Thursday, 9 January 2014

New craft challenge

I am not sure if I have mentioned this previously but one of my goals for this year is to try out a new craft each month.  There are so many things that I would like to do and never seem to have the time.  I figure if I just try out one thing at a time it will be easier.  A month seems a decent amount of time to give something a go.  Also short enough that if I really hate something it will soon be over and done with!

Who knows I may be totally hopeless at some things but may just find a hidden talent.

So, January is knitting.  I am a novice.  I knitted a square to earn my Brownie knitting badge that was about 45 years ago.  I have tried several times since then but just can't really get the hang of it. My Mum was a good knitter and was never without her knitting when I was a child. I can still remember the sound of those needles clicking away at great speed.  She passed her skills on to my sister who is a beautiful knitter although she no longer does it very often.

When I knitted that square for brownies I remember that I couldn't get the hang of holding the needles.  I still can't.  My technique is to have the right needle sort of propped vertically in my lap and then I knit round it with the left needle.  The right needle does not move!

Anyway, I decided to start with the basics.  A knitted square of plain stitches.  I found a website that said 40 stitches knitted on 4.5mm needles would give me an 8 inch square.  That seemed a good size.  I had the needles and some scrap wool in blue that someone gave me ages ago.  I had to find a tutorial to remind me how to cast on. It took me forever!

Once the stitches were cast on, I got knitting and I did remember how to do that basic knit stitch. I have since learnt this is called garter stitch.

I knitted around 80 rows to get it to 8 inches.  I'm not exactly sure as I lost count.  It took me about 4 hours.


I ended up with 41 stitches and one small hole so not sure what happened there! Do you see it?

This is the finished square.  I am quite pleased with this first attempt. All I need to do now is to knit about another 50 and I'll have a doggie blanket!  LOL.

This evening I am going to do another one.  I want to see if I can do one without a hole and keep the correct number of stitches.

A fellow Etsian who is on the Craft Britannia team is sending me some of her wool and a pattern that she has designed for simple fingerless mittens.  She needs a tester to see how easy her instructions are to follow. She will be on hand if I get stuck.  I am really looking forward to giving it a go.

I shall be doing updates throughout the month to let you know how I am progressing.