Thursday, December 29, 2011


My Goals

I'm Dana, and I want to be a great knitter some day. I have many interests, and enjoy doing many things, but I am not really that great at any given thing. I am a "jack of all trades, master of none." My idea is to create a blog and podcast where I can set knitting goals, show my progress, my mishaps, get advice from more advanced knitters, and discover and learn new techniques in knitting.

How I learned to knit
For a long time I wanted to knit, and when I moved to the UK, I met women who could whip up a pair of socks in no time. My wish to learn came true whilst traveling with my family in Norway in July 2010. We were staying with friends of my parents, Hans and Erna Selnak, and in the room I was staying in, she had some beautiful fair isle hats and gloves.
I had also seen her knitting, and expressed my desire to learn. She told me that her sweet neighbor, Aslaug (I can't remember her last name) was a great knitter, and would be a better teacher. The only problem was that Aslaug didn't know how to speak English, and I don't speak Norwegian. Erna took me to a nearby store, where I bought asmall set of circular needles, and some (horrible) acrylic yarn--the yarn was very difficult to knit with.
Aslaug came over and showed me how to cast on, and how to knit. I wasn't sure if I was doing it right, but she would say something in Norwegian (which I didn't understand), and once in a while I would hear "Ja, ja," (yes), which meant I was doing something right, although I didn't know what. Erna would translate for me once in a while. I guess I was casting

on a hat, but I didn't know then about making sure the stitches were straight and not twisted, and I struggled to knit that hat (that never came to be). Aslaug wasn't particular about which hand I held the working yarn it, and I naturally felt comfortable holding it in my left hand.

I just have to say, I have rarely met someone more patient than Aslaug. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. I wish I could have understood her. Shehad such an aura of peace, and was very patient with me as I was learning, despite my mistakes.

We left their house a day or so later and drove to Bergen. There were

many wool shops, and I bought a scarf kit. Erna had told me that it probably wasn't a good idea to try knitting with specialty yarns until I was a little more comfortable with knitting, but I couldn't resist how soft the yarn was, and it came with large plastic straight needles (I don'tparticularly like plastic needles, but they are okay to use on planes). I worked for over twoweeks on thatscarf. I still wear it, and it is still soft. In fact, last night my 5-year-old son tried to sneak it in bed with him (he loves soft textures). I remember how difficult it was to get the hang of knitting, but the nice thing about the soft yarn was that it hid mistakes very well.

When I got home, I found this soft pompom yarn, and HAD to try it. I asked the lady at the store how to useit. Well, I took it with me to Normandy the next week, but didn't get to use it until we were driving back from Normandy toCalais (where the Chunnel is--back to England), which is a 4-5 hour drive. It took me almost the entire drive to Calais to cast on the first couple of rows of that scarf. I was determined (and the yarn was expensive, so I didn't want it to go to waste). But perseverance pays off, and I finished that blasted scarf, and then made a baby blanket out of it, which I gave away. I think I'm done with pompom yarn for a while.

I have watched many YouTubs on varitting tutorials, and have learned many things, but now I am ready to step up my knitting, and trymore difficult projects.

My goals are to learn to cast on two socks/gloves at the same time--yes I suffer from "second sock syndrome," which I am happy to report that I have finally cast on two fingerless gloves onto two circulars (after many attempts). We'll see how that ends up. I also want to learn how to lace andcable knit, and I have purchased a few video tutorials to help me. I also want to learn how to color knit. I will let you know of my progress.

So, here is my experience in a nutshell: I am a "wanna be" knitter, and I hope you can help.

Top photo: Me, Aslaug, Erna--Learning how to knit.
Next Photo: My daughter and I in Bergen at the cabin we were staying at. I'm knitting the pink and navy "soft" scarf.

Next three photos: the first successful thing I have ever knitted, my pompom scarf, and the pompom blanket.