My First Knits - Why I Might Have a Short Knitting Attention SpanSaturday, September 13, 2008
As Gabes has so thoughtfully shared her first knits, I thought I should share mine. My first knits for my Barbie. My Gran patiently talked me through them. There was a book at our local library that I might as well have had on permanent loan from ages 8 to 11. I would pore over it for hours each time I got it out. I found it again at a different library and just had to get it out.
The book features the rather diplomatic terms "Teenage Dolls" and “11 1'2” fashion dolls” so I guess you could dress a Sindy too. The knits were largely in 4 ply with size 12 needles. By the time I had finished with it I think I had lost every pair of size 12s my Gran had and was beginning on the 11s.
The first attempt at the Bermuda shorts in homespun were interesting. My counting was a little off and the ribbing very rarely lined up.
Then it was onto the sleeveless vest. I had that pattern memorized and even on occasion made sleeves for it. I desperately wanted to be as well dressed as that Barbie in the picture. I would knit on the bus on the way home from school and could usually get a sweater finished in a day.
My inner geek had watched Mum planning out quilts in a maths book. I wanted one too. Soon my Barbie had carefully planned monogrammed sweaters and even an argyle one. I even went so far as to name each pattern with a pithy pun like in real pattern books. “Diamonds Forever” anyone?
There was one sweater that always took my eye and I figured that one day I would be good enough to try it. I could do fairisle, but the mere thought of 100 stitches had me scared, considering the jerseys only had 20 stitches. When I finally had a big enough stash, or at least enough colours, to give it a try it was the neck that had me confused. Gran kindly pointed out that something for a doll didn't need to be this difficult and suggested I give it a rest. That jersey has rested ever since.
I have never really been one for finishing the larger knitting projects. Baby cardigans are fine, but I still have the remainder of my attempt to knit myself a jersey. About 10 years ago homespun was very cool and I attempted a guernsey. I finished the back and two sleeves during coffee breaks working one summer. A year later Mum saw that I hadn't made any more progress and had someone finish it for me. This was a lovely thought but would have been even more lovely if the knitted realised that I had knitted the back. The jersey with two backs sounds almost Shakespearean in hindsight.
My knitting attention span still hasn't improved since those days, but I still love that book to bits.