I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this here before, but I love wool. I really think it’s the best fiber on the planet. And the best sheep, of course, are the merino sheep. There wool is so soft, and so warm when it needs to be and so not warm when it’s hot out, and it resists odor amazingly well. I wear wool every day in the winter, and most of that wool is merino. Merino long underwear, merino knee high socks, wool sweaters layered over wool t-shirts, and wool pants to work (er, well, I did when I was working, anyway). Most of my coats and hats are wool too.
So it occurred to me a about a month ago that it was silly that I didn’t know how to knit. Shouldn’t a wool junkie know how to make the good stuff into sweaters, scarves and socks? What if the second great depression hit and it was up to me to clothe the family? How would I keep us warm though the long, cold nights?
Well, okay, we’re a long way away from that (I hope!) but it still seems like knitting is something I ought to know how to do, and it could be a fun task to keep me busy through the long, cold nights of the Minnesota winter. So, following the advice of the always-helpful women of the TE forums, I bought a book, Stitch and Bitch, and then hit up my local yarn store. The wonderful woman that helped me at the LYS recommended that I go with a light-colored yarn so that I could see my stitches better, and she recommend wool (of course) as the best fiber to learn to knit with. So I picked out a yummy pink yarn from Debbie Bliss and some bamboo knitting needles and was on my way.
I followed the book to learn to cast on stitches, and then learned to knit and purl in the continental style of knitting. I picked the continental style as I’m left-handed, and in this style the left hand holds the yarn. One I got the stitching down I got started on my first project, a pretty pink scarf.
The scarf pattern that I’m using came from my mom. You cast on however many stitches you want as long as they are a multiple of four, and then you add one more. Then you knit two, then purl two throughout the row. When you get to the end you knit one and then start the next row. It makes a more wavy pattern than regular ribbing. I have a scarf in this pattern that my mom made for me, and I love the look and feel of it, so it was an easy pick. It’s a bit challenging for a first project because you’re knitting and purling, and also because you’re not always knitting the knits and purling the purls, but I think (hope) I can pull it off. So far so good. I’m a knitter!