Looking at an old hobby in a new light.

For as long as I can remember, knitting has been in my life. Both my mom and my aunt fantastic artists with yarn. There isn’t a pattern that Amala see’s that she can’t decipher and recreate. Pattern, schmattern, who needs it! I remember her and Aunty Yangzom-la sitting together, laughing, chatting and knitting in the morning light as they asked me to run downstairs for tea or coffee on a chilly morning. I loved sitting at their feet, normally with a book, taking part in the conversation at will, feeling the joy, the warmth, the creativity envelop me.

I have loved the clicking of the sound of needles, the excitement of making a choice – pattern, colour, design – the feeling of smooth, new yarn between my fingers and imagining the end product so finally at about age 5, I begged to be taught how to knit. And she taught me. She cast on my stitches and I knitted and purled my little heart out. How grown up I felt! When I hit a snag, she unsnagged it, when I dropped a stitch, she picked it up but I just didn’t have the persistance to stay with it. Being the dabbler that I am, I now recognize in retrospect that a scarf was the wrong project for me to start with – long, straight and going on forever. After a pathetic attempt at a sweater for SUPW in high school that I never wore and a mis-shapen sweater for baby when I was pregnant 2 years ago (seriously, what was I expecting? I faked it without a pattern!), I gave up my needles. Until this last weekend.
It all started with a “Knitting in the Round” class at the Purple Purl that I did last Sunday morning. (Excellent btw, I highly recommend their classes – free coffee too!) I picked this nice pumpkin colour, machine washable (hello, I’m a mom remember? The days of having the time to handwash is a distant memory.) Mission Falls Merino yarn for little R’s hat and some bamboo needles – having always used metal needles in the past, I was hesitant but now, I’m a total convert! The control is so much greater. (Thanks Miko for the excellent guidance!) Happily, the class provided a pattern for a hat. Rosa was our wonderful instructor – clear, patient and calm – who lead us through knitting on 4 needles. The class just flew by as fun times often do and I couldn’t stop knitting! By nightfall, I was half-way through with the hat and the interesting part was coming up (the decreases) when I realized, horror of horrors, I was actually out of yarn and the Purple Purl was closed on Monday!!! Argh! Why hadn’t I bought more yarn? What was I thinking – or in this case, not thinking? What would I do with myself for a full day without yarn! Somehow I talked myself off the ledge and sanity prevailed 🙂 I was done by Tuesday evening with the knitting and last night I finished my first hat ever. Today, my son is rocking his new toque.

Now, for a scarf to match! This project has been a little plagued with doubt. The scarf this time is a short one that buttons together instead of wrapping around, which means two things:
  1. I will have less worries about strangulation – don’t ask.
  2. This greatly increases the chance that this project will actually get completed! Quick is a good thing when it comes to projects.

The merino yarn (once again, machine washable – please and thank you) is this gorgeous confection that reminds me of fall. It has all the colours – orange, green, brown and …. pink! Is that too girly for a little boy? After a lot of thought, I have since decided that MY boy will be in touch with his feminine side and will rock the pink! After all, with our dreary Canadian winters, we will be crying out for a shot of colour by January.
Since my size 7 circs are not here yet (bought a lot of needles off of Ebay for a song!), I tried using my size 8 dbl. pts. and it’s going fine but now I’m beginning to wonder if it’s my tension or the needles or simply the weight of the yarn that is causing the fabric to be nicely maleable but a little on the thin side. Since this scarf goes around the neck only once, I do want a bit of heft to it but not so much that it’s uncomfortable.
Then there is the fact that I changed it up. Instead of following the pattern, I kept the spirit of the scarf (size and design) but changed the pattern to a seed stitch because it took me forever to do two rows of the the pattern (I’m so not used to YO and k2 tog line after line) and the recipient kinda needs the scarf yesterday – now I’m beginning to wonder if that is contributing to the lack of heft.
Oh and did I mention that I kept the width of the scarf the same as the pattern? What possessed me? Well, I cast the stitches, knit two lines thought that it looked about right. Now I’ve knit about 4 inches and yeah, bad move. I will scale back from 30 stitches to about 22.
Which means, I need to rip out what I’ve done,

Which means I may as well borrow those size 7’s from my knitty friend KR,

Which means, I may as well try and stick to the pattern!! HA!

But I shall prevail. Hello knitting needles, I’m back.

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