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Knitting - some people make it look so easy!

My grannie used to knit all the time.  She used to make us grandchildren embarrassing home-knitted jerseys, which I did not appreciate at the time, but when I was a little older I actually asked her to knit one for me because the house I was living in while attending uni in Palmerston North was absolutely freezing!  My mum also used to knit occasionally, I do remember that she spent hours knitting mittens for me and a smaller pair for my little brother in preparation for a trip to the snow.  On the first day up the mountain both pairs got saturated and were hung to dry in the drying room at the lodge.  The next day my pair fitted my brother and his pair would have fitted a baby, oops!  At some stage my grannie taught me to knit too.  I can't remember actually finishing a knitting project at the time.

Recently I have been inspired by all the lovely knitting on a few different blogs (here and here and here).  The clothes (and other products!) they are producing don't look "home-made", all chunky and ill-fitting, they are beautiful and stylish.  So I thought maybe I should try to learn to knit and make myself some nice clothes.  I bought some wool from a stall at the farmers market (I think it was stock from a haberdashery that closed down or something, not fresh from the sheep anyway).  I had to search and search among the balls of impostor polyester and nylon to find 4 balls of blue wool, from sheep (some of the impostor "wool" had little cartoon pictures of sheep, which made the process even slower).  And I bought some knitting needles, it came to $10.25, is that too much to pay?  (I have just found new needles online for $10-30! so I think I did ok to get the wool AND needles for that price, tip for beginners- try farmers markets and op shops for your knitting supplies!).  My husband didn't believe that I knew how to knit and thought I was crazy taking so long to find wool.  At that stage, having committed so much money (and reputation), I was really hoping that I did remember.

Well here is my effort.  A headband because my ears always get cold in winter and beanies are never quite long enough (and make my hair messy).  The basic knitting came back to me pretty quickly, my husband was very surprised that I could do it.  Its just knits, I didn't want to confuse the issue with purls (shame, I thought they were pearls until I started reading a knitting website just now).  I want to make beautiful vests and cardigans, but I'm going to have to learn to follow a pattern, and work out what the codes mean.

Does anyone have an easy pattern for me to start with?  What's the next level up from a straight scarf or headband?  I don't want to start something that's too hard for my skill level and get put off completely!  But I need something challenging to keep me interested, and something useful that I'll wear.  I also need some more wool.....any ideas for getting some more nice wool?  Apart from old stock at farmers markets!


  1. Well done on your knitting. You know I have never knit one of those headbands before but yours look awesome. I really should try one. Look in op shops for hand knitted jumpers - they area bit scarce but you can find them. Just pull them apart and reknit them. The price you paid for the needles and the wool was really quite good - like you said op shops are the way to go especially if you really want to stock up on extra needles. Most times I pay just 50 cents a pair sometimes less.

    My next suggestion for a knitting project would be a beanie - even if it's for hubby. You can either knit it on a circular needle or knit it on straight needles and seam it together. Yell if you need a pattern as I'm sure Mum would have something (I like knitting in the round - I find it faster but Mum hates it). After that fingerless mittens then the worlds your

    If you want new yarn try the Bendigo Woollen Mills Brilliant service. It's pure wool and there is an amazing range of colours and plys for you to choose from and you are buying straight from the manufacturer.

    Sorry this turned into a book. I'm so excited that you are knitting. It's such a relaxing and rewarding thing to do.

    PS thank you for the lovely words about those of us who knit - We knit for fun and practicality and it's nice to know that what we are doing also looks stylish....well from my point of view anyway...vbg.

  2. Good on you. I have tried and given up knitting many times - I think it must be a left brain/right brain thing because I find it endlessly frustrating, but my maths minded mother-in-law is amazing at it.

    I love woollen clothes though and am always requesting her to knit things for the girls. She's amazingly fast!

  3. I am with Emma, I have tried and given up any number of times. And I know what you mean about Palmerston North. I grew up in New Plymouth and my parents now live in Feilding. I am currently learning to crochet and I am finding it much easier that knitting. One day when I am not working so much i will do it again... but till then I get my MIL to do it for me and she recently knitted me a pair of wooled socks and they are lovely. You need sock wool and 4 or 5 kneedles so let me know if you want the pattern and i will post it to you

  4. Knitting's one of those great hobbies to pass the winter nights. I'm not very good (I've managed scarves, a headband and a couple of toques) but a friend of mine is amazing. She can whip up a sweater in a few nights!


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