Starting Out: Knitcroblo1

As part of The Knitting and Crochet Blog Week I have decided to get my blog on once again and talk about my one (of two) true loves - Crafting. Answers on a postcard for what the second love is...

Today (knitcroblo1) is all about starting out.


I was working in IT, miserable and exceptionally uncreative; taking calls, logging calls, passing on calls, telling them to turn it off and turn it on again. My soul was slowly being destroyed and I just knew that somehow, I had to escape and become creative.

So I handed my notice in, bought a sewing machine with my final pay packet and began working part time at the local University. Around this time (2007) I had spotted a young woman knitting on a train and I fell in love with the idea of rekindling my knitting skills which, as a child, had been limited to a knitting machine making scarves for my toys and French Knitting. I investigated knitting and subsequently tried and failed several times.

One day, on the University Staff Portal I spotted an advert for a new craft group which was forming and I knew I had to go. I arrived, not knowing anybody on that Tuesday evening armed with absolutely nothing. With no yarn, no needles, no clue (and no patience!) I was welcomed into the group and one woman (whose name I have now forgotten) took me aside with somebody elses project and taught me to knit. Kind of.

At home without support I struggled with learning to cast on, forgot the knit stitch, loathed the purl stitch, threw my needles across the room on many occassions and said profanities so crass that I was glad my grandma lived 200 miles away. But I did it (with the kind help of I made my first scarf which, in fact, was more like a triangular abomination, but I was so proud. Perserverance is the key. Somebody (an artist) once said to me that they hated it when people said they were 'so gifted' because in fact they had had to work damned hard to get where they were and the same can be said for me. Anyone who says that want to knit can knit, they just have to really want it and be willing to make mistakes. And say naughty words.


After mastering the art of knitting and finding a little website called Ravelry (have you heard of it?*) I was opened up to the utter joys of crochet, in particular amigurumi. I was always into small projects and learning to crochet would leave me with the ability to create beautiful, individual characters with personalities of their own with just one hook, not a zillion DPNs. A friend of mine knew how much I had wanted to learn how to crochet and so one day brought me round a vintage copy of Patons Learning to Crochet. I sat in front of it for hours, chaining continously, trying to move on to the next level but (yes, you guessed it) I just ended up throwing the hook and yarn across the room and cursing like a sailor.

One day, when I couldn't face failure anymore, I did what any normal 20-something girl would do - I sat in front of the television, put on Big Trouble in Little China and refused to move from the spot on the floor until I had mastered the art of basic crocheting. Before the end of the movie I had somehow managed to make a small green amigurumi hat for the china chicken in my kitchen and then I went on to make a small little orange critter who goes by the name of Kurt.

Kurt Russell, Big Trouble in Little China, my friend and the Patons Learning to Crochet book - I salute you!

*Yes, we are living in an age where I feel it is necessary for me to point out sarcasm. So sad.


Vivianne said...

LOL aren't you glad now that you persisted ? :-)

David Andrew said...

Taught myself to knit - it was years later that I discovered that I was knitting socks inside out - lol

nina said...

I'm a needle-thrower too.

chesh said...

your first yellow scarf was a thing of joy..still think you are gifted though! it's not jsut the technical part it's the imagination and creativity which can't be learnt i think :) x i love your things!

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