The Knitty Gritty

I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing, but looking at other blogs has made me really want to take up knitting again. Not majorly, no great projects will EVER be produced, but just as something to do when watching a film maybe, or on a train journey. Why unsure if it is good or bad? Well good because I used to really enjoy knitting (and sewing too), and because I generally need to be doing ‘something’ and cannot always paper craft until I fall asleep, and because you get a useful end product, hopefully. Bad? Because I have a roomful of paper craft stuff which I need to use up…

Still, I counted and apparently there are way more reasons to knit than to not. Whoohoo! So, payday present to self this month was going to be a small little starter kit. I used to have needles of all sizes, cables, circular, bamboo, you name it; plus row counters, bobbins, pins, large needles, the works, but I gave them all away in 1990 something. That is how long it is since I have knitted.

Today I thought ‘well knitting is so popular again, there must be plenty of companies doing a cute little starter kit, needles included, at a reasonable price, just to see if I enjoy it or am deluding myself’. You’d think. After an hour of internet searching I had come across plenty of ‘kits’, but they don’t give you all the basic information. Some of the pictures were so bad you could barely see the item. Some didn’t include needles, and didn’t tell you what size you would need, so you couldn’t even buy them at the same time. I don’t want to have to wait for the parcel to be delivered only to then have to wait again to get an order for needles. Others stated they were knitting kits, but then mentioned crochet too, and my brain cannot cope with crochet. Another site I found was more helpful and told you everything extra you would need to complete a project, but for a cable cushion cover it didn’t mention that you would require a cable needle. Maybe knitting had changed and you don’t need one now? I don’t know. But I was unconvinced. It feels like the ‘tiramisu’ situation in ‘Sleepless in Seattle‘. It’s all moved on and I have some catching up to do.

Finally I came across one site that seemed to do exactly what I wanted. For well under £10 I could have yarn and a downloadable pattern for a small project; it gave you an idea of difficulty and specific skills required, and a list of the needle sizes and any extra items. Super. Trouble is, they ship from the US, so it takes a couple of weeks to get here. I am an impatient shopper and having made my mind up, I want it as quickly as possible. Also, really, UK, can we not just try to be a bit more customer friendly, a bit more helpful? Take a lesson here?

This is what I have to work with. I haven’t knitted for years but used to knit a lot – would probably call myself an ‘experienced beginner’. I can remember how to cast on and off, decrease, increase, knit, purl, cable etc. I was ok at simple lacy patterns but nothing too complicated. I was also fine with swapping colours. I do have to confess to still keeping one WIP for all this time – a sweater based on the Bayeux Tapestry!  Forgive me, it was the 1980s and picture knits were compulsory…I have 1/3 of it completed but gave away the remaining yarn. Genius.

My major problem is that I cannot ‘un-knit’ if I make a mistake. I used to have to get my mum to do this for me! So no complicated patterns. And no crochet elements.

I don’t want to go mad and blow loads of money. I thought about cushion covers as I love the look of them but I have far too many cushions as it is and knitted styles don‘t currently fit in with my home or that of anyone I would be likely to gift it to, should it turn out ok. So then I was looking at either a chunky scarf, those things that are like mittens but with the ends chopped off (wrist warmers, maybe?), or a simple cowl. I cannot remember if I can knit in the round or not, so I suspect I never tried – that might be enough of a challenge for now!

I will probably end up buying from the US company, but if anyone knows where I can get a similar kind of small restart project in the UK, or has any suggestions of items to consider please let me know! I am yearning for yarn…


30 thoughts on “The Knitty Gritty

  1. I used to knit – in a fashion! – when I was a kid. Trouble was I used to drop more stitches than stitch so my interest fizzled out! Jump forward to a couple of years ago and I thought I’d give it another go – thank goodness for You Tube! I watched some ‘getting started’ with the basics tutorials and I was good to go! However, as I still haven’t mastered the art of putting mistakes right and picking up dropped stitches, I have resigned myself to knitting scarves – lots of scarves!!! Because scarves are easy to knit I do find it very relaxing! I did buy a book called ‘easy knitting Weekend’ published by Hamlyn, which has quite a few nice projects that you are meant to be able to knit in a weekend! You sound like you’re a lot more advanced than I’ll ever be Gill so this might be a useful book to get you started again 🙂 I’ll look forward to see your knitted creations!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will check it out – thanks! It’s nice to know that someone else can’t right their mistakes either. I have always wondered what the reason is but now, like you, have decided to just ‘knit round’ the problem!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I get excited to start something, I can’t wait for delivery! Search the Internet for a yarn shops close to wear you live and start with a small project. Most yarn shops have classes for beginners. I have heard there’s lots of good online videos. Lots of good books too. Have fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting and for the advice. I think I live in a yarn desert but maybe I just have been too tied up with the paper obsession to notice! It’s true, now I have decided to do it I can’t wait!


  3. While knitting and sewing were never in my wheelhouse, I will say it has crossed my mind to try again. It is gaining momentum here in California. There has been some recent studies stating knitting reduces stress. Can’t say that was my experience but happy for those who do find it to be helpful. On a different note, reading about your shopping frustrations I have to say it sounds like a great story that belongs to a successful business owner. Perhaps the UK needs a new Etsy Shop Owner who does fantastic started kits? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right! It would be a great business idea. I volunteer to road test the kits for anyone that does it! I think I am doing it for the stress-busting thing too. I seem to remember the rhythm of it was soothing. I might hate it now, who knows!

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      1. What a nice thing to say! The paper will always be the thing I love the most and I am still having a whale of a time with the blogging, so no chance of stopping that. I have met so many lovely new people this way!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. The local Hobbycraft always seems to be low on stock. I tried the website today but no luck. Maybe I should try the store, just in case. I admit the sweater does sound over-ambitious. I don’t think there was any arrow-in-eyeball imagery though so we would both be safe to look at it. Was perhaps a bit of an eyesore in other ways though!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good call, will try Smiths too. Am now wondering if it wasn’t the Bayeux after all but something rather friendlier. Or maybe a re-enactment by the local amateur dramatic society instead…

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  4. Welcome back to knitting! As others have said, youtube is super handy for picking up new skills. There’s also Craftsy – they provide online classes for various projects & skills. Also, Ravelry’s pattern database is great for finding projects that suit your skill level and yarn & needles. Since you’re just starting out again, you’re probably only going to invest in one pair of needles; you can search for projects based on needle size too – it’s a really flexible search. Good luck & have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Craftsy was the one I found that seemed the best but I will check our Ravelry too as that sounds helpful and flexible. Thanks for the advice!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ravelry has a lot of features and can be overwhelming at first, just to warn you. But I think the pattern search will probably be the most helpful. There are also forums, which vary in helpfulness, and your own profile with a place for projects, yarn & needle stash. Focus on one thing at a time & don’t worry about the other stuff until (and if) you need it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post!!! I love the part about not knowing how to “unknit”. I have finally (after a long long time) learned how to “unknit” and “unpurl”.
    When I started knitting again I haunted the second hand shops we have around here. Estate sales sometimes also had knitting things to round out my stash of stuff.
    Happy hunting for “stuff” and happy knitting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad I am not alone in this. I thought I had an odd brain because I couldn’t undo something, but then again I can’t reverse park either so maybe backwards is just not my thing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am hoping there is no reason not to enjoy both! Except maybe space, budget, time….Hey ho, we’ll see what happens. Thanks for commenting – I am off for a good look around your blog now!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my. I learned to knit when I was about 8 from my old neighbor who was German. She taught me how she was taught. I have been knitting ever since. I do not knit as much as I used to but still have all of my needles, including my very first pair. I so enjoy knitting! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am really looking forward to starting it again – apparently I have a couple of project books waiting for me next time I visit my mum and sister now!

      Liked by 1 person

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