Is it bad that I’ve been knitting forever, but I’m not sure I’m getting any better?
I love to knit. But I am mostly self-taught, with a little help from my friend Tricia in college, and a lot of help from books and (lately) grainy internet videos. (With no sound. I don’t have speakers on this dinosaur.) Problem is, there’s only so much you can learn from a book. Sometimes, you just need someone to show you how to do it.
I need a knitting mentor! Anyone want the job? I can pay you in cookies (or bread or home-cooked meals or farm fresh eggs) and gratitude. Must be chatty (or a good listener; I’m chatty enough for the both of us) and live near by!
I need to learn how to do the following:
- Seaming. I hate seaming, I’m terrible at it, and no amount of video-watching is helping. I will post pictures of Asher’s sweater as proof; there are only two seams, under each arm, and they look TERRIBLE. Just wait. At least I’m in good company; the venerable Elizabeth Zimmerman also hated seaming, though I’m certain she was much better at it than me.
- Weaving in Ends. Or learning ways to hide ends, without having to weave them. Asher’s sweater is striped, and my heavens, THE ENDS. I’ve tried weaving, I’ve tried hiding, I’ve tried felting, I’ve even tried knotting (in desperation). No years of experience will improve my dealings with ends, I am convinced.
- Purling. Another similarity between EZ and I. (Don’t think I’m comparing myself to her; I’m not. She’s, like, ten classes above me. It’s just that I find comfort in disliking the same things as she.) And okay, I do know how to purl. Come on. But while my continental/German knitting is getting quite good, I’m terrible at purling continental. And rib knit? Forget about it. My gauge is so loose when I rib that I have to go two needles sizes down just to come close to what my gauge will be when I switch to stockinette (say, for a hat). Things like seed stitch are like torture.
- Cables. I’ve never tried. Scared.
- Intarsia. Also never tried. More scared.
- Knitting on DPNs. Circular knitting? Check. Using double pointed needles? Fail. I’m terrible at it. It takes me twice as long to finish a hat on DPNs as it does to do the first 2/3 of it on a circ. I’m that slow. I feel like an awkward teenager; I just can’t figure out how to hold the needles so they work right.
Okay, so after reading the above, you will conclude that I’m only good for knitting large seamless tubes (trash can cozy, anyone?), or perhaps making garter stitch washcloths. And you’d probably be right.
In all truth, I’m not that bad of a knitter. I’ve taught quite a few folks to knit, successfully, which means I must know something. But those items in bold up there? They’re holding me back. I need someone like EZ to be my grandma or aunt and teach me all the things I just can’t do well. My LYS (local yarn shop) will only help you if you pay them hourly; I’m not even kidding. I went in, once, when Maya was a baby, to ask for help on a pattern. They turned me down and handed me a flyer with their class and personal tutoring rates. (Guess how much business they’ve gotten from me? Seriously, how alienating can they be?)
I’m thinking of hitting up the local senior center.