Learning to Knit With a Knit Along

My First Swatch
My First Swatch

Look at that. LOOK! My first swatch ever.

Here it is on dark wood:

My First Swatch on dark
My First Swatch on dark

I made an actual gauge swatch thingy and it’s mostly accurate to what I need it to be!

See, I can sew and quilt…but I can’t knit. Obviously I CAN knit, but it’s not comfortable. I don’t have the muscle-memory for it, it doesn’t come naturally, and I refuse to take that as an answer.

So, I joined the Very Shannon Summer Sweater Knit Along 2015 (#SSKAL) to force myself to get this knitting thing down. I find if I need to learn something, I need to force myself to have a deadline and dive in head first.

For a pattern, I’m taking a Craftsy class called My First Sweater, cuz, well, this is my first sweater.

craftsy my first sweater class
craftsy my first sweater class

I already know I prefer bamboo/wood needles, but I’m not really getting how to swap out yarn types or any of that, so I’m using the Lion’s Brand Wool-Ease which is really acrylic with some wool added. I’d like to switch to better yarn at some point in my knitting, but for my first time, I’m going to follow the directions. Novel idea!

my first knit ribbing
my first knit ribbing

Check it out. I only had to entirely rip it out once. 😀 I’m very excited. It’s very slow going. Very Shannon announced the SSKAL, and I started right away, before the sign up page was even live. I think I might make it. It took me 6 hours to get the swatch and this little bit of knitting. SLOW GOING. I had the hardest time figuring out that the stitch I do, as in pearl or knit, is the one that will come out facing me. Ribbing made me learn I needed to know that! Ha. All these things you go through as a n00b!!

Because I’m so excited about my inch of ribbing, here’s another shot:

knit ribbing is exciting
knit ribbing is exciting

and a close up with some of it stretched so you can see…well, really, this is all for me…

ribbing close up
ribbing close up

I am so damn proud of that. Can you tell?

I had some of these purple silicone knitting needle thingies, but lost most of them.

Knitting Needle-mabobs
Knitting Needle-mabobs

While I was waiting for more to arrive, I found using a clothes pin works great – better in fact for my newbie-self. So, I’m going to see how that goes. The clothes pin holds that last stitch in place too, so jostling of the project isn’t so much a factor.

Up Close Swatch
Up Close Swatch

I’ve read somewhere that I’m not supposed to be taking the yarn directly from the skein like this as I knit, is that right? I’m supposed to take all 6 skeins or whatever and make them into balls? What’s the deal with that? Why? How? And, possibly for this project…not gonna happen. But I still want to know why and how.

Also, I need to find some cheat sheet on like-for-like yarns. If I’m reading a pattern for my Wool-Ease sweater, and want to swap out yarns – what do I do? There are some freakin’ rad yarn stores in Portland, and I’d much rather get something without acrylic in it. I guess I could go TO a store and ask, but it’s not always easy to get away for hours, and/or hang in a yarn store with kids. I’m a research online person, then get into/out of store quickly.

2 Replies to “Learning to Knit With a Knit Along”

  1. Ahhh your swatches look great! Welcome to the world of knitting! OK, as far as substituting yarn goes, the labels on the skeins give you the average gauge on the suggested needle size range. For example, Malabrigo worsted lists 4-5 stitches per inch using US 7-9 needles. So you need a yarn that has the same kind of range. The pattern will tell you the gauge that you should get (like, 20 stitches for 4″), so that’s how you know what you’re looking for. An easy way to find a substitute yarn is to look up the pattern on Ravelry, and see which yarns other knitters have used for it. You can write down some of those yarns and see if the store carries it; if not, they should be able to recommend a good substitute from your list of suggested yarns.

    Oh! And knitting from a skein can sometimes leave you with super annoying yarn tangles… ick!

    1. ah, dude, I’m not getting notifications when “approved” commenters comment. thank you for your knowledge! I guess I was twisting my stitches too? I have a online friend in Canada that is a pro knitter, and could just tell by looking at it. cuh-razy. ok, next sweater, I’m going with a better yarn, for sure.

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