I’ve been making practice swatches (really, making them, unraveling the yarn, and making new ones)…a lot of them. It’s been fun to learn new stitches, and some are actually pretty challenging – even ones that are supposed to be “easy”!
So far, I’ve successfully done garter, stockinette, twisted stockinette, various seed stitches, and a couple of variations on knit/purl rib. With some of the seed stitches, I had to attempt them more than once because I got distracted and lost my place – but I kept doing them until they looked the way they should.
Most recently, I’ve been working on star and geometrics stitches. Star looks really cool when done properly, though the purling three together took some practice to get right. It also reminded me not to tighten my stitches too much, or executing p3tog would be very difficult. Star is an “intermediate” stitch pattern, but I think it was easier to do than geometrics because geometrics requires that you do ten rows, each different, to create the pattern. That’s a lot of rows to keep track of when reading the pattern, so I used a pen as a “pointer” to indicate which row I was working from the book.
Geometrics has more variation in the combinations of stitches performed in each row, meaning it’s easier to lose your place if you take your eyes off the instructions (sadly, that happened a couple of times, so I got more practice than I would have liked).
So what have I learned thus far? Knitting more complex patterns demands a novice’s full attention. While I can do garter and stockinette pretty much by feel, the others require me to look at written instructions, look at my needles and yarn, and back again. One distraction and I could lose my place (though I also learned to count the number of stitches against the pattern in the instructions to try to figure out where I left off) and have to start again. Knitting has reinforced the importance of single tasking, rather than multi-tasking…at least until I know these stitches much, much better.
Regardless of the mistakes and the moments of puzzling over how to make what I see on the page appear on my needles, I still find knitting thoroughly enjoyable and I try to do at least a little each day (lately, it’s been a new stitch a day). Are you thinking about trying your hand at knitting? Do it. You may find it as meditative and focusing as I do.
Never fear, though – I won’t be at the stitch academy forever, and I’m working up to creating more than garter stitch scarves.
His & hers
It’s just so much fun learning new stitches that I don’t feel quite ready to commit to a project yet. But I do have some circular needles (and stitch markers) coming…and I see possibilities in the near future!