Knit, Purl and Hygge

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This week has been dreary… in fact dreary doesn’t even seem to cover it…. With grey skies and constant drizzle I’ve really got that February feeling…. I find myself craving warm weather and sunshine and evenings laid in the garden. I always seem to get much  more done in the summer. I feel like I can get up earlier and go to bed later freeing up more time for learning new skills and juggling more projects.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a real winter soul: cosying up with my dressing gown and candles on, cup of tea and the TV on. This week I’ve tried to embrace the Hygge and forget that summer feels like an age away. Since investing in my ‘Little Book of Hygge’ before christmas, the Danish concept of ‘cosiness’ has really kept me going through the cold months, filling my days with hot chocolates, cosy socks and candle light. Lots of little things come together to make Hygge and one that stood out to me over and over was Hyggesokker: otherwise known as Hygge Socks (I know I’m as surprised as you!), hand knitted woolen socks! Supposedly there is nothing more comforting and cosy than having your own pair of hand knitted woolen socks! But for that… I’d have to knit….

 

 

 




Getting my Hygge on

 

Now I’ve tried knitting before. I used to knit as a child after my nanna taught me but over the years I stopped and eventually picked up crochet instead. Then early last year I decided to pick it up again and bought myself some pretty knitting needles, expensive yarn and a pattern for a shawl to jump start me into learning again. Well I had a go and made a very very tiny (very very holey) scarf in garter stitch before putting it down and not picking it up again. So this is my third attempt! And this time I was determined I was going to get past garter stitch and begin an actual project. Now of course I don’t want to ruin my lovely expensive yarn with my current skills so best to practice with my cheap yarn first.

 

 

 

I decided to start like I did with crochet and make facecloths! I made so many facecloths when learning how to crochet and it really helped get my technique and my tension down. So facecloths it is! I practiced casting on for a while; it’s a lot harder than you might think. Then I did a few rows of knit stitch, everything was going so well, I’m ready to learn how to purl! I used this article as a guide and once I had practiced the general technique I then followed the easy practice pattern at the bottom of the page to produce my first facecloth! What a natural I am!

Late night photos= Bad bad lighting

It’s safe to say I had a few issues with the project: it didn’t even look remotely square, there were at least 2 holes and somehow a weird piece of loose yarn along the bottom border. After trouble shooting in a Facebook group I was advised to block my work. Now I’m rather lazy when it comes to blocking: if I can get away without doing it, I will. I’ve blocked 1 whole project in the entire time I’ve crocheted so it came as a bit of a disappointment when I heard that you quite often need to block your work in knitting.

A little wash and 12 hours later, voila! It’s almost square! I could hardly believe it, it almost looks like I successfully knitted!

Spurred on by this success I decided it was high time to start ribbing, can’t be that hard right? I totally get the concept, I understand what I have to do, easy peasy! And to be honest, for the first few rows everything was just going dandy! Beautiful little rib stitch. But what’s this? The ribbing has moved along a little? And then again? What the fudge?! Confused I counted my stitches: 2 more than I started with, well that explains why but I have no idea how. And that is how far I’ve gotten. I think I’m going to frog it and try again.

A cosy beginning to a knitting adventure with a few mistakes along the way

On a side note I’ve picked up some threads and tiny crochet hooks this week so when I got frustrated with knitting I’ve distracted myself with some frustration with thread instead! But that is a blog post for another day… Here is a little sneak peek at how I got on:

Think I’ll keep practicing….

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Comments

  1. I so wish that we were neighbors and I could help you through a couple of beginner stumbling blocks with this knitting thing…..but here goes a typed version!!! eek….bear with me.

    On the facecloth….you appear to have made a very very common ‘oops’. It looks as if —when changing from a knit to a purl on the WS, you created a yarn over (yarn around needle in the UK I think)—in other words, the yarn that is in the front from when you purl didn’t get swung all the way to the back of the work to get ready for a knit stitch. When you came back on the following row, you treated this YO as a stitch (it DOES look like one….and it’s one way to do an increase!) you knit it…and added the hole and an additional stitch. (Often the hole is used decoratively….you can knit through the back loop of a yarn over, creating the increase without a hole).

    This is just an FYI. I can see the increased stitch, so I don’t think you did this, but it’s good to know…..if you stop knitting before finishing a row, and then you later pick it up and start knitting in the direction you just knit, it will also create similar tiny holes—essentially knitting part of the row twice (also something done ‘on purpose’ occasionally—called short-rowing). It’s one of the few ‘mistakes’ (when not done intentionally!) in knitting that can’t be corrected without pulling the knitting back to the error, but your facecloth will NOT care about this. If you have to stop your knitting mid-row…when you do pick it up again….look to see which stitch has the yarn coming out of it. That stitch will be your last stitch knit…make sure it is on the right hand needle….and continue on. (Best bet would be to try real hard to finish a row, but if you have little kids around or a needy dog—-won’t always happen!!!)

    Now…the ribbing. Since you have two additional stitches and the rib is ‘off’….I’m betting that you did another thing that most beginner knitters do A whole LOT! It’s so much easier to show than to tell….but here goes. You have just completed a row, turned your work, and are ready to start the new row. IF your working yarn is pulled over the top of your needle to get it ready to make a knit stitch…the last stitch is also pulled, and what is a single stitch, is pulled so both ‘legs’ of that stitch are now setting on the needle and look like two stitches. To avoid this….when you get your yarn ‘ready’ to knit—positioned in the back of the work—you pull it around the base of the stitch…from front to back….without going OVER the needle. (yeah…picky picky picky….but it keeps that first stitch from appearing as if it is really two stitches).

    Honestly….I think you’ve done a great job. These are just a couple of ‘learning’ moments. You are well on your way to becoming an accomplished knitter—you are obviously quite an accomplished crocheter already!!!!!

    Sorry about the length of this….and sorry if you have already figured out the blips!!!

    1. Oh wow! Thank you so much for such an extensive and well thought out response! I’ve had a good read and I think I know what you mean, I will pick up needles today and see if I can put it into practice! Thank you so much for your help <3

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