Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Stitch in Time

Photo Credit: Life

It occurred to me last week that it might be time to join the esteemed ranks of those women who are always knitting. I usually pick up a craft each winter to keep me busy in the evenings and I felt the knit-itch following my first visit to a local "Craft n' Chat" group. I had brought some computer work to do, but everyone else was knitting away. Of all the crafts and needlework that I can do, knitting is the one task that has always eluded me. I don't know why, but I have never been able to master it in the past.

So, with some doubts about my abilities, I headed to the yarn section of Michael's and after spending about 25 minutes scanning through all the different types of yarn they have there, I broke down and asked a couple of ladies who were shopping in the same section for their advice. They helped me to pick out a fat, easy to work with yarn and the right needles for making a scarf. A basic, idiot-proof scarf...I hoped!

Thus armed, I turned to the internet and found these great videos online that show exactly how to get started:

The result? So far, pretty good. The instructions online and the help I got in the store did work out for me and I'm a fair way into an easy scarf. I only wish I hadn't made it quite as wide as I did.

Photo Credit: Filia Artis

This was made with a pair of #9 metal needles and two balls of Lion Brand, Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn. What I've learned so far from the gurus is that it's all about tension, even tension and not knitting too tightly, and that you need to learn to knit, unknit and knit again. There is apparently no project that doesn't need to be unknit at some point.

If you enjoy crafting and your fine motor skills are decent, this could be for you. I was surprised that I finally got this to work out for me but probably wouldn't recommend it to someone who hates fine work.

DIY Rating: 6

An easy scarf was actually pretty easy, 
but this is an activity for people who like crafting.


  1. I have an empirical question for you: do you find that a stitch in time actually saves nine? I have heard that it is so, but my lack of personal experience in these matters has left me somewhat in doubt.

  2. By the way, the scarf looks great. I like the colour.

  3. Cburrell,

    Hmm, this is getting philosophical now...

    In general, yes. Attacking a problem now does seem to save time later.

    Now if you compare the # of stitches to make a scarf - I'm estimating it will be about 7,500 stitches at around 3 seconds a stitch - to the amount of time to find the pretty close to the same thing at a store or on, I'm not sure how things would weigh out. I guess it depends on whether you prefer knitting or shopping ;-)

  4. I love lion brand wool-actually have to admit I'm a wool geek, and now that it looks like you have successfully mastered knitting (of scarves of least) you should go check out a specialty wool store on Prince Edward Island, I forget which town it is in, but I think it was Picton-on the same side of the road as their bookstore. They had some pretty funky wools that you won't find at Micheals. There are also a number of yarn outlets on line, these are two of my favorites
    P.s. love the colour of your scarf its quite festive!

  5. Thank you for the tip and the compliment, Janet!

  6. I am wondering if maybe I have stated the proverb wrongly. Is it possible that it is macaronic?

    A stitch intime
    Saves Nein

    In other words: intimate stitches save nothing whatsoever. The truth of that is, I suppose, incontestable (depending on exactly what it means, which is perhaps not entirely clear).

    What do you think?

  7. If you continue to get into more difficult projects, I suggest you go to Wool-tyme (sp?) on Gardiner's Road. The quality of wool for things like babies blankets etc is superior. The staff there is exceptionally helpful. They continued to answer my questions about a crazy afghan pattern I did, even after the fifth trip in for assistance.

  8. As a DIY project, I find knitting saves neither time nor money when compared with buying something at the store. Plus most knitters I know develop serious yarn-buying addictions that can run up quite a tab.

    That being said, I really treasure the few hand-knit items we own, as they are beautiful, and more importantly, made with love.

    p.s. your scarf is lovely.

  9. Cburrell - now I'm totally confused!

    Carolyn - thanks for the tip! I like stores with helpful sales people. I think I've seen that store, but not gone in.

    KvD - Thanks for the compliment on the scarf. Bottom line on this one is you've gotta just like doing it. The knitting is fitting in right now with watching Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister in the evenings. Since they're so well written and low on visual action, the shows work almost as a radio program and I can knit away while still following along.


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