Knitting for the Undomestic Moron

I’m tempted to say un-knitting is more difficult than knitting… But I suppose if I had knitted correctly in the first place, un-knitting wouldn’t be necessary.

When my BF Emma told me she was pregnant,  I announced that I was going to knit the baby a blanket.  Did I know how to knit?  No.  But how hard could it be?  The baby, Charley Joyce came a month early.  My theory is that she was trying to teach me a lesson in procrastination.  Because no, I hadn’t started knitting the blanket yet.  I thought I had a whole extra month until her arrival.

So yesterday, I walked over to Patricia’s Yarns in Hoboken.  It’s an adorable tiny little store that sells yarn, needles and books on knitting, and Patricia, the owner, teaches knitting classes.  I DID try to sign up for a class with a couple of girlfriends back in December, but the group classes were booked until February, and of course that was too late to begin. 

So I’m greeted by two super friendly men, one who asked if I was looking for anything in particular.  I told him I had no idea what I was looking for.  I needed enough supplies to make a baby blanket.  He directed me to a large yarn (large yarn, is that even how to describe it?) and told me it was super soft, and easy to work with and would be perfect for a beginner making a baby blanket.  He then asked me which kind of needles I wanted, giving me two options.  I said I didn’t care and just give me whichever ones were the cheapest.  The men told me I probably should get a lesson, because “casting on” is quite difficult, and it’s easier to have someone with you to correct you when you first start knitting.  I told them I may take a lesson, but I was going to try YouTube first. 

Court:  “Ya know, I appreciate your advice on getting a lesson, but really, I just want to go home today and knit.  I’m gonna try to cast-off all on my own.  If I can’t figure it out, I’ll be back.”

Man: “You mean cast-ON.”

Court:  “Oh. Yes, cast-on.  Then at the end I’m sure I’ll cast-off.”

Man:  “Yes, sure…. Good luck!”

So I’m off.  My 60 bux worth of yarn in hand (who the hell knew YARN cost so much).  Straight to my couch, laptop on the coffee table, I begin my YouTube lessons on “Casting-On.”  Some lovely British woman with a bad lighting crew kindly guided me through casting-on, and I began my journey.

I had dinner plans with Tyler, but clearly needed to at least make a dent in my project before beginning my homemade manicotti. (I mean really, what’s gotten into me?  Knitting and homemade manicotti in the same day?… Must be a last-year-in-my-twenties-crisis).  He comes in, sees me sitting in front of the British woman on my laptop, yarn and needles in hand and laughs.  Okay, I guess that’s an appropriate reaction.  He sits next to me on the couch and starts playing Wii MarioKart.  The British lady keeps repeating herself about “floppy loops,” and he exclaims “Why does she keep saying FLOPPY LOOPS?”  I didn’t know.  But I did have to replay the segment several times in order to get my first row right.  Our conversation continues as follows:

Ty:  “Yes! First place.  Look, I just unlocked this duck car.  Now you can use this duck car.  Are you looking?”

Court:  “Mmhmmm….”

Ty:  “Look at this level I just unlocked.  Now you can go to all these different courses.”

Court:  “Does it look like a blanket yet???”

Ty:  “Why don’t you get a lesson?”

Court:  “Because its 50 bucks.  And look, YouTube lady taught me how to do it all on my own.”

Ty: “Is it worth it?”

Court:  “Is what worth it?  Don’t you think it will probably look like a blanket?”

Ty:  “It doesn’t matter what it looks like.  If you’re making it, and you say it’s a blanket, then it’s a blanket.”

I knew I loved him.  Blanket making continues, with Mario zooming around in the background.  Eventually I got to the manicotti.  A bit off topic, but ummm it was delicious thankyouverymuch.

Midnight comes around, and I’m on my fourth row.  Yeah it took me like 4 hours to get to this point.  I finish the fourth row and realize there is one string connecting my blanket into a CIRCLE.  [enter curse words here.]  Bedtime.

Off to work this morning, needles, yarn and “blanket” in hand, I’m on a mission to figure out this connecting string.  I call in the expert, Kim, my ex co-worker to meet me at lunch.  We meet at Staples in the notebook aisle.  I don’t know why I always feel like we are in a notebook aisle together… last time we were fighting over the last pink and brown paisley planner.  I won.  We sit on the floor and get to work.

Kim:  “Who told you to get this kind of yarn??  What is this, ANGORA?  And the circle needles?? This is for making a HAT.”

Court:  “Yes, its Angora!… the men at the knitting place.  I told them I was making a baby blanket and that’s what they gave me!”

Kim:  “Have they ever knit before?!?”

Court:  “I DON’T KNOW.  Please help me!!”

Kim made me take the whole thing apart.  The WHOLE DAMN THING.  In aisle 7 of Staples.  She helped me cast-on again, and watched me complete my first row.  She said it was fine and sent me on my merry way.  Flash forward, row two ended in the DAMN STRING CONNECTING IT INTO A CIRCLE AGAIN.  Un-knitting the entire thing took longer than knitting it, my lap looked like I had an Angora long-haired cat living on it for a week, and I created such a knot I had to CUT my $16 ball of yarn.

So here I sit, yet again.  PROCRASTINATING…. delaying the inevitable, another cast-on.  I think this Angora crap will make a nice scarf.  Kim sent me a website and a few suggestions on materials I SHOULD use on a baby blanket.  Charley, maybe you’ll have this in time for your first birthday…. MAYBE. 

Signing off…to cast-on. Wish me luck.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sasha
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 21:20:17

    I can totally relate! I found the sticks overwhelming so I started with a knitting loom which is 150% easier – good luck with your baby blanket and remember to breathe!

    Reply

  2. Iz
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 22:54:28

    The guy probably suggested angora for its softness. Not sure why else he’d suggest it as it’s not easiest to wash. A really soft acrylic/acrylic blend will be better (and machine washable) I think. As for the yarn that’s connecting your blanket into a circle, when you turn your work to knit the first stitch of the new row, you are working into the last stitch you made. Best of luck! Also, ravelry.com is a wonderful site full of patterns (I don’t know if you’re working from one or just winging it) that range in difficulty. There are also a ton of other knitters waiting to help 🙂 Happy knitting!

    Reply

  3. Iz
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 22:57:23

    oops… “…when you turn your work to knit the first stitch of the new row, you *SHOULD BE* working into the last stitch you made.” Sorry about that!

    Reply

  4. Emma
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 16:21:51

    I love you Auntie Courtney
    love Charley xoxoxo

    Reply

  5. Patricia Scribner
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 13:12:39

    Courtney, 

    I laughed out loud when I read this post.  I hope you haven’t given up on knitting!  Please return to the shop and let me help you out.  

    The alpaca yarn (it is not angora) will make either a super warm and soft blanket or a gorgeous scarf.  Your circular needles will be great for both projects as well.

    I hope to see you soon.  No more knitting a Staples!

    Sincerely,

    Patricia
    Owner, Patricia’s Yarns
    Hoboken, NJ

    Reply

  6. Patricia
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 13:21:06

    Courtney, 

    I laughed out loud when I read this post.  I hope you haven’t given up on knitting!  Please return to the shop and let me help you out.  

    The alpaca yarn (it is not angora) will make either a super warm and soft blanket or a gorgeous scarf.  Your circular needles will be great for both projects as well.

    I hope to see you soon.  No more knitting a Staples!

    Sincerely,

    Patricia
    Owner, Patricia’s Yarns

    Reply

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