I recently joined a Stitch & B*!*?h knitting group at a local yarn store and have LOVED getting to know other knitters, sip wine and chat away while we each work on our own projects. Maybe partially due to the confidence inspired by this group of co-knitters or maybe due to the beautiful cable scarf that I just got off my needles, I have been feeling less like a newby lately and ready to tackle some more complex projects. I wanted to try my first garment!
I found this beautiful shrug designed by Lion Brand Yarns. The name of the Shrug is 'EASY Lace Shrug'. So really, how hard could it be??
I was inspired. I was confident. I had a plan. I headed off to my knitting group with the pattern and picture in hand and a list of questions to ask the more experienced knitters. I understood all the stitches in the pattern. With a little patience and focus, what could possibly go wrong?
They assured my that I could handle this. I selected some beautiful jewel ruby yarn to knit with and I was off to knitting my gauge swatch. (I had never even knitted a gauge before because I selected items that it was unimportant, so I was feeling super proud!)
Prepare yourself for the dramatic turning point in my story....
After knitting a few inches in my shell lace pattern. I handed the swatch over to a more experienced knitter to get her opinion on if I had enough to determine my gauge.
She studied my knitting for a while then said "Let me just watch you knit a few rows."
I knew that this couldn't be good, but I had not yet grasped the depth of the situation. So, away I knitted with my experienced guide looking over my shoulder.
"Well," she started after a couple of rows were complete. "You are knitting in the 'Eastern European' style"
"I'm knitting in the what? Are you making that up?"
"No no, you're doing OK, there is no wrong way to knit" (so sweet of her to say, but really a little too kind) "you are just twisting every stitch that you knit, so your knitting is a little tighter and compressed."
What she was telling my in her very sweet and encouraging way, is that I do not know how to knit. I have been doing every single stitch incorrectly. I could literally feel any knitting ego I had built over the last two years come crashing down around me.
I poured a glass of wine and ate some chocolate.
I took a deep breath.
"OK, can you show me how I should do a knit stitch?"