and now i knit (kinda)

for a while now i’ve wanted to learn either knit or crochet. i pose this as an either/or because i realized my brain couldn’t learn both at once (though i do hope to learn both eventually).

after trying crochet a little around Thanksgiving, i thought i’d go that route. but then my good friend Erin (who just had an adorable baby boy, by the way – hey girl!!) came to visit from out of town, and taught me to knit! it clicked in my head better than crochet had – i think it helps that Erin is a schoolteacher in real life. in fact, she had tried to teach me a year prior and pretty much had to start from scratch this time because i forgot it all as soon as she left. 😉

twisty cowl

i haven’t blogged about this yet because i meant to get “real” photos of my first project, but you’ll have to settle for this phone selfie because i’m ready to move on. it’s a cowl. i just cast on 15 stitches, then knitted back and forth until i had a scarf long enough to go around my neck with some ease. i put a twist in it, joined the ends haphazardly with a sort of ladder stitch, and done. i knit it during the Christmas break while watching a whole lot of Sherlock with my husband.

homemade as it is, i’m super proud of it as my first project. i wear it a lot, and i realized i could (sorta) knit! but i wanted more. i wanted to make a hat. so a couple weeks ago, we went to visit pre-baby Erin (oh and her husband and older son, too…hehe) and i brought my needles and yarn with me. i asked her to teach me how to make a hat for O while we were there. she thankfully obliged!

simple knitted boy hat

it’s just a simple but cozy beanie. while making it i learned how to join in the round, purl, change colors, decrease, and finish off the top! valuable knitting skillz indeed. honestly the internet hadn’t been working for me to learn knitting, even youtube videos. i needed someone right there with me to tell me what i was doing wrong.

simple knitted boy hat

the hat is made with super bulky yarn (because it’s FAST) and i’m pretty sure i knitted it on size 13 circular needles. i was so adamant about the stripe being that lime green i just ignored the fact that it’s a different weight and looks a bit “off”…whatever. i’m forgiving myself for early knitting wonkiness.

simple knitted boy hat

it works for this guy too – after an initial rejection, he now loves his “pom pom hat.” he wants to wear it whenever it’s offered. frankly, he loves the pom pom so much this is actually pom pom #2 – he got a little enthusiastic with the first one and tore it to smithereens.

simple knitted boy hat

so there ya go! knitted a couple things! it’s super super addicting and relaxing, i see why people love it so much. sewing is usually pretty solitary, as we toil away over hot irons and noisy machines in our basement lairs with some music and a glass of wine (ha), but knitting can be done in front of the TV, while supervising kids at play, while waiting at ballet class…it’s portable in a way that’s really appealing and the results are very rewarding too!

simple knitted boy hat

hopefully someday i can make awesome stuff like Shannon or Jane or even self-proclaimed “newbies” like Tara or Anna (I don’t believe either of them for one second). i’ve been wistfully pinning projects from the purl bee for a couple years now, just waiting to learn how, and admiring patterns from shannon’s shop and the wiksten shop too. obviously i have a lot to learn but at least i have a foundation, right? it’s exciting….cozy knitwear, just in time for spring. :/

simple knitted boy hat

do you knit? crochet? any books or websites that helped you in absence of a helpful friend? maybe i should take a class. i need all the help i can get!

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27 thoughts on “and now i knit (kinda)

  1. ann at thevelvetaubergine says:

    I sort of knit — I made three pairs of men’s socks (which i counted in individual socks because it took SO long) for Christmas presents. I’ll occasionally break out the needles for a baby hat or adult scarf or something. The men’s sweater I made for my husband, however, ate months of my life and . . . didn’t turn out in the end. I hack away at knitting and cycle back every few years or months. But I know it’s not really my thing. When I picked up knitting as an adult, I bought Stoller’s classic, Stitch n’ Bitch http://www.amazon.ca/Stitch-Bitch-The-Knitters-Handbook/dp/0761128182 I was looking at it the other day and it’s clear on technique with lots of little projects that look cool. I should give it to my daughter — she’s the real knitter in this family.

  2. gweneth says:

    Here is a site that may interest you, newsknittingparadise.com. Women/men from all over the world ask questions, show their work, chit chat about things going on around the world and help you with patterns you may be looking for.

  3. carol says:

    I love taking knitting classes. Knitters can be such fun and you learn so much. I love that knitting is so portable. Your finished projects look so great!

  4. Thimble & Cork says:

    My grandmother is a crochet genius, and she taught me how to crochet as a child, but I certainly couldn’t do it today. I have been intrigued by the knitting craze that I’ve noticed on sewing blogs and I know that I’ll have to give it a go sooner or later. For now I’m watching others from afar in stunned awe at your talent! Knitting seems SO complicated!! Your projects turned out beautifully!

  5. carolyn says:

    The thing that I love most about knitting is that it’s not so solitary (oh, and it’s portable – okay, that’s two things that I love about it). I used to knit a ton but then I found sewing and knitting kind of fell by the wayside. I think was enthralled by how quickly things are sewn as opposed to knit. It’s always nice to move back and forth between them though because they each have something to offer. That hat looks fantastic by the way. And I love that he tore his first pom off. That’s love, man!

  6. GingerC says:

    There is a site called Craftsy which has all kinds of tutorials. Also, uTube has some good tutorial videos. For free patterns go to Lion Brand Yarns website or other yarn manufacturers.

  7. cindy says:

    Good for you Kristen! I think you’ve discovered another obsession.;)

    I’ve knitted some wool soakers (for over cloth diapers) and a few scarves. The one thing I am most proud of is a Bolero I made MG when she was 2-3 years old. I still have it somewhere even though it no longer fits.

  8. rachel says:

    well done! if you are that good at knitting, you will pick up crochet in no time! i can crochet but didn’t have the resolve to stick with knitting, and then i discovered sewing. i also live in texas, so there isn’t a lot of incentive to knit – i think that was part of it.

    you are so right about sewing being a tough hobby in a few ways. yes! it’s solitary! yes! it’s not mobile! my mom has 6 sisters who do everything from cross-stitch to knitting to sewing. they used to encourage me to take up knitting because it’s so mobile and easy to pick up for a minute here and there – so good with young kids. but i found it was hard to keep track of stitches. i really enjoyed hand stitching/quilting for awhile because it was so relaxing, mobile, and i could pick it up for a few minutes here and there.

    lately i’m finding it so hard to sew. our baby’s nap mostly gets sabotaged when i get my older kids from school. i used to sew every night after our kids went to sleep, but our older kids now stay up until 9ish and our baby is often up until 10 or 10:30! she’s been a baby that’s had to flex to everyone else’s schedule so she’s our only child who hasn’t had a formalized bedtime routine of her own! i really need a creative outlet, so i’ve been learning a lot about photography for the last year or so. it’s so easy with kids and there is so much to learn. yet i am definitely missing my sewing time… 🙂

  9. Meg says:

    I love the hat! knittinghelp.com is your friend! That is how I have learned for the most part. Also, Ravelry has the best inspiration!!!

  10. Laura says:

    That hat is so cute. I see the lime green becoming a feature in your knitting like kona olive is in your sewing. I tried learning to knit when I was pregnant with Casper but I just got too impatient with how long it took to make something. It’s so great you’ve managed to finish two things already.

  11. mamagwen says:

    I’m a knitter and plan on learning crochet when I get the time. Knitting while watching TV is my fave way to relax in the evening, when the kids are in bed 🙂
    Are you on Ravelry?

  12. gail says:

    your stuff looks great!! i hope to add knitting and crochet to my repertoire someday, although with a knitting mom it’s hard not to just ask her to make stuff for me. i should learn though, a portable craft would be convenient!

  13. kim says:

    Love these! I’m excited to see what amazing things you will knit in the future. Good points about it being more portable and social, too. I’ve only done some very basic stuff (scarves, blankets, leg warmers) but I LOVE hand-knits. Keep it up!

  14. reillyhogan says:

    stitch and bitch is an awesome teach yourself how to knit book. Sort of the oliver and s of knitting…I think :0). I’ve been knitting seriously for 7 years now and still reference her stuff sometimes. She’s funny too, which I like. I love Happy Knits for yarn here in portland, on hawthorne. They have some amazing stuff. Great first projects!

  15. Marina says:

    I learned to knit using Amy’s videos from http://www.knittinghelp.com and by asking tons of questions at the forum, of course. Once you get the hang of it, it is super fun and like you said, relaxing. My favorite website is ravelry.com, I’m sure your friend must have told you about it, it’s the best resource for projects, both free and… well… not free:) You are doing great and i can tell, will become a pro in no time!

  16. girllikethesea says:

    It took me a long time before I was brave enough to knit anything in the round, so hooray for you! The hat turned out great. I’m sure things would go smoother for me if I had anyone here to show me knitting techniques, but that’s why I have to sit in front of youtube watching five different versions of the same thing so I can figure out what the eff is going on. Purl bee totally inspired me too.

  17. Alyssa says:

    All of the above comments have great suggestions. I’d add Elizabeth Zimmerman – knitting guru, genius and (in my opinion) comedian. Any of her books are wonderful.

  18. mary frances says:

    oh, you are going to love it. I am often more of a knitter than a sewer time-wise, these days, and it fills a different creative need for me, somehow–the zen of repeated stitches, the sweet patience of watching something emerge row by row.

  19. Maureen Cracknell says:

    My blog actually began as a knitting//felting blog! I had no idea how to sew and since I learned I rarely knit! 🙂 Sometimes I so really miss it, but it’s weird — I really only get the urge to knit in the Summer?

  20. Jane says:

    oooo, yay for you! I love your knitted projects!!! I really really MUST learn to knit…I too, have been pinning and pinning purl bee knitted projects for so long…it kills me that I’ll never be able to make of it! And, I agree…Tara and Anna aren’t telling the whole truth 😉

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