I've Finally Done it

I've finally done it, I've started a blog.  I tend to think of blogs as either for the self-absorbed or for people with something interesting to talk about (or perhaps both).  I've convinced myself that I do have something interesting to talk about: KNITTING.  My name is Kat and I'm a craft addict.  Seriously, it's an adorable compulsion.  I'm also new to knitting and learning something new with every project, and I wanted to share my adventure with a wider group of people.  One day I hope to write my own patterns to post on this blog.

Firstly, some background to my knitting obsession.  My paternal grandmother was an avid knitter and taught me to do the basic knit stitch when I was about six.  I later figured out how to cast off and do my own slightly unconventional version of the cable cast-on.  This gave me the ability (but not the patience) to make rectangular, garter stitch objects like scarves. 

Since FOREVER I've been fascinated with how things are done and have many times attempted to take up sewing.  I showed promise at sewing in home economics at primary school but sewing machines seem to hate me.  One day I will conquer them.  Nearly two years ago, when I was 19, I became obsessed with gardening (I still am, but trying to finish an Honours degree and several dishearteningly disappointing crops have put that addiction largely on hold), which led to an obsession with self-sufficiency in general, which planted a seed of a desire to learn to knit.

One day in about August last year, I was riding the bus with an old lady I know who was a keen knitter.  She asked me if I was able to read on the bus without feeling sick.  I said yes but to keep the conversation going I said that I feel horribly motion sick after knitting in a car.  The knitting I referred to here was still purely rectangular and garter stitch.  Talking to this friend as if I knew stuff about knitting made me feel like a bit of a cheat.  All I could do was garter stitch (though I didn't even know that that's what it was called), while she was able to make clothes and blankets and other wonderful things. This tipped me over the edge from "It would be nice to learn to knit" to "I'm going to learn to knit".  The next day I went to my local library and borrowed a knitting instruction book and some pattern books. 

The first thing I knitted was meant to be (but only vaguely resembled) a baby bootie.  This was followed by a pair of acceptable baby booties and then a matching teddy bear which I made for my friend's baby, who at that time still lived in her belly.  Here are them:

While I was making the teddy, my brother's mother-in-law remarked that I knitted left-handed, even though I'm right-handed.  I'd had a friend notice this before.  Turns out, I don't knit left-handed, I knit Continental, which is where you hold the yarn in your left hand instead of the right.  The other common method is English, though there are others.  Continental seems to suit me better, if anything because it's faster and I'm impatient.  My dear Grandma is no longer with us, but I suspect she knitted Continental as well, even though she was in fact English.

I slowly developed my patience, starting mostly with baby clothes and small toys.  Thankfully I knew several peanuts in ladies' bellies who, when born, would need to be clothed, so I at least had an excuse to knit baby clothes.  I've only been a knitter for less than a year, so I'm still learning something with every project and becoming more patient. So far, the biggest project I've completed is a medium-sized woman's top. I love knitting lace and right now I'm working on this wicked shawl, my biggest project to date: http://www.yarn.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/categoryID/6CE5778C-DFAC-4F79-8CA8-4A509596D98F/productID/72D80A26-828B-4D77-AB04-5D3640E2367B/

I love knitting so much I want to learn everything about it and try every technique there is!  To date I've done lace, buttonholes, brioche, butterfly stitch, bobbles, cables, blocking, steaming, double knitting, chevron, entrelac, grafting, top down socks, provisional cast-ons, picking up stitches, circular knitting, cable and thumb method cast-ons, i-cord, sewn cast-offs, intarsia, illusion knitting, jointed dolls, beaded knitting and felting.  I've also done a small amount of crochet but I much prefer knitting, so for now it will remain a supplement to my knitted projects.  Here are some examples of the stuff I've knitted so far:

In the future I can't wait to try shetland lace, toe-up socks, magic loop, fair isle, lace cast-offs, crochet cast-offs, smocking, dropped stitches and basically anything else that exists!  Of course my mainstay pattern-finder is the amazing www.ravelry.com, especially because I'm a sucker for free patterns.

So, in a very long-winded and involved introduction, this is me and this is my adventure with knitting. 

Peace out,

The Knitted Kitten

PS: This is Trickster.  She is on my lap right now.  She is not a knitted kitten.