Thursday, April 15, 2010

In (Painful) Pursuit of Knitting

Knitting just seems like something a frugal girl like myself should be able to do.  While I first started learning to crochet at my mom's knee at the age of 5, gaining some proficiency by grad school (not a quick study, am I?), knitting always confounded me.  But this year, I decided, was my year to learn to knit.

You see, canning season is soon upon us, and every canning season usually sees the loss of a few dish cloths as a kind of sacrifice for all of that yummy put-up food.  I'll lose one to blueberry jam, a couple to chili sauce and canned tomatoes, and another to simple fatigue and overuse.  Summer is always my time to replace some dish cloths, and I thought this year I would knit them.

So, I picked up the pair of shiny blue needles I bought years ago, grabbed a ball of cotton yarn and Stitch 'n Bitch, and started to knit.

Oh, my heavens.

At first, it was like trying to eat with chopsticks after a lifetime of forks.  I was perfectly convinced that millions of people can do this successfully, but I just felt like I had too many implements.  I have suffered through dropped stitches, faulty tension, and far too much concentration.  You can see one of the intermediate steps above.

But, fairly soon, I was able to do the simple garter stitch without laser-like focus and while watching TV.  I started to like the click-click of the needles and the softness of the "weave" of the fabric, so different from the relatively solid result from the ribbed crochet stitch I prefer.  Full disclosure:  I declined to learn to bind off properly, but instead crocheted off the top when I was done.  My mind is full of ideas for a knit/crochet hybrid project.

After five decreasingly-painful nights, I have a dishcloth.  Hopefully, the next one will go much more smoothly, and I'll have a new textile hobby!

The Analysis

Fast:  Oh, you're kidding me, right?  Somewhere, there's a kindergarten class that is knitting faster than I am now.  But I'll get there.

Cheap:  Since you asked:  The cheapest dishcloth that wasn't see-through I could find was at WalMart, where a bundle of six would set you back $12.  I can knit a dish cloth with one 2 oz. ball of cotton yarn, which I get on sale for $1.29.  Savings:  $0.71.

Good:  I will get bettter at this, and I think I will enjoy the new hobby.  Score!
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