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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Help, I’m Addicted to Knitting!

A guest blog by Dragon Dave’s Wife

A regular-sized pence jug, and a supersized one,
next to an English ten pence piece on my lap board.

I wasn’t always addicted to knitting.  Until a few years ago, I didn’t even care to pick up a needle and yarn.  I was into Cross Stitching then, but that is a different story.  I learned the basics of knitting when I was young: knit, purl, going back and forth, etc.  Probably the only thing I made back then was a blanket for my teddy bear and maybe some potholders for my grandmother.  After we married, I remembered enough to teach Dragon Dave the basics so he could create a Doctor Who scarf while we watched those long NASCAR races.  But I was uninspired by the back and forth nature of knitting.

Then, a couple years ago at the local Sci-Fi convention CONDOR, I attended a hands-on panel on knitting and crochet.  As I had never learned to crochet, I chose the knitting project.  It was a Victorian Pence Jug: a small coin purse in the shape of a jug.  I had never knitted in the round or followed a pattern before, so the instructress helped me learn the techniques involved and I was soon hooked. 

(Oops, that’s a crochet term!)   

Armed with a copy of the pattern, we stormed Michael’s during the dinner break for some yarn and double point needles.  They didn’t have the size needles the pattern called for, so I choose ones 2 sizes bigger, and what seemed the right kind of yarn.  During the evening and the rest of the convention I knitted and knitted.  I finished my project, but it didn’t look quite the same as the picture on the pattern.  So the next week, armed with a coupon for JoAnn’s, I secured the proper size needles, in bamboo, and a finer yarn.  I proceeded to complete the project again – getting better results this time.

The project taught me that I liked the double point needles as they fit in my hands better, and the movement from needle to needle kept the project interesting.  I found knitting to be faster then cross stitching, and completing projects faster gave me a greater feeling of satisfaction.

I go hat-tastic.

I completed a few more Victorian Pence Jugs, giving most away to family and friends, and then decided I needed a new challenge.  On the Internet, I found a pattern for a simple hat.  After acquiring the correct size needles (thanks to the lesson I learned with the Pence Jug), I started making hats, and hats, and hats.  I enjoyed making the hats, and was soon doing so without referring to the pattern.  I found a book with more hat patterns and increased my repertoire and skills.  About this time, the air conditioner at work went crazy and began freezing us instead of cooling us.  My hands were getting too cold to type, so I found a great, easy pattern for fingerless gloves, and I kept making the fun gloves. 

Need some gloves to accompany those hats, anyone?

Needless to say, all my co-workers got a pair for Christmas.

That Christmas, I was surprised to receive a couple of knitting books.  (Okay, I may have suggested them).  One was on knitting Amigurumi, the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures.  This book had fanciful creatures on the cover, just asking to be made.  Needing a challenge from the hats and gloves, I dived into the patterns, using my leftover yarn and some new needles. My first project was a tomato, but I quickly progressed to the Star Fish, Octopus, and finally took a stab at Nessie, the sea monster.  These projects gave me more tips, instructions, and confidence in my knitting.

Aristotle, my octopus (yes, just like Pugsley Addams' pet),
guards my tomato.  I think I should give the tomato
eyes like in the Killer Tomatoes movies, don't you?

Now in the evenings I love to knit.  I’ll even make the occasional back-and-forth project, like my afghan last year (which kept me warm while I worked on it), and the scarf I am making now.

Check back for blogs on my other projects, favorite books and knitting websites, and maybe even one of my own patterns.

Dragon Dave’s Wife

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