December 2, 2011

Knitting Meltdown

I have been knitting for a little over two years now. It has been a gradual learning curve but I really enjoy the process of knitting. It forces me to slow down and really focus my mind in a creative manner, that is likely very under produced in the physically driven body of a personal trainer. I love the feel of the yarns, the different colours and stitch patterns, and of course, I love finishing a project and wearing it around town.

 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?"


  1. But there really *is* no wrong way to knit, just different. :) There may have to be changes to patterns made, but the more things you knit, the more familiar you will be with making the changes without a second thought. :) Whether you choose to learn to accommodate your current knitting style or if you choose to re-learn in a new way, I am sure that you will grasp it quickly and take on that shrug in no time! Good luck! :D

  2. Ha ha. I just started knitting last year and haven't completed anything yet. I loved your story! Great job writing, Samantha! Keep on knitting on!

  3. Thanks ladies!
    Netta- Spoken like a true knitter! lol I was actually taught to knit my a 7 year old and then have just referenced a few books and you tube video to try and learn this skill. I now see the value of beginning knitting classes and being a part of a knitting community. I am going to try and relearn in the "standard" way of knitting and I think in the long wrong this will help me!

    Sarah- I can only hope that we can sip coffee over our knitting scraps some day soon!


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