Knitting always makes me think of my Nana. She tried many times to teach me knitting but I could never master it. For his sixth birthday, my oldest son received an activity book which included instructions to knit a teddy bear. He asked me to show him how to knit! Me? Teach someone how to knit? By this time, Nana had been gone for many years, so I couldn’t turn to her and ask for help. Luckily, the book had clear photos and simple instructions, I figured it out. The simple instructions for children were just what I needed, I was even able to master the elusive skill of casting off. After I completed the five pieces required to build his bear(he decided early on he didn’t need to learn to knit after all), I put them all together for a pleasant little creature. It turned out so well, I ended up making many of them to share with our family and friends. My Nana would be proud.
My youngest son discovered Harry Potter this autumn and I decided to make him a scarf with the Gryffindor colours. I found a project online, but it required a trip out to buy the round knitting needles it called for. I had never knit in the round before, so this didn’t seem odd to me until I started knitting. Knitting in the round proved to be awkward and difficult. This is supposed to be a scarf? A long, straight scarf? Why is it looking more like an infinity scarf? Why is there a twist in my knitting? Is this twist supposed to be there? Turns out, it is not supposed to be there! All advice I was given said tear it out, start over. So, I pulled my progress off the needles. Since I was finding it so difficult to work on the round needles, I switched the pattern over to a set of long straight needles, and progress is much faster on this familiar territory. With my love of knitting sparked again, I intend to learn more about it. The St. Thomas Public Library is the best place for me to go, with a massive selection of books on knitting.
In the knitting section, I found many, many books. I looked through a few which I found to be more complicated than I am ready for. I found one that described with pictures and simple steps that were familiar to me. The title is Knitting for Dummies! Some pages I found helpful are: page 43 where I found a list of abbreviations and short hand; page 63 which describes thumb (or e-loop) cast on; pages 64-67 which teach a basic knit, also called a garter stitch; pages 67-68 where I learned that purling is also a garter stitch; page 73 which shows the basic way of casting off; and pages 61 and 69 which talk about left handed knitting. The other two books I found helpful were actually in the Children’s section of the library. Kids Can Do It Knitting includes instructions for such things as: adding a fringe; making pom-poms; tassles; a cozy blanket; a rolled brim hat; and a patterned headband. The second children’s book is called Kids Can Do It Fix It. This book includes a section on pages 16-17 for learning how to fix some common knitting mistakes.