I failed at knitting and crochet for 3 years. And when I say I failed, I mean the “BURN THAT PROJECT LIKE IT NEVER OCCURRED” type failed. (Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but I still can’t look at projects from that time frame without seriously questioning my ability to follow directions.)
9 years ago, I had just gone off to college and I wanted to make something nice for the boy I fancied. See, I grew up in a crafting family. We make things for the ones we love. It’s just our way. My mother tried to teach me crochet, but I just couldn’t get it. Even when I made the starting chain correctly, how you turned the fabric didn’t make any sense. My squares looked more like rectangles, my rectangles more like…triangles? No, I guess trapezoid would be a better fit.
All that to say, I thought I might have a better fit with knitting. None of my family knew how to knit, so I took to books and YouTube to find my answers. I saw a cute Lion Brand blanket I wanted to make, made with their Homespun yarn, a soft, warm, beautiful, finger cramp inducing, unable to really find your stitches, or manage to make any sense of what the hell you’re doing, yarn. My mother took me to get the supplies, and I began the attempt at making this blanket. Spoiler alert, it never was finished and despite multiple attempts all fabric made was donated to pets for snuggles.
Despite never finishing the blanket, I had figured out how to knit. I moved on to washcloths with images in them, and hats and fingerless gloves. For 3 years, I was a knitting machine. Even learned how to crochet along the way (only because I had acquired less than savory yarn I wanted to use up quickly, but that’s besides the point).
One day, after I was putting together the knit sweater for the new boy in my life (he became my husband, so no boyfriend sweater curse here!) I realized something didn’t look quite right. First I thought it was the yarn, so I searched revelry for that yarn used in similar projects. Every project I looked at seemed fine. Then I thought maybe I was just sewing the pieces together strangely, so I undid the sleeve I’d just set and repined the pieces together. Finally, as I was looking at the ribbed edging, I realized that every knit stitch was twisted.
I had a panic attack. I scavenged through all the finished projects I had in the apartment. Twisted stitches in every one of them! The projects began spiraling around me, all singing “Twisted stiches” as they danced. For 3 years, I had been twisting my stitches and I had NO CLUE. Of course, my mother at one point said something, but I thought she was crazy. It looked fine, I would say. Now I knew better. I had finally advanced from beginner to intermediate with the sound of a thud.
That sweater sits in the corner of shame, a reminder of how far I’ve come as a crafter. It’s the reason I will always try to teach a new knitter continental (picking) style knitting. Also, why I try to teach on yarn that will make clean and clear fabric. None of that boucle-“but it’s so soft”-bull.