Sunday, 5 February 2012

Problems Getting Started

I’ve been invited to my first ever ‘Stitch & Bitch’ session next Saturday – yippeeee!!!  A friend of mine (Saffron, who taught me to knit) has organised it as a chance for us girls to get together to craft, chat and eat cake!  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it???

BUT I haven’t done any knitting since before Christmas, I’m not doing any hand-sewing at the moment, I’m not having much luck with learning to crochet, AND I didn’t think the other ladies would appreciate the noise of my sewing machine interfering with their ‘bitching’.  So, a dilemma!  What to take to work on.....

I really want to do some more knitting, and increase my arsenal of skills.  So far, I’ve only knitted things that use knits and purls in different combos.  So, I decided to look on Ravely for a hat, scarf or cowl pattern (it’s COLD here!!!) that would force me to try out something new.  Then, if I came across any difficulties, I could get some help on Saturday.  Good plan!  I found a super-cute pixie hood hat, and a gorgeous spiral-patterned cowl.  I wrote out a shopping list yesterday morning, and eagerly dragged poor S to my favourite department store’s crafty department. 

That was where the problems began!  It turns out that German yarn labels don’t have the same information on them as ours.  They have a little gauge diagram, and NO equivalent of things like ‘DK’ or ‘chunky’.  So, I had no idea what to get for the patterns I wanted to work on, and everything I found that I thought MIGHT be okay was really itchy (I am terrible for this – things that other people think are wonderfully soft feel like barbed wire to me!).  So, I left the shop with nothing, feeling like we’d had a wasted afternoon.
Then, when we got home, I looked online for some yarns.  I found a GORGEOUS bulky turquoise cotton one (which I hope won't be itchy), and ordered a few skeins.  I think it'll be great for the pixie hood.  I hope it’ll arrive before next weekend – fingers crossed!!!

[Rico Big Cotton Super Chunky - Turquoise]

BUT, that didn’t solve my most pressing issue.  S was going out to meet his man-friends (I couldn't complain after the afternoon's shopping trauma), and I would be home-alone.  I wanted to amuse myself with some knitting and start on something to take on Saturday (just in case my new yarn doesn’t come in time).  The pattern for the cowl required 4mm circular needles, which I had (my ONLY pair).  And I had some red yarn that I wanted to use for the project.  I spent a two hours watching YouTube videos before I started, looking up how to use circular needles, researching what ‘knitting 2 together’ means, learning now to do a picot edge..... So, I was ready to go!  I cast on my 128 stitches..... 

THEN realised that the needles were much too long (60cm, when I needed 40cm) – AAARGH!!!  I might have said a naughty word or two and stamped my foot!  So, everything got shoved back into my knitting bag, and I did some more internet shopping (this time for some new needles)!

So, I can’t get started on anything knitty yet!  I’m just waiting for the postie to come.....

If my gear doesn’t come in time, I’ll just have to make some more of my little knot brooches – they’re quick and easy and I KNOW I have everything I need!!!

Does anyone else ever have days like this where you try SO hard to be productive, but end up just chasing your own tail and getting NOTHING done???

I’ll keep you up-to-date with progress on these two projects when I manage to get started on them.....




  1. Hi Carly,

    I feel this way all the time! I had a similar experience. A friend and I really wanted to learn to knit so we signed up for a one day class at a shop in town. I'm left-handed, so I was nervous about it, but she reassured me she had taught lefties before. Well, needless to say I was the only left-handed one there, and it was the most frustrating thing I've ever done. I had a major headache by the time I left and I also shoved everything into my bag and my half-finished little hotpad sat there for ages. I finally unraveled it and just kept the yarn. I'm not sure I'll ever get crocheting and knitting because of the extra effort it takes to do it all backwards!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your very kind words. I'm looking forward to seeing how your projects turn out!


  2. Oh how frustrating! I hate those annoying knitting blunders! I have days like that too. I hope your knitting gear comes soon - have fun at your S & B sesh!

  3. Yes, yes, yes! I have had knitting days like this too! It is normal and part of the learning process. In these moments knitting may seem like it's more stressful than relaxing but believe me, please: it gets easier. I spent hours trying to work out guage problems, knitting in the round only to find out I used the wrong length circular needles. It gets easier. My dad used to say the more miles you drive the better a driver you will become. Of course it's exactly the same thing with knitting. I'm a humble knitter still but should you want any help don't hesitate to ask.


    ps I am sure you have worked this out but the pattern will give you the guage and you just need to look at the guage on the grid on the yarn details to see if it matches up. The important number is the amount of stitches along the length. The height is not so important. Does that makes sense? I usually tend to have a tighter guage knitting up the rows but that's ok because most patterns give you the lenght in cms or inches.

    Goodness I hope I haven't confused you any further!

  4. I can totally sympathize!! I've had days where everything I try doesn't work out, or I just can't figure out what to do because of yarn that I do and don't have, and then it feels like you've spent hours looking at patterns and generally pacing around getting nothing done! Not a fun feeling! I hope your yarn and needles get there soon!! A "Stitch & Bitch" sounds like a lot of fun!

  5. Hi Carly,
    I am moving home - from Scotland to Wales and am so hoping there is something like this where I am moving - looks like jolly good fun even if things don't wor out proper on the first attempt - part of learning and enjoying.

  6. ALL THE TIME!!!!!!! Sometimes I have time for card making, but with no creative idea what so ever. Its when I usually end up playing on my computer!

    In my [humble!] opinion, forget that its a knitting event [take your new wool or your trusted brooch stash in case you fancy doing it] go along, eat a lot of cake, get to know new people, and enjoy it. Don't worry about new patterns and so on ... maybe someone there will inspire you.

    Sometimes, I think, when we over-think it, we forget why we do it in the first place. Well, I certainly do anyhow.

    Let us know how you get on :)

    Shelly X

  7. Oooooh I am so excited to have found your blog! Well you found me first and I'm really glad you did because now I have found you and I really love your blog. I have nearly read it from cover to cover but still have some of 2011 to get through. Needless to say I am loving your work!!!!

    My advice would be to give crochet another go, in my opinion it's much easier than knitting with more instant gratification (short attention span on my part maybe!!). I also had the same problem with knitting as you, forgetting which one was the purl and which one was the knit as I couldn't see the difference between the stitches and ended up ripping out whole rows as a result. But thankfully I haven't had this problem with crochet and the stuff you can make is pretty and beautiful and from what I can tell would be right up your street! Anyway I am blethering a little, good luck with whatever you do and enjoy the stitch and bitch session! I wish we had one near me but then at least I won't be tempted with cake and can crochet happily in my jammies, not a good look for a coffee shop I must say!

    Looking forward to visiting your little crafty corner of bloggyland A-LOT!!!

    Helen xx

  8. Hi Carly, when everything goes tits up here, I get in my car and head over to my Mum's to sort it out. I'm sure you will get there. Have fun at the stitch & bitch and don’t worry, I'm sure you will get lots of help.

    Lou xxx

  9. I adore your blog! I can't wait to have a good read through now that I'm here! I hope your S&B session goes well - it sounds like so much fun. Have a fab week hon. See you again soon. Leah x

  10. I don't knit but I know if I did I would have many blunders! Happy mid week to you...let us know how it all turns out. xoxox


Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit, and for taking the time to leave me a comment. It's always a pleasure to hear from readers, and it really makes my day!



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