can too! Keep up the good work. Nancy.

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  12. Much admiration due to you I think Matt....
    However!
    Tried it, but don't like it, I am a crochet girl through and through...
    Have to warn you in advance I will get tres bored if you start posting knitted 'thingys' please dont give up the crochet Pleeeeeze
    Bestest
    Daisy j

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  13. Very impressive! Knitting is beyond me. Love the colours too.

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  14. That's pretty impressive, and really love the look! It looks sooo good!

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  15. Congrats! I am someone who can do both crochet and knitting among many other things. I'm sure you will enjoy all the new projects available to you now! Wishing you the best

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  16. Many congratulations on your first knitting project, Well done.
    irene
    xxxx

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  17. Oh Matt I love it!!!
    Well done you.
    Thanks for the wonderful post.

    Chris Xx

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  18. How recognizable! I used to have troubles with knitting, but when I switched to short bamboo DPN's, everything came together... Before long I wanted to knit-in-the-round, which is done with FOUR (4!) needles... And I managed!! So, who knows what you' ll be knitting up soon! Knit fabric does have a softer drape, feels softer, doesn't it? Your shawl looks gorgeous and comforable, good job!

    Ilse

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  19. My you did really well for your first project. Quite ambitious doing stripes.

    I've been teaching primary school children to knit and they absolutely love it. We've been doing squares for our first projects!

    Keep up the good work. You're a great knitter.

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  20. Congratulations on becoming a knitter. An extremely capable knitter, very quickly it would seem, looking at your lovely Daybreak :) We'll lure you over to sock-knitting in no time :D

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  21. Matt eres una estupenda arañita!!! la verdad tienes esa habilidad todo lo que tejes es muy hermoso, la gama de colores que has elegido es muy bella felicidades!! tal vez te animes a hacer algun tutorial un dia de estos y así otros aprenderiamos de ti saludos.

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  22. Great job, Matt! Your shawl is beautiful and you seem to have really mastered knitting already. I'm jealous; I can crochet well but just can't make knitting work for me. I'll keep trying. Thanks for sharing your post. You look great, by the way!

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  23. it looks great. I am not a fan of modeling my creations either. perhaps I should have a look around for a fabulous tree that I could drape the stuff artfully around :-)

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  24. WTG!
    I'm a hooker from way back (14 years) and have been very tempted in recent months to learn to knit. Would love to be bale to knit my boys some jumpers, crocheted ones just aren't the same.

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  25. Matt,
    I´m totally impressed with your first knitting project!! It´s gorgeous and no one could say it´s not an expert job! I´m a good crocheter but a weak knitter (I´ve been trying to knit a shawl like this for ages and it didn´t worked) :(
    I also love your photo!
    Best regards from Brazil,
    Claudia

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  26. Well done for your first knitting project! I have the same issues with metal needles and only use my wooden needles including when I use circular! Which I bought a whole set of size "0" to "15" on Amazon for $25!

    It gets easier I promise! I just started knitting this year and have yet to make a shawl, but I've made a few baby afghans :) Those are on my list for this year to make!

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  27. Well done Matt that's really great! That's quite an achievement for your first ever project, most people wouldn't be so ambitious but you did it which is amazing. You are right, you do learn by doing so the more you do the more you learn. Once you know the basics you can start to do anything and your knitting confidence will just keep on getting better and better. There are always new things to try and to challenge, so it never gets boring.

    You look great wearing it too, it looks really good on you!
    p.s. post on whatever, you like - knitting, crochet, anything at all - it's your blog and it's all good!

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  28. Your shawl looks great for a first knitting project. Teaching myself to knit is something I plan to do this year as well. Since I really don't like making swatches I am seeing a lot of dishcloths in my future until I figure it out! Can't wait to see your next project.

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  29. Great!!!! your shawl is stripy and so beautiful!! thumbs up!!!
    xxx Alessandra

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  30. BRAVO!! Bellissimo! I'm proud of you for persevering! That's a pretty amazing project for your first one. It's gorgeous!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  31. I agree with everyone else - you are adorable - and you did great. I'm jealous. I've crocheted for 30 years and have NEVER been able to master knitting. Maybe, just maybe, I'll give it another try. :)

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  32. Congratulations, Matt! Your shawl looks wonderful... in fact you've got me thinking I should use that pattern for some red and grey in my stash. The grip of wooden needles (and I see you have the super ones) make such a difference. It was the only way I could take the plunge into socks without having tons of tiny needles falling around my feet!

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  33. Gorgeous shawl! Congratulations...

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  34. Well done, what a fabulous first project!!

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  35. Wow Matt, this shawl looks amazing! What an impressive first knitting project! :-)

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  36. Very impressive first knitting project! I love your color choices too. Yay!! Another knitter is born!!!! :D

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  37. Very impressive first knitting project!!!! I love your color choices too. Yay!! Another knitter is born!!! :D

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  38. Well done Matt! It's never too late to learn a new skill - I learnt to knit as a child and taught my daughter when she was small, but then she taught me to crochet just six months ago when I was fast approaching 60!
    Looking forward to seeing your next project
    Angie x

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  39. Wow, did you made this for the first time...as a knitter?
    well done!

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  40. well done, you did a great job, i love Stephen West patterns, i always learn something new with them, try the rockerfeller also by Stephen West, lots of new techniques in that one. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/niss/rockefeller. also Jared Flood patterns are great for learning new techniques. Im looking forward to seeing you next wonderful creation. Anissa x

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  41. You did an awesome job! I may have to try that for my next knitting project! I am a novice at knitting, but I am attempting a pair of mittens! I have one over half finished and there are plenty of mistakes, but I'm so pleased that I've tried something out of my comfort zone! Thanks for sharing your project, I am INSPIRED!!

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  42. WOW ... how amazing for a first project. I am knitting my first shawl and have chosen the simplest triangular shawl possible - and even in garter stitch it is driving me MAD! So looking forward to more - but so love your crochet - please do not give up.

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  43. congrats! what an impressive first project!!

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  44. I had tried knitting a couple times before too, when I finally decided last October to really get into it.
    As I'm first a crocheter, I also chose learning the continental method. I know the basics of the other method too, but the continental came more naturally. My big issue was also the needles, not the material, but the size. How can you work with those big sticks? Eventually I decided to stick to circular needles. Much better. And now I already have two finished projects (Ravelry links [1] & [2]! (I blogged about the whole knitting thing, but I blog mostly in Dutch...)

    Loving your shawl and am slightly jealous that your first project looks way more impressive than mine ;)

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  45. congratulation !!!! for your first project, it's just wonderfull.i envy your creativity. Thanks for sharing

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  46. Wow! Congratz on finishing your first true knittng project! I never have the patience to knit anything with needles smaller than size 9 and non-bulky yarn ;) Even that is a struggle most of the time. I think for now I'll just stick to chrocheting and I'll just enjoy your knittings!

    Love, Kirsten

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  47. I am so glad you managed to work knitting out, despite all the heartache and stress! Welcome to knitting world. You will find your own unique style of knitting and no doubt some will say you are doing it "wrong", but there is no wrong as long as it works for you.
    That is some first project though - well done you, it's fabulous!
    looking forward to seeing more of your projects which no doubt will exptend MY list of things to do!

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  48. I thought of an idea for future knitting projects - knitted dishcloths. You can find dozens of great patterns here: http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/dishcloths.php; or just by typing in "knitted dishcloth patterns free" into your browser. You'll find tons of great patterns, some with images that get knitted into the cloth as you go along, following the pattern of knit and purl stitches. They are easy and quick, I've made several as gifts, and I'm making one now with Santa's face on it. Should be done in time for next Christmas. Also, you should try Tunisian crochet! Nancy

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  49. Wow, great job on your first project! It looks great! :)

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  50. You are unbelievably fantastic, you gotta know that, right? :) x

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  51. It looks like you've succeeded very well!

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  52. And that's your FIRST knitting project?!?! It is super!
    I never knitted, but really want to learn it too. And it is exactly this kind of scarf I want to make...
    I bought a really good book about knitting some time ago, but didn't start it yet. Seeing your lovely scarf, maybe I'll just hav to give it a go and start right now!
    Love, Liz.

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  53. YAY, congrats!! I'm SO excited for you to have given in and finally learned how to knit - there's no turning back now! ;)
    Your daybreak looks amazing, I love the colors! And it turned out really great; I just knitted one myself last week but mine didn't turn out as symmetrical as yours; I guess I was a little too eager with the increases in some sections ;)
    If you're looking for a FUN and easy and very 'impressive-looking' new technique to learn I recommend cables! They're super easy (you just have to know how to knit and purl) yet people are always impressed when they see them. Jared Flood designed some awesome (and pretty masculine/unisex) cable projects and his patterns are always flawless and he includes lots of useful hints and techniques; I learned most of my knitting skills from his patterns :)

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  54. Hi.
    Yours crochet are Beautiful.
    I have im my blog, your tutorial .
    My Blog www.roxcroche1.blogspot.com
    Hugs.
    Rosana

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  55. Just gorgeous and what a 1st project to choose! I knit and crochet. Learnt to knit first but prefer to crochet (why I don't know). Just love your blog so keep posting whatever you make! Shaz x

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  56. Hello Mat, congratulations to all off your wonderfull crafts. I am a brazilian crocheter since I was 7 yo but I can not kit :-), cheers.

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  57. Hello Mat, congratulations to all off your wonderfull crafts. I am a brazilian crocheter since I was 7 yo but I can not kit :-), cheers.

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  58. Hi Matt

    I love reading your blog, it is so inspiring, and all the crochet things you have made are lovely. And now I am filled with admiration of your shawl, I wish any of my past knitting projects had looked so professional - perhaps I am still in the frustrated angry stage of knitting!!

    Can't wait to see more!!!

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  59. Oh my, you are soo awesome!
    And you know, I can now even try knitting. You are VERY convincing!

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  60. You made me smile with this post! It could have been me! I can crochet, felt, draw and do loads of other things craftwise but knitting is just not really my thing. I tried it serveral times but crocheting seems so much more natural!

    Your scarf is lovely though! Well done!!

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  61. Fantastic first knit. Your scarf is gorgeous.
    Congratulations.

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  62. Your first knitting project is fabulous - well done! I also love your granny square blanket on your previous post and can't believe how quickly you got it done. It seems to take me forver to finish anything lol!

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  63. I'm impressed! If your first knitting project looks like this so what next :-)
    You've got a talent!
    By the way, is great that man loves doing such beautiful things. You proof that knit and crochet are not only for women. And it's fantastic!
    Greetings from Poland

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  64. Felicidades,!!!! ¡¡¡¡¡ un blog precioso!!!! Eres un artista.

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  65. FELICIDADES, UN BLOG PRECIOSO, MARAVILLOSO ,TODO LO QUE HACES ES BONITO ,BONITO....

    ME QUEDO DE SEGUIDORA

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  66. Me ha parecido precioso todo lo que creas .MUY bonito.¡¡¡¡felicidades!!!!!!! Eres un artista con las agujas.

    un saludo desde España

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  67. Hola! Me gusta muchisimo lo que haces, felicidades por tus creaciones. Un saludo desde España.

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  68. i just learn how to knit (i do crochet more, tho not experienced), and whew.. it is frustating, definitely bcoz of the tension i need to keep. *sigh..
    but learning is a process, so yay for both of us. xD

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