Tag Archives: knitting


Slowly learning to knit

As I’ve said before, my maternal Grandma taught me how to knit in the loosest sense of the word when I was 10 or so. I think it was probably because I was a hyper child and I gave her a headache by jumping around so much, and she wanted me to sit still for one fricken minute already. I now understand, Grandma.

Anyway, she would cast on, and she showed me how to knit and how to increase and decrease. I remember one project where she cast on 2 or so stitches, then I increased each row until it was a nice washcloth size diagonally, then decreased each row to get back to 2. My mom helped me tie that one off. The hard part about this was that she lived 3 hours away, so I couldn’t really get any good advice from her on how to do things. But, I am a good knitter.

Knitter, I said. I couldn’t purl, I couldn’t cast on, and I couldn’t tie off. I think that washcloth was the only thing I made. When we went to visit her, she actually had a knitting machine, where you loaded the yarn and you ran some kind of shuttle back and forth, and you could just whip out the projects. Every time you ran the shuttle across another row was created. Beat the heck out of knitting by hand, but you couldn’t do anything fancy with it. And so ended my childhood introduction to knitting.

Probably 10 or so years ago, I bought some purple yarn and a book called 10-20-30 Minutes to Learn to Knit. At the time, I tried, couldn’t figure the purl part out, and so I quit. The yarn and the book sat in my project basket for a while, and I decided to bust it out this year.

My first project was another washcloth. Hey, something nice and square and something we can use. Sounds good. It turned out…like a first time project. The sides were funky because I didn’t keep the tension right, though. I did 4 rows of knitting, then 4 rows of purling, repeating this over and over again, except I switched that up once and only did 3 rows, so the pattern is off, but for a first project, not awful.

So, the next project was for Boobock. I wanted to jump right in and do something more than a washcloth, so I decided on a hat. The 10-20-30 minutes to Learn to Knit book had a 16″ small hat, which is a bit big for his head, but the baby hat was too small and I didn’t know how to adapt anything, so 16″ hat it is. I only had size 10 needles, so size 10 needles it is. I picked up two skeins of the same yarn at Alco, which is closing, so boo for that, but these were on clearance, so yay for that. The color was Painted Desert, which was one of those ones that changed colors, so I figured if anything messed up, maybe the random pattern would catch your eye instead of the mistake. Good plan, as it turned out.

The pattern called for different colors of yarn to make a stripe, but I didn’t do that. I did use the pattern as if I did change colors, though, and the pattern turned out pretty cool.

16″ (small) hat
adapted from 10-20-30 Minutes to Learn to Knit

Cast on 96 rows
Rows 1-5 K1, P1 across
(change to your second color if applicable)
Row 6 Knit across
Row 7 K1, P1 across
(change to your third color if applicable)
Row 8 Knit across
Row 9 K1, P1 across
(change to your second color if applicable)
Row 10 Knit across
Row 11 K1, P1 across
(change to your original color if applicable)
Row 12 Knit across
Row 13 K1, P1 across

K1, P1 across until 8″ from cast on edge. – this should be extended for bigger head. There isn’t much room to roll the cuffs up as I like to do for extra warmth on the ears.

Row 1 K1, P1, (K3 tog, P1) across to last 2 sts, K1, P1 = 50 sts
Rows 2-6 K1, P1 across
Row 7 K1, K2 tog across to last st, P1 = 26 sts
Row 8 P2 tog across (13 sts)

Cast off

I had some trouble at the beginning adding a stitch on every row, so I would have to decrease each row. This messed up the pattern at the bottom, but I eventually got that straightened out. I left the mistakes at the bottom, cause this is a 3 year old’s hat, and if someone complains, I just don’t want to hear it. The 8″ went fairly well and fast, and then I started doing the decreases. I thought that was going swimmingly, but I dropped a stitch at some point, and I stretched the fabric and it went zipping down a few inches. I don’t really know how to fix that, so I just kind of weaved it up and to the top and called it good. On the back side it looks awful, but from the front you can’t even tell.

This gave me a sort of flat piece of knitting that needed to be sewed together. I looked up how to sew it together using a crochet hook, cause I don’t have a blunt needle to use, and it worked out just fine. It was really like casting off, so that was familiar.

Boobock modeling in front of the Christmas tree. He wanted to do funky things like pull it down on his face or cock it half on one ear and over the top of his head, and I finally got this shot. Silly boy.

More of a side view.

Acceptable for a 2nd project. And something useful. I’m good with this. Now, on to mittens!