Why did I start knitting? Because I’m a craft wh0re – crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, basic macrame, beadwork, and needlepoint were the things I could do then; I have since also learned cardmaking/scrapbooking, knitting, and spinning – and I prefer the way knit sweaters look, when compared to crochet, which is the other fiber art I knew how to do in the winter of 2002. I got a how-to-knit book from the Discovery Channel Store, some cheapie Red Heart acrylic and aluminum Susan Bates needles from The Store Where Evil Dares to Tread™ and proceeded to get more frustrated than I’d ever been in my life. Stupid Cable cast-on. Stupid English method. Stupid book with no gauge written for the patterns. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Then along came another wonderful book. I was in a real yarn shop getting yarn for a hat that I wanted to make for a friend who was stationed in Iraq. Actually, she was in Kuwait at the time, but she was scheduled to go to Iraq soon, and would be spending Christmas there. And Christmas in the desert is cold. So I made her a hat. I got so tired of going around and around and around so slowly that I wound up crocheting the crown. Technically it wasn’t my first project, but it was the first project that I didn’t frog. I made mittens out of autumnal varigated Red Heart. Worsted weight on US size 4 needles. I followed the pattern in the Kris Percival book, but without any gauge or needle size recommendation, I was lost. They would have been perfect for a preschooler; my hands are small, but not THAT small. Plus, the pooling and puddling of this particular yarn was driving me bonkers.
So this is the Dharma hat, my first FO that stayed an FO. You can see where I got tired of knitting and just took the “easy” way out. I would have done the whole thing in knit, but I wanted it there by Christmas and I’d already worked on it for over a week. Now? It would take me a day or two. For the whole thing.
After that, I made a few scarves, a few more hats, a purse or three, and then all hell broke loose. I developed a taste for “real” yarn. I found bamboo needles. I started cabling and working intarsia and fair isle. I started making baby stuff and Christmas gifts and birthday presents and housewarming gifts. That was nearly five years ago, and I’m so far down the rabbit hole, I can’t even see the sky anymore. But that’s ok, because I have this lovely wool to keep me warm and dry.