Monday, April 13, 2009

New endeavor - Knitting!

One of my most satisfying hobbies is costuming. I love it. I love making clothes that I can't buy anywhere else. Or well, let me rephrase that. I love making clothes that I can't Afford to buy anywhere else. That's actually how I started. I was a poor college student and I had discovered Renaissance Faires. I went to my first faire in regular clothing and that was the Last time I did so. My next faire I purchased my first chemise and bodice. I still had to wear my jeans, but that was ok, it was a start. I broke my bank on those two items and they were the cheap discounted Rentals. It was at that moment that I realized I could make my own clothing for a fraction of the cost. And I knew that it would tickle my grandmother Pink if I picked up the actual sewing bug!

Today I sew anything from medieval to 1940s vintage. Right now it is the start of the Spring Faire Season here in Texas. Scarborough Faire has begun and the season has been delightfully cool in the early parts of the day. I've even been able to wear my latest wool kirtle without melting. And since the first faire of the season always gets the creative juices flowing and I'm Still Broke, I find myself looking for ways to get Really Cool Garb done on the cheap.

My latest obsession??? Socks. Striped ones to be precise. But for now regular colored will do. Actually, on the scale of pricey garb items, socks are on the Low scale, so the fact that I'm obsessed with making my own socks is less about funds and more about the challenge of making my own freaking socks! There's just something extra satisfying about saying you made something that most people let their pocketbooks take for granted. Even more so when those items are perfectly budget friendly. I think it's because when the inevitable question of "why?!?" comes, it just feels Awesome to be able to say, "because I can."

So socks. I guess this means I have to learn to knit. Actually, I've been wanting to learn to knit for a little while now. Everyone I know knows how to crochet. Me being the one who wants to do what everyone else Isn't, I have made it my mission to learn the art of knitting. Me? Bullheaded and honery??? Naaaah!

I began this obsession quest Sunday evening. I scoured the internet for free online tutorials. I snagged several and began my work learning how to Cast On. After at least an hour of attempting not one but four different methods, I quickly decided that I was somehow handicapped towards knitting and I dramatically threw down my needles and shouted. You think I'm kidding? I actually picked them back up at least one or two more times to try again and repeated the throwing and shouting process over again until I was sufficiently defeated and ready to go to bed angry.

Tonight, however, I was saved by a video version of one of the pictorial lessons I tried the night before. The video was provided by Video Jug. It was with this video of oversized yarn and needles that I Finally realized that I was doing the knitting thing Backwards the night before and That's why it didn't work! So after I watched, and re-watched the video several times whilst performing each step, I Finally accomplished the very beginner steps of Casting On.

Then I moved on to the video of the basic knit. Now that I had the Casting On bit down, the actual knitting wasn't that hard to catch on to. Although I'm Dreadfully slow. But I did manage to get Three rows put together! And I was so excited about it that I didn't want to stop! Here's my handiwork:

Cute huh?

I think I'll be alternating practicing this knitting business with handsewing my cotehardie eyelets for the next several weeks. I doubt I'll be doing socks in the immediate future, but I'm pretty sure I'll manage one pair by the time Texas Renaissance Festival rolls around in the Fall. Eventually, I'd like to progress to knitting dainty little silk stockings, but that's Waaaaay off in the horizon. For now, I like my goal of striped socks.


Jay said...

Awesome!! You go!

I'm terrible at teaching myself crafts, so when a group in my area started a crocheting circle, I hopped on that. I'd still rather learn to knit, but I need someone to teach me. Or maybe I'll try to tackle it anyway at some point.

Maggie ~:) said...

Well, I'll tell you what, once I get this down, I'll be happy to teach you. It's something fun we could do on faire days or something.

Try those videos I linked to though. I'm a hands on learner myself, and the difference seeing the oversized tutorials work was Amazing. I finally Got it! I think because I could finally SEE!

Melanie said...

You go girl! I'm qute impressed! I tried learning crochet and I'm just not wired to be successful at that. I'm still thinking of picking up quilting though...thinking of making a small baby blanket for a first try. Wish me luck! :)

AT said...

The first time I tried to teach myself to knit, I ended up throwing my needles too! I started crocheting first, so I'm convinced that means I have a brain block on knitting. Still haven't attempted socks yet, but I've cranked out several washcloths, a couple scarves, and one pair of booties.

Also, the Shabby Sheep has beginner classes, if you're interested - and it's a great little shop for beautiful yarns (and sock yarns)!

Maggie ~:) said...

AT, thank you for the recommendation on the Shabby Sheep! As soon as things quiet down over here I'm definately planning on taking a class. I realized the other night that I'm Still doing it backwards, as I was doing the Knit stitch and yet what was coming out was the purl stitch.