I’m the kind of person who likes to have clear instructions for everything I do and I’m usually not too happy when I have to improvise something. Most clearly this comes out in knitting and cooking. I despize a recipe that tells you to “bake it in the oven until it’s done” as much as I appreciate a pattern that takes that extra effort to explain a technique you might not be familiar with. Which makes it all the more surprizing that my first ever knitting project was done almost completely out of my head.
As is usually recommended, I started with a scarf. And I completely extend that recommendation to all aspiring knitters. I often hear “oh but that’s so boring, I want to make something more interesting”, and then a few weeks later “oh the project was a complete failure, it was too complicated for me”. My answer is: knitting is a skill. The ABCs of that skill are knit and purl. No better way to practice a skill than a simple exercise of repeating it over and over again. Thus: make a scarf.
In the spirit of ABC, I embelished my first with letters. The book I was learning from had patterns for all leters of the alphabet, and the “complication” was minimal.
As you can tell, there were many things I didn’t know then. E.g. that stockinette curls at the edges. Or how to join a new ball of yarn (the scarf is full of little knots – it seemed like the only possibility – my grandma was apalled when she saw it :). But by the time I finished it, I had gotten two things damn right: knit and purl.
People often ask me if the letters make up a word. They don’t. I simply chose those I found interesting visually.
I think I worked on this for about six months. I hadn’t been infected with the knitting bug completely yet, and it was also an extremely busy period in my life. But I still remember that every time I sat back in my bed and picked up the needles, my mind would clear, I could feel my muscles relax and my breathing calm down. This was a very stressful period of my life, which helped me appreciate the relaxation and comfort knitting can provide.
The thing is huuuuge, and I don’t wear it too much (it’s incredibly warm, even in the strong continental European winter), but I could never make myself rip it. It was my first. I love it.
What was your first?