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When I started out knitting, I would only make hats--stocking caps don’t take too long to finish (unlike scarves, which take so long that I start to get bored), they’re simple (you can complete a decent looking hat before you even master purling), and you don’t need to use a pattern.
Even as I got better at knitting--incorporating different stitches, making more than just hats (including a really horrible tank top, a gigantic blanket and an awesome beer koozie)--the dreaded pattern still freaked me out.
Baby Steps in Baby Socks
I can set up WiFi in my apartment, parallel park like a pro, and whip up a decent pie crust, but deciphering knitting pattern codes seemed way out of my reach. Gradually, I dipped my toe in with baby booties--they’re so little that if you have to rip out half the stitches, it doesn’t feel like that big of a defeat.
Upward and Onward!
I’ve come a long way since then, and finished projects using patterns for socks, gloves, and scarves. Most recently I made a hat that’s much fancier than my thousands of stocking caps. I picked up Hattitude: Knits for Every Mood, which has a lot of interesting designs that are challenging enough to keep me thinking, but not so difficult that I want to stab myself with my number 7s.
It wouldn’t be a knitting book without a gimmick, so the patterns are all named after various moods. I made “Haughty” (pictured), but I have observed that the hat does not make the wearer look or act haughty, so maybe I’ll try “Skeptical” next . . .
Knit with Company
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, it’s nice to work on a project while hanging out with other knitters, and usually someone will help you decipher your pattern. Come to one of SMCL’s many knitting events, where you can sit, knit, chat, learn and teach--visit our Events page and do a search for “knit”.
Photo credit: Nicole Pasini, N-to-the-cole
Nicole Pasini has worked on library programs and collections for teens, children, and adults. She likes to sew, write, cook, read and, of course, knit. She learned to knit from her grandma.