This week marks the end of my first year of knitting. Last October, I walked into a corner store, found the biggest knitting needles I could find for $1, went home, looked up some Youtube videos, and started knitting. And a crazy love affair was born.
I had been crocheting for ages before then. If you spend any amount of time around strict crocheters, you begin to discover a seedy underside of crochet. One that seems to hold a strange grudge against knitters because it can be perceived by crocheters that knitters think the craft of knitting is better than crochet. I have to say, I experienced it a bit myself at a LYS. I asked for some help deciding on a crochet needle size to try making socks and I got an uninformed shrug off that sent a “why would you bother crocheting when you could knit” vibe. So I stubbornly had decided I would not knit and give into the snootiness. Crochet for life. 
But I was also reaching a place in my crochet where I wanted to make sweaters and socks. Crochet has its benefits – fast, easily formed into different shapes – but it is not always great for creating comfortable, well fitting garments because it is bulky, sometimes holy, and uses a lot of yarn. If I wanted to achieve these goals and reach a new level in my craft, I resigned myself that I would need to learn how to knit. So I did. So I gave up my grudge and started knitting my very first swatch (after a lot of fiddling about and discovering continental style knitting, which suits my crochet-habits much more than English style. I had a bit of a fight with English style knitting that may have ended my whole knitting career right then and there.)
But, man, do I love it! I have become so swept up and inspired by knitting. This year has been a little frustrating and stressful at work, so I have really thrown myself into my newfound passion. Here’s a look back at this crazy, knitting-filled year.

First knitting project: My very first project was a simple hat, knit flat and then sewn into a circle. Definitely nothing special, but it taught me ribbing, how to join in new colors, how to decrease, and how to count rows (which I apparently didn’t do a good job of because one of the stripes is the wrong thickness, whoops!).

Last completed project: The last full project I’ve completed is my Peabody sweater (which hasn’t been nicely photographed yet, so forgive me). I think this is an excellent project to end my first year on because it highlights just how far I’ve come in this year as it includes lace (lace knitting was a big, hair-pull-inducing hurdle for me to jump over at the beginning and I have the discarded lace projects lying around to prove it), seaming, shaping, ribbing, knitting in the round – lots of techniques I’ve had to learn and master to make polished, finished garments.

Favorite  project: Tie between my Totoro sweater and my Pluie cardigan. These are two pieces of color work that I’m really proud of. My Totoro sweater makes the list because this is basically the third project I ever knit and it involved stranded knitting and modifying a pattern. It was a bit ambitious, but I was just super motivated to complete the project. And it is still one of my favorite garments even if I catch myself noticing mistakes and wishing I’d attempted this with a bit more experience under my belt. Pluie makes the list because I just really am so proud of it. Intarsia is hard! Getting it to work so that it looks smooth and polished is hard! And Pluie represents me tackling this technique, along with seaming, for the very first time and succeeding. Plus, it just puts a smile on people’s faces.

This next year of knitting I am looking forward to continue expanding my experiences – learning new techniques and expanding on those I have picked up already. I want to get more lace knitting under my belt because I find knitted lace just spectacular, but my early experience may have scarred me so I have mostly stayed away for heavily lace projects. I also want to transform my sock drawer to one full of hand knit socks through the monthly sock challenge. There’s no end to my knitting inspiration for this upcoming year!

What are you inspired by in your knitting right now? Do you have any knitting goals you want to accomplish?

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18 Comments on A year of knitting

  1. Bravo on your first year of knitting! You’ve succeeded at more things that I haven’t even been bold enough to cast on after 5 years of knitting. I have on my Christmas wish list 10 skeins of a single color so that I can attempt making a buttonless cardigan I have had in my queue for over a year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Impressive! I’ve only been knitting about 6 months or so longer than you (after learning how to make a scarf from my mother has a child) I also just decided to go for it but you were a lot braver than me. I started last year with making blankets, big ones and little baby blankets and then I discovered ravelry and sweater patterns and knitting blogs and now I’m so inspired to learn so many new things. From reading your blog for the last few months and seeing your project I would have thought you’d been knitting for years!!

    • I think having crocheted for years, I felt a lot more comfortable trying out different things with knitting. I have never made a blanket, though, so you have me beat there. The ones you choose to make are so beautiful, too!

  3. I just cannot believe that you’ve just been knitting one year and already made such amazing projects! You’re a very fast learner indeed. I think my first year of knitting is completely filled with boring scarfs, some flat knit hats and maybe a stuffed animal or two. I didn’t even dare dream of things like colourwork (or intarsia!) or an entire sweater. So bravo, you did an amazing job!

  4. I learned how to knit in the ninth grade. I made scarves until my junior year of college. Then I got bored and decided to branch out. I was way to scared to make anything but scarves.
    You are an inspiration. My knitting still does not look half as good as yours and I’ve been knitting much longer. (I thought I admired your projects before… Now I know you’ve been at it for only a year… Wow!)

    • Christine, your projects are great, too! Everyone moves at their own pace. Plus, having crocheted for so long, I had a lot of confidence working with yarn and trying out new things. There were lots of not so successful attempts along the way, too.

  5. !!! I hadn’t realized you had only been knitting for one year. Your projects are always beautiful and I love that you are so willing to dive into new techniques and challenges. I know I definitely would not have had the guts to knit sweaters and intarsia in my first year of knitting. Admire you so much, and happy knitiversary!

  6. WOW! I would have never guessed you had only one year of knitting experience under your belt! Very impressive. My goals mostly center around reducing stash at the moment… it becomes all too easy to succumb to the siren call of beautiful yarns the longer you knit! ;-D

  7. one year? you are crazier than I am……intarsia? fair isle? nutso!!! (I owned a yarn shop, and in the 5 years i had it….i had maybe two beginner knitters who went wild with it and NO ONE who tackled all you have in that first year!) and then, there are the ‘seasoned’ knitters who are STILL calling me to help them turn a heel!!!!!!!!!!! (I sold the shop 8 years ago!)

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