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…