Stitchin’ But Not Bitchin’

It seems as if the fever has broken. I went to sleep early Friday and awoke refreshed on Saturday, with enough energy to walk to Curves and work out. Then I walked through the farmer’s market and bought a load of fresh produce. Because my husband arose early (for him), we had a whole day ahead, and we decided to see the matinee of Serenity (I enjoyed it but he was disappointed), after which I cooked a savory meal. And I talked with my mom, knitted, and read a book somewhere in there. It was the best day I’d had since returning. This afternoon we’re going to drive up to a park east of Oakland for a hike. As I breakfasted, I read an issue of Sunset magazine and contemplated how beautiful the fall is, and what foods I’d like to cook.

Friday evening I got a little bored with the orange yarn. A few months ago I’d bought chunky yarn and size 11 needles, which I later learned were not the best items with which to start learning. I picked these up and decided to try anyway. My husband listened to me as I explained the terms; he watched as I worked, said he found it relaxing. (I’d heard that knitting could be relaxing, but watching someone knit? Apparently so.) The yarn is somewhat harder to work with — there’s a tendency to split the strand. However, I enjoy the visible progress larger needles allow, I like the fact that the variable, bumpy texture hides small errors in stitching, and I am more engaged by the color. I have two skeins, so by the time I’m done it will be a very wide and short scarf. I’ll be fairly proud of that, too, and you can be sure I’ll wear it.

I took time to look at knitting books and online patterns, and I’m a bit daunted. The instructions are given in a hieroglyphic code. For example, from a tea cozy pattern in the one book I own, Basic Knitting, “Work dec rnd as follows: k2togtble, work to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, sl marker, k2togtble…” Then it offers this highly enlightening tip: “An ssk can be substituted for the k2togtble — see page 41.” I think I need a different book — this one clearly assumes knowledge I do not have. Any suggestions on good books with neat projects for beginners?

Time to eat lunch and go take a hike.

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4 Comments on “Stitchin’ But Not Bitchin’”

  1. eden Says:

    None of my books are that complicated. I have Stitch & Bitch, Knit Wit, Weekend Knitting (my latest — love it), and Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I like to get books that have short-term projects b/c I’ve gotten something done sooner. I would check out Knit Wit. It’s spiral-bound and has everything from scarves to sweaters. Most of the patterns are for practical, useful things. I knitted two of the ice cream cozies b/c I loved the first one so much.

    BTW: I linked to my knitting blog instead of my regular blog so you could see some finished projects.

  2. Shirl Says:

    What fun! I haven’t knitted in years, and you almost . . . almost make me want to pick it back up again.

    It sounds like you’re stabilizing a bit now, Kathryn. I’m glad. You’ve had quite a time.

  3. Cindy Says:

    “The Knit Stitch” by Sally Melville is a good starter book, as well as her second book “The Purl Stitch.” Some of the photos are not the best (light colored yarn against a light background), but would recommend her books for starters. “Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book” is a good resource, but maybe not the best book to learn by. I think Sally’s book would be worth a peek.

  4. Fran Says:

    Glad you’re feeling perkier, Kathryn. Beautiful photo of your hike.