And as evidence, I offer this, posted by none other than Grumperina, whose website is a showcase of breath-taking knitting. Of course, her reason for not knitting sweaters is due to the fact she's probably knitted something like 6 kazillion sweaters in her knitting lifetime and is just over it. My reason is because I am still only able to knit in 2 dimensions, and not very well at that. I have no business trying to knit sweaters. But I like the button and the rationale. And she invited me to take it, so here we are.
Reading her post boosted my knitting self-esteem a few notches, as it helped me remember that I, too am a process knitter. One reason (besides fear) that I move so slowly up the knitting techniques ladder is because I have been enjoying the journey and I am not usually in a rush to get to a new technique until I feel like I will enjoy the process.
I don't have a picture of the very first thing I ever knitted; it went to frog heaven a while back. The "yarn" was a ribbon/tape variegated number that caught my eye one day when I was at Michael's. I bought 2 balls of the stuff, some big plastic needles and a cheap little pamplet-type book that taught the basics of knitting and I was off. It took me several attempts to cast-on using the long-tail method, and then the expected struggles with making a proper garter stitch instead of twisting some of the stitches by going through the back, and of course, being utterly mystified about why I sometimes had more stitches than I started with, and then would come up short. It was an ugly mess. So I ripped it all out.
A few weeks later, Mr. C and I were driving to visit my family - a 12-14 hour road trip. I needed a project, and packed the ribbon yarn and needles. But this time I did something smart. I went to Barnes & Noble, searched through a bunch of knitting books and found "Knitting School". I could understand the pictures and explanations and so I bought it and read the whole book in the first few hours of the trip. And this time, when I picked up the needles, I knew what to do and why I was doing it. I still had a few dropped stitches here and there, and my tension was inconsistent, but I. was. knitting! I knew I was hooked when, during the trip, my then 7-year old niece, who couldn't stop petting it, said "Oh, that scarf is so beautiful! One day, when I'm bigger, will you make me one, too?"
Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn about 2/3 through the scarf and couldn't find anymore. So I laid it aside, bought lots of brightly-colored fluffy acrylic stuff at the local craft superstores and knitted up a bunch of scarves. The first ones were in garter stitch, of course.
Then I stumbled upon the Land of Knitting on the 'net and experienced a taste of what heaven will be like! Free patterns, discussions about yarn and needles, and blogs! My next few scarves involved variations of garter and double and triple YO's. I liked these because they looked more textured and went really fast.
One fateful day, I stumbled upon this and decided I must make one immediately. But first, I had to find these wonderful, feltable wools that kitty pi knitters were using. So I went yarn-crawling at real, live knitting shops in the area and that's when I stopped being hooked and became addicted to wool and bamboo needles. I knitted that thing up so fast, I'm surprised the needles didn't catch fire. And the results were so very satisfying:
Since then, I have knit many more simple scarves, including these:
I've added simple hats and dishcloths to my repetoire:
Yet sometimes I feel like a knitting slacker because I am not more advanced after more than a year and a half of knitting everyday, especially when I visit your blogs and see the beautiful things you are all making.
But I just need to remember that I am a process knitter. I knit for the sensory experience, the meditative experience and the experience of making something for others to use and enjoy. And to practice my cussing. I have learned that I do my best when I am focusing on only trying one or two new things - be it a new yarn, new type of needles, new technique or new pattern - at a time, and then repeating the experience until I feel satisfied that I have mastered it and then I can move up the knitting ladder.
As far as the first scarf goes, it got set aside and eventually frogged. Someone bought the frogged "yarn " at a garage sale. But I'll never forget that first scarf, because it was part of my process.
I'd love to read about your first knitting project and whether you are a process or product knitter, so leave a comment.
"I am a process napper. Now go away."