One of my goals for 2014 was to take a knitting class so I can advance beyond the basic garter stitch and scarf making. Since winter is my favorite time to knit, I decided to sign up for a 4-week class that met for two hours on Thursday nights starting in mid-January. I'm amazed at how much I learned in a total of only 8 hours!
Below are my two practice swatches. The first photo shows four different patterns. At the bottom is the basic garter stitch (knit every row). The next one up is the stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl one row). Next is a 2x2 rib (knit two stitches, purl two stitches), and finally, at the top, is seed stitch, which looks prettier in person.
The next swatch shows the beginnings of a cable knit, which uses a special cable needle inserted every so often and creates the raised portion of the cable. I still cannot wrap my mind around how this actually works, and for someone who likes to understand how things work, this is frustrating. As I'm knitting, I find myself asking, "Who came up with this in the first place?" Do you ever wonder about things like that?
In addition to these great patterns, I also learned eyelet, which is how you create a hole or space in your work. Lacy knit garments are made using eyelet. On the practical side, I learned how to follow a pattern, how to increase and decrease (necessary when making a garment) and how to "unknit," or backtrack to a mistake in order to fix it. I also learned how to use a crochet hook to correct a dropped stitch -- very important. Now I'm ready to start a new project that will allow me to practice all that I've learned!
Do you knit, or do you want to learn how to knit? If so, I highly recommend it. Knitting is fun, challenging and good for you. How is it good for you? Well, I'm told that knitting requires one to use both sides of the brain, so it's a great way to keep one's mind active and healthy. And the results are so rewarding. What could be better than to give a handmade scarf to a friend for her birthday or a knitted baby blanket to an expectant mother. If you're thinking of learning to knit, do it now -- don't wait! Check out my Knitting board on Pinterest for some inspiration.