knitting

I haven’t been on here because I’ve much distracted by my new hobby: knitting. 

I mentioned on Facebook a desire to take up knitting so that I can could make sweaters and scarves and the like at my own leisure rather than paying for machine made crap, OR putting in lots of money for something that has quality to it. There is a brand in Canada called TNA and they make excellent wool sweaters, but at $100 a pop it’s not something I can just buy every winter. However, their sweaters are good quality and I’ve had mine, which hubby got me for my birthday, for 4 years now. The sleeves are starting to fray, but I think I could get another winter out of it, probably more. 

My grandmother showed me how to knit a couple of times in the past, but I had zero patience to keep doing it. It felt tedious to my young mind and she never showed me how to cast on or bind off to make me truly self sufficient in my knitting journey. But then again, as a kid, very few things held my attention. If it wasn’t easy I didn’t bother and at the time knitting wasn’t easy. Many years later I asked her to show me again and she was apprehensive, but I told her I’d try harder. She showed me again, but the interest just wasn’t there. I didn’t want to just sit there make scraps. Perhaps helping me choose a project would have been a better focal point. 

Well after my Facebook post a friend of mine offered me a pair of needles and some scrap yarn to make dish cloths and with YouTube the way it is these I figured I could just reteach myself how to knit on my own, not taking muscle memory into consideration at all. Lo and behold I thought knitting was the easiest thing and I finally learned how to cast on and bind off making me feel like any basic project was doable even for a complete newb like myself. So I did some practice rows and sought out videos on how to read patterns and patterns themselves. I found some channels dedicated to knitting tutorials that I started following as well. Is it weird that I like watching knitting videos? 

After finding a pattern that I wanted to do the next step was to find a yarn shop. Do you think there’s one near my home? As if!! I’m in New Westminster, which is part of the Lower Mainland, but I had to travel out to Vancouver to a yarn shop that I chose from a list off of Google. I found one called Baaad Anna’s. Clearly the name is what caught my attention first, lol. I’ve never shopped for yarn in my life, so I googled almost every yarn they listed on their website in order to get an idea of what kind of fibers they sold. I was most impressed. If I’m going to put the effort into making my own knitted goods then at least I can choose 100% natural fibers like wool or alpaca. 

So anyway, long story short I came home with a couple of skeins of baby alpaca yarn and some merino wool yarn for two projects that I wanted to work on: a cowl, and some mug cozies. I’ve started the cowl…5 times. Talk about knitting practice! I then realized that the gauge of the yarn I chose was so much smaller than the pattern I’m working off of that I needed double the skeins. It’s an expensive cowl to say the least, but it’s going to the softest, warmest thing I’ve every owned, most likely. Baby alpaca is not cheap, but I run my hands over what I’ve knitted so far and I get very, very excited. 

My mother came to visit on the weekend and she brought me more yarn: mink, camel, wool. Now I have my eyes set on mittens for Hannah, a hat, socks and slippers. I will make a sweater eventually. But I’ve been working on the cowl non stop. Any spare time I have, even when Hannah is not sleeping and bouncing around the house I’m knitting and it’s not just because I’m after a finished piece; I find knitting to be quite calming, so calming that it can make me fall asleep. Anyway, what I need to learn next is how to weave my tails into the final product, but I’m sure there’s a video on that I can watch too 😉 

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