The Owl and The Pussy Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful 'red and white'(!) boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are!What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Edward Lear

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Learning to knit

I'm on a mission to learn how to knit.

If you are an experienced knitter you may find this dull, if you are a beginner like me you may enjoy this journey with me.

If you've read much of my blog and seen my jumper you may think 'what is she talking about..she can knit..'
Two people have recently said to me, 'oh if you can knit and purl you can knit' Well, on a very basic level I would agree, but when faced with this... hmm, that's a bit more complicated isn't it?

k2 tog I can work out, and 'yon' means yarn over needle, but which needle, and in which direction? And what does (s1) slip 1 mean, and what do you 'pass the slip stitch over' (psso)?
Well, I'm pleased to say that with a combination of a Book Of Knitting and some advice from a friend I did this....
Woh...impressive eh?! Well, impressive if you don't look to closely and realise that although the bottom half looks like the picture in the book, the top half looks like a variation on it...which it's not supposed to be, oops. I found it really difficult to follow all those instructions and this is one of the simplest patterns in this book. So anyway, my long term ambition is to understand why "k2tog, yon, k1, yon, sl.1, k1, psso" etcetera makes the pattern it does. Because, once I've understood the principles I can then make things up as I go along, which I'm much better at than following patterns. I realise this is pretty ambitious, so in order to be realistic and learn to walk before I can run I've also had a go at a couple of other patterns
That's lace wings at the top again, and 'ridged eyelet' and 'miniature leaf 2' at the bottom. Ridged eyelet was seriously easy, after having almost mastered lace wings anyway. I also did a couple more test pieces.
This is some bought wool on 4 different needle sizes. I was supposed to put a row of purl stitches in between each needle change, but I only remembered once. What hope is there for me following a whole jumper pattern I wonder?

And then I did two squares with my own wool. The top is 20 stitches and 20 rows on size 4 needles, the bottom is 20 x 20 on size 10, and err, no I don't know what that is in mm, that's just what is written on my new-to-me old needles.

I'm quite impressed by how different the knitting is on different needles in terms of both density and size, I'd never given it much thought before. I just used to think, bigger needles = knitting grows faster = good.
I can see I've go a lot to learn, and I think I'm going to enjoy the journey, even if it is slow and a little frustrating at times.
Many thanks to Ren for lending me the book these patterns came from. It is the 'Vogue dictionary of knitting stitches' by 'Anne Matthews' and it's really inspiring, as long as I don't look at the patterns that are 25+ rows, eek.


  1. Hi, I think you're doing great! Lace isn't easy to begin with. I have had a lot of help by looking things up on youtube, especially items of theknitwitch

    And just keep going. My first project was a pair of socks I still wear as favorites. One is slouchy and the second fits quite nice, with here and there a hole in the pattern. But they still are the best socks ever! Even though I am now capable to make a pair that's the same and without holes ;-)

  2. ahh, thank you for your encouragement I feel all excited now. I knitted mittens ages ago, they too had holes in where I increased or decreased, not sure?, but I was so proud of them. I do have a ball of sock wool that came with a pettern, I'm really looking forward to wearing my own socks one day, I think I'm getting closer.. Nina