In February of '06, I finally gave up resisting and took up knitting. (Resisting? All those friends of mine who would knit whenever we were together and show off their beautiful fibers, making me jealous and my hands feel empty. I didn't have time for another hobby, I said. The computer has already ruined my arm, I said. But, yes, resistance was ultimately futile in face of yarn's siren call.)
I thought about what my first project would be for a long time before I confessed to a knitting friend that I wanted to learn how to knit. I knew that I wanted to make something useful. I wanted something I could knit in small, portable pieces and have something finished (little victories!), but also something that would really be special when I was done. So I decided on a blanket. I had a vision of neutral, natural colors spread across my bed or draped on the back of the couch.
That fateful day 14 months ago, my friend Stephanie took me to The Yarn Gallery and helped me make my first purchase. I weighed my options and my budget and settled on Plymouth Yarn's Encore 25% wool 75% acrylic. I wanted to make a blanket and so I bought 16 skeins of yarn. Yes, sixteen.
This project has been good for me because each square (or set, since I bought four colors) has been a learning experience. I started with plain stockinette:
knit Feb/March 2006
and graduated to basketweave:
"Sea Wall" pattern from 100 Afghan Squares to Knit by Debbie Abrahams, knit spring 2006
and eventually to cables:
"Twine" cables pattern from 100 Afghan Squares to Knit by Debbie Abrahams, knit late spring 2006
Then I got a hold of the Harmony Guide stitch dictionary series and went fancy with the cabling:
cable pattern from Harmony Guide's 450 Knitting Stitches - Volume 2, knit summer 2006
cable pattern from Harmony Guide's 220 Aran Stitches and Patterns, knit summer 2006
Which left me with a nice pile of squares:
Then one of my best friends got pregnant and I eagerly leaped upon the opportunity to knit something else, anything else! Lesson learned: 16 skeins of yarn for a first project, no matter how much the newbie knitter is convinced this is the only project for her/him, is just too much.
The 20 squares have only used about 1/3 of my yarn.