I successfully taught myself to crochet about 3.5 years ago and I’ve always wanted to learn to knit, too, but it has not come as easily. I tried several times to teach myself, and although I can now cast on, cast off, knit and purl, somehow, actually creating something useable or wearable is still beyond me. I think there are two problems: 1) I don’t enjoy the physical movement of it (I guess I should try continental, since I like crocheting) and 2) I don’t know how to fix problems. With crochet, it’s so easy to go back and fix things, but with knitting, it feels completely daunting, and I end up ripping out more stitches than I actually create.
Last year, I was starting to feel really guilty that I made so many crocheted things for A, but J is just getting a bit big to be able to pull off crocheted items without looking too “girly”. He really wanted me to make him a vest, so I committed myself to knitting him a vest. The only thing I’d successfully completed prior to that was a few small squares and a hat, but I really didn’t enjoy knitting and didn’t want to prolong the agony by making a scarf for more practice. I was hoping that as I went along with the vest, I’d get better and faster and start to enjoy it more. Well, that didn’t happen. Also, between the time I started the vest in February and finished it in June (a super practical time to finish up a wool vest), surprise surprise, J grew, and the vest ended up being too short. Of course, I had already bound off and I had NO idea what to do, so I crocheted a few rows at the bottom to lengthen it, which looks totally ridiculous. I also had various missed stitches, or places where I had to take everything off the needles and then I must have put them back on backwards or something. Anyway, the vest was a disaster. J, however, was thrilled. I made his doll Alexander a matching vest (crocheted), and told J he could wear the vest around the house ONLY. Definitely not out in public. I decided it was ok for me to be just a crocheter and not a knitter. This is totally embarrassing to be posting, but here’s the disastrous vest (J also had some sort of horrible rash going on around his mouth):
Fast forward six or seven months: J wore the vest around the house regularly and also underneath his coat for playing in the snow. Somehow, it ended up going through the washing machine and dryer and ended up like this:
I can’t say I was at all disappointed! It sat around for awhile and then last week, I decided to make something useful out of that beautiful felt, and stitched together a quick little bag for A. Although it’s pretty ironic that something I made for J to compensate for so many handmade things for A turned into another thing for her. Oh, well. Any suggestions for a “boyish” crocheted vest pattern in size 6 or 7 would be very welcome…
J and I just finished up These Happy Golden Years last night, which was very bittersweet. We’ve been reading the Little House books for over a year, and I think we’re both sad to see them come to an end (I purposefully decided not to read him The First Four Years – I just think it’s really sad, and it feels very out of synch with the positive style of the other books, I’m assuming because it was a rough draft that Laura never finished). I’m not sure what we’ll read next. We had started Heidi awhile ago, but J lost interest after Heidi moved to the city. Any suggestions on what we should read next would be welcome. He likes adventure but not things that are scary. I’d also prefer that it be a relatively high reading level, because I notice that otherwise he tries to read along and ends up getting completely distracted from the story (does that make sense? Maybe that is totally the wrong thing for me to be doing).
Joining the Yarn Along with Ginny.