Sunday, March 11, 2007

Knit One Purl One

Yesterday I completed my first ever knitting class.
I learned to knit and crochet when I was very young.
To date I have been able to do the very simple things like scarves and afghans.
A couple of months ago I went into a yarn shoppe not too far from my home that offered classes for people like me.
You know how to cast on, cast off, knit and purl but not how to read a pattern or many of the other vast stitches that are out there in the knitting world.
I chose a baby sweater to knit this time, not because I have a baby that will wear it but because this class is only four consecutive Saturdays and I wanted to be able to finish the sweater or just abouts before the class ended on 3/31.
I went to Micheal's to buy my supplies because I felt that it would be cheaper.
I found the pattern book that I wanted to use, the needles required for the project and the brand of yarn that the pattern used but not the right weight. So I ended up buying the yarn needed for the project at the yarn shop and if I would have known could have saved the money at Michael's. I may return the yarn that I bought at Michael's just because I am not sure what I would do with it now.
During class, which is two hours long I did my first ever gauge swatch to see if the way that I knitted (my personal tension on the yarn) was in compliance with the pattern.
I passed the first test as it appears that I knit tightly but not so much as to throw off the pattern in anyway.
During the making of my swatch which consisted of stockinet stitch (knit one row, purl the next) it was discovered that all of these years I have been purling incorrectly.
I was "throwing" my yarn in a clockwise fashion during purling when it needed to be thrown counter-clockwise. I often didn't use the purl stitch because I often found that if I needed to knit the row after a purl row that it was difficult for me to pick up the stitches and therefore I didn't use the purl stitch in many things that I made.
Well, if I had been doing my purling correctly I wouldn't have had the twisted stitches that made it difficult to knit a row after a purl row.
Things became much easier for me just in learning that new thing and I was able to make a great deal of progress on my swatch.
By this point there was only about 20 minutes left in class when it was finally time to start me on my project.
I casted on the required amount of stitches and began the knit one, purl one process that would become the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater.
Much to my chagrin the instructor wanted me to rip out what I had done so that she could show me a new cast on procedure that would give the garment a much better edge.
She was absolutely correct in that the new edge is much nicer, even and stable than the way that I was casting on.
I worked on the back of the sweater last night and I am proud to say that I have completed the 1-1/2 inches of ribbing for the bottom and have switched to larger needles and I am about 3 inches into the body of the sweater with 3 more to go. I have to stop when I get to that point because I chose a pattern that will need me to begin decreasing to shape the back and I have yet to learn how to do that.
All in all, the money that I have paid for the class which works out to be $8.25 per hour has already been paid back to me in the lessons that I learned yesterday.
I'll make a separate post to discuss my fellow students.

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