Thursday, July 15, 2010

Scarves are a beginner's best friend

Since I am still in my first year of knitting, there is still so much to learn.  I still haven't knitted my first sweater, and I still don't have plans to.  You could call me an accessory knitter because that is all I have knitted.  My first real project that I completed after doing all of my n00b practice swatches was a scarf I made for my boyfriend Matt as a Christmas gift.  I took up knitting originally because I wanted gloves, but they were still too advanced for me and I wanted to make something.  I looked around the internet to get an idea about what kind of scarf to make and what color and design I should use.  I didn't know how to knit on the round yet but I wanted something like a rugby scarf. I decided to go ahead and just knit it flat in stockinette ( the curling!) but use the same design seen in a lot of rugby scarves.  Matt is a neutral color kind of guy.  He likes dark colors but I wanted to use colors other than black, or navy blue, etc.   Matt's not a rugby fan, but he is a Manchester United fan. So I decided to use the teams colors; black, white and red.  Around this time I discovered the wonderful yarn shop in the area and stopped by to see what yarns inspired me.  I wanted something soft, warm and special for him so I decided on baby alpaca chunky/bulky.  The red and white were from Cascade Yarns, and the Black was Plymouth.  After I purchased and wound the ball in the store I sat down in the knitting are and cast on for, I think, 56 stitches in black.  I knit 10 or 15 rows ( I can't remember exactly how it went, because I didn't keep a notebook) switched to another color, either red or white depending in what repeat I was on, for 2 rows, switched back to black, for a few more rows, then switched to the same contrasting color I used before and knitted that for 10 or 15.  So I just kept knitting until I was satisfied with the length and stopped at a black.  I gave it to him on Christmas and he loved it.  There are a lot of beginner mistakes , but it was my first knitted gift that I spent the time to design and make for someone I love. I have learned a lot since then and have picked up more skills and can fix most of my mistakes.  Some of the mistakes I make now are the same mistakes I made on that scarf.  But knitting is a lifelong learning experience.        

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