New Knitter


I met up with two other mom's last night - two wannabe knitters. Or so they told me more than a year ago when we met the first time (to knit; our kids used to play frequently), and I showed them the basics of knit and purl and got them both started on scarves in yarns I'd gifted them with for their birthdays. They didn't "totally" get the hang of it that first night. We met once more to knit, and it was like starting over. It still hadn't clicked for either of them. One of them was really interested, just having trouble (constantly ending up with extra stitches and so on), and the other, I thought, just didn't really like it. She's a great friend, and it would be super if she was a knitter. But I didn't really think it was ever going to happen.

So, we got together again last night (a meeting we planned almost three weeks ago before we knew it would be the finale night for both Big Brother and Amazing Race).

It was my first night with neither child in tow since Spencer's birth, so it felt sort of strange, and I was worried most of the time about how he was doing and how M. was coping. The older one had a breakdown as I was trying to leave because he didn't want me to go. So, I was feeling lots of guilt and doing lots of clock-watching while we were supposed to be having a 'girls night out' of sorts. All in all, I was only gone right around 2 hours. But, I guess it's something.

I took a batch of wonderful (and easy) pretzel/Rollo/pecan creations my mom had suggested I try. She said everywhere she took them people loved them. She was right. Despite the fact that two of us are supposed to be on Atkins and one of us on Weight Watchers, they were a hit - and easy to snack on even while knitting.

Snacks aside...

Before getting them both re-cast on and showing them the basics again, I tried to show them my Charlotte. I guess it's grown more than I thought because as I tried to spread it out on the (long) needle to show them, I watched in horror as part of one side fell off the needle. My heart skipped a beat. Just after I was bragging yesterday about not needing the life lines so far... They, of course, didn't really understand why it would be a big deal that some of those stitches were falling off, but I was envisioning disaster. Luckily, not too much had slipped off the end. I got it picked back up and even found all the yarnovers that had dropped. A marker had fallen out, too, so they watched in utter confusion as I searched for the small plastic ring. That really threw them - that I'd need markers to keep track of things seemed way too complicated to them. It was pretty funny.

So, we got started. I worked first with the one who had done farily well the previous times. (We actually got started while the other was whipping up fresh whipped cream to have with strawberries.) Once I thought she was okay, I switched to the other. I went ahead and cast on for her and did the first row to get her off the needle and then showed her the knit stitch again after explaining that this time she was just going to knit and work on a garter scarf so that all she had to do was focus on the knit stitch. (I think part of our problem the first time was being too ambitious!)

She watched. She got started. She seemed to have the right idea.

She got messed up.

So, I fixed it again and then watched as she started trying to knit continental (which is how I knit). I'd showed them both ways the first night oh so long ago, and both seemed to want to do it that way. Last night, I'd specifically showed her the other way thinking it would be less complicated (even though I find it harder!). So, I stopped her and showed her again how to use just the right hand.

By golly, she got it.

Immediately, she was chanting "through, around, back through, and off" as she rhythmically worked her way across the row, needles clicking confidently.

She had a few problems, but very few. She had several inches done when I left, and the garter looked great. I was so excited - and so surprised. I shouldn't have been. But I really had given up hope that she'd ever really "like" knitting.

She sent a message late last night to let me know she'd continued to work after we left and had 20 inches done and was thinking "scarves for everyone for Christmas"

Yeah! A new knitter is born.

With one or the other of them having trouble every few minutes, I only got two rows on Charlotte done. But, even that was progress. I felt lucky to manage that much. After all, Sharon's shawl, after all, is taking 1 1/2 to 2 hours per row!

Photos to come soon. I would have done it today, but I've been working on getting some new items loaded on Bramblebug and creating an ad we need to run in our preschool's newsletter. So, while the camera's been in action, I didn't get a chance to get Charlotte laid out and photographed. I will - soon!


My eyes widened in horror as I got to the part of the story where half of your Charlotte fell off the needles. I was envisioning half of my stitches...336 of them...tumbling away with no life support. We shawl knitters sure live on the edge, don't we? :)

All in all, sounds like you had a fun knit night. Dropping stitches on Charlotte sucks, but it's pretty confidence inspiring with you realize you've learned/understand the pattern well enough to get everything sorted out, isn't it? Being able to "read" you knitting is such a critical skill -- yay you!!

And those snacks you mentioned -- can you EVER go wrong with pretzels, caramel, chocolate AND pecans?? oh my!!

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