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In Which I Knit

Monday, 13 May 2013

I wasn't interested in knitting when my grandma was alive and that's something I really regret because she was truly amazing at it. Bright red nails and furiously clattering knitting needles: that's how I remember her.  I was almost always dressed in something she'd made me. So were my dolls. She even knitted me a Care Bear once. Awesome.

This was obviously before I could talk and say "Oi, family, stop dressing me in pink!"

She hasn't been alive for a long time though (I've been a grand-orphan for well over a decade), so it's my mum that I have to turn to for help now. Knitting isn't her preferred craft (she is shit hot at cross-stitch) but she knows a hell of a lot more than I do and she can usually help me out. The problem is this: I have a huge mental block about casting on. I'm sure there's an easy method out there somewhere but I can't learn it. Things usually go like this:

Me: "Muuuuuuum"

Mum: "Can't you remember how to do it yet?"

Me: "Clearly not" *holds out wool and needles with an imploring look*  "Show me please."

Mum: "You just do this." *whirl of wool* *hands it back* "Easy! Try it yourself now."

Me: "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" (nervous hysterical laughter - I don't actually find it funny) *attempts it* *ends up somehow tying a sheepshank knot around the needle* "Oh for fuck's sake."

Once we've gone through that a few times and I've basically resigned myself to never being able to cast on properly, I plod along quite merrily. I knitted myself a headband in a couple of hours on holiday whilst curled up on the sofa feeling like death and trying to sidetrack myself by watching Pointless. There was the occasional "Your tension is quite tight, isn't it?" "THAT'S BECAUSE I AM TENSE" outburst but other than that, it was all good. I might be shocking at casting on but I can knit, I can purl and I can cast off. That's all that was needed for this pattern which I found on A Stash Addict. And yes, I did google "super easy knitted headband pattern". FYI, "Easy knitted headband" patterns are NOT EASY.

What I'm not so good at is following instructions because either the wool or the needles (or both) was the wrong size and my first attempt was not big enough to fit around my giant noggin. Second time worked much better though. I added on some more stitches and a couple of extra rows and it fits just right.

Yay! I made that.


  1. I'd love to be able to knit. It must be so satisfying making things for yourself. Your head band is lovely! Xo

  2. Awesome! I always knit tight too, which was a pain in the ass when it came to me learning crochet - luckily Mother has way more patience than I do... :)

  3. My grandmother taught me to cross stitch, my mom taught me crochet, ribbon embroidery, and sewing basics. I taught myself to sew clothing and knit. I''m constantly wishing I had started knitting earlier. I had been afraid it would be too hard and tedious. it can be tedious but it's well worth it.

  4. I need to learn how to knit properly,I can barely do it and I get cross at it and give up! Your grandma sounds awesome too, such wonderful memories :)

    Maria xxx

    P.S. You look cute in pink ;)

  5. I love it! I can cast on. I can teach you to cast on. The rest. .. Not so much. But I can cast on.. pop round and I'll show you :-)

  6. Love the headband. My Nan was a super knitter too.

  7. I'm intrigued to see a knitted Care Bear... I once got bought a knitted Teletubby and harshly rejected it from my parents who tried to trick me into believing it was the real thing. Thinking about it now, I should have been a bit more grateful.

    The headband suits you and of course it's green too! xxx

    p.s I spy ladybirds.

  8. So cool that you managed to knit a whole headband!

    When I was a child, my grandmother taught me some knitting basics but I could only ever do a (very ropey) long thin strip of knitting.

    It's on my list of things I want to learn - my mother in law can knit so I'm going to enlist her as a teacher :-) x

  9. Ha - wow that photo of you as a baby is really modern-looking - I thought for a mo that you'd just casually rustled up a BABY'S CARDIGAN. So I'm relieved to see that what you did knit wasn't QUITE that intricate, phew! Not that I'm not impressed though, I can't even purl and you look fab in your green headband - I need something like this for running in the winter (hats are too hot) so will have a look at that pattern :)

  10. Well done, it looks really good!! :)
    I've just put in a request for my Nan to knit me a jumper. I went to hers with a picture I'd snapped in Topshop ans was all "err, can you make me this but longer please?" as everything seems to be croptastic at the moment.
    She hasn't knitted for ages, but seems to be pretty thrilled with the prospect of getting back into it, so I'm totally doing her a favour :D

  11. I love this!! it looks really cute and the colour, naturally, is very you! I'm a basic knitter of squares which I sometimes cobble together into blankets. I'll be one of those old dears in the nursing home knitting dish cloths (shunned by those that could create wonderful lacy cardigans) xx

  12. Looks fab. I thought you'd knitted the baby cardigan!


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