View Full Version : Feeling like a knitting flunky
01-15-2008, 09:56 PM
:aww: I feel so awful about my knitting abilities. So many people take up knitting and are instantly knitting up all sorts of neat things. I learned a year ago and am still on one piece rectangular items. I know it has alot to do with the fact that I cannot knit regularly. With my job taking up 12 hours a day and my toddler and autistic son taking up the rest, I've gone MONTHS without knitting a single stitch. :hair: Most times, I get 1 night a month to knit (about 2 hours). I want so badly to be a good knitter and to knit some great projects. :wall:
I guess the straw that broke the camel's back was when I realized last night at knitting group that I wasn't paying attention and messed several stitches in an easy stitch pattern k9,p9 over 6 (count 'em, 6) rows! I'm going to have to frog those rows :frog: The worse part about that is I don't know if I'll be able to get all of my stitches back on my needles. When I frog, I have a hard time knowing when to stop the last stitch before it unravels the first stitch of the next row. (Did that make sense to any but me?)
Now I'm on Ravelry and I feel like I have nothing to offer. :notworthy:
Will it get any better? I really DO love knitting.
01-15-2008, 10:01 PM
We all knit at our own pace as time allows. This winter is the most knitting I have done. There have been years where I didn't have time or ambition to knit at all. I had one sweater that took 3 winters to finish. As I get older I find that there is less work around the farm and I spend more time indoors. I'm sure as your life slows over time that knitting can be a more prominent part of your life as you have leisure time.
Sometimes I feel like a completel dolt when it comes to knitting. Granted I have more time than you (I work 8 hours a day, no kids, though I pray that I will have one soon!), but we all learn at our own pace. That pace is dictated for the most part by the demands placed on us-your children, your job.....You'll get there!!!
Lemme see if I can find that link that shows how to unknit.....
Try this one..
And this one, too!
There are some others listed and you can find some pretty good knitting videos on YouTube.
01-15-2008, 10:20 PM
All right, girl. If you feel like a flunky, I'm a complete looser. *How* many times did you see me frog last night? And guess what? I did it again when I got home. :frog: Don't worry. We'll get it sooner or later. :grphug:
01-15-2008, 10:27 PM
N2K - You're doing so awesome! I'm sure your clogs will be gorgeous. At least you frogged on a project that wasn't a simple rectangle. I won't give up. I just knit to knit more ;P
Jan in CA
01-15-2008, 10:30 PM
KPG... we all learn at our own rate and many of us can knit a lot more than you can so it's easier. I think you can probably handle some more difficult patterns now if you really wanted to, too. :hug:
01-15-2008, 10:56 PM
Sweetie, you have a LOT on your plate. Being a mom to "normal" kids is a full time job in and of itself. On top of that,you're working 12 hours a day, and have a toddler and an autistic child. I'm amazed that you have time to breathe, much less knit!
As a mom of 9 kids, I look at some of the younger moms on this board and wonder how in the world they are ever knitting anything with little ones around. My youngest is 5 and this is last year has been the first time in 20 years that I've felt I had time to do anything "crafty" at all.
So, just work on what you can when you can, and consider it a blessing that you are able to knit at all. Your little ones will be grown before you know it! My sweet tiny little firstborn is now a 21yo college junior!! Don't compare yourself to others, because their lives aren't like your life. Don't worry about how fast you progress.The time will come when you can knit all you want! But that will be years down the road, most likely. For now, just knit when you can and enjoy it as you are able.
01-15-2008, 11:14 PM
Oh gosh, don't feel bad about knitting. It's really just practice and when you have so much going on in your life it's hard to get that practice in. Don't worry about it! Just relax and knit at your own pace. We've ALL been there where we mess up an easy pattern have to frog it, it's frustrating, but it's normal. Knitting is for people of all skill levels and everyone progresses at their own level. Don't compare yourself to other people- there's no point. I know I do stupid knitting things all the time- from mistakes to answering questions wrong on here! (yes...that was tonight- oops!) Just keep your chin up and keep on knitting!
01-15-2008, 11:36 PM
If I can do it, so can you Hon. You have so very many challenges already. If you are only getting two hours a month to knit, that is what the problem is right there. I know you can't manage anymore hours at this point, but DON'T give up on your knitting if for no other reason than that it is something you are doing for YOU! It is something you enjoy, something you want to do, something that gives you drive to learn and succeed and create!
I truly believe you are a much better person than I am. You run after a toddler, you take care of an autistic child, you clean and cook and do all the things a Mom does, you work 12 hours a day and you still find time to knit? You are one AMAZING woman! You can do this, do NOT give up on your knitting!
You are determined, you can do this! Try a scarf next time. It does not matter how long it takes you to complete a project so long as you enjoy the journey. Dont give up on your knitting!
Practice, learn, relax and enjoy! AND keep up the good work! :hug:
01-15-2008, 11:39 PM
Now that you know how to knit and have a love of it, the rest will come. You have a very full plate right now. Cut yourself some slack.
Your time will come, grasshopper!
01-15-2008, 11:41 PM
OH and by the way, take a piece of dental floss, double the length of the piece of knitting you are working on. Thread a daring needle with the dental floss and then thread it through the row before the row that you made the first mistakes on (this is called a lifeline). Then take the knitting off the needles and frog back to where the dental floss is. The floss will stop the knitting from unravelling any further and make it easier for you to get the stitches back onto the needle.
Good luck Hon!!
01-15-2008, 11:43 PM
Hey now, chin up pretty lady...
I first picked up needles last year at this time - and it took me a YEAR, yes I said a YEAR (although to my slight credit it was an on and off thing) to understand how to purl a stitch. Sigh. Imagine my shock and surprise when I FINALLY got it!!! :woohoo: <--- understatement!
You've got a busy life - raising kids is HARD work in the best of times (I know, I've got two challenging step-kids in the teen years and one has ADD/ADHD) plus the rest of your life. It's okay to feel overwhelmed and like you are somehow 'behind' everyone else...you aren't, trust me.
The fun thing about knitting is it is ALWAYS there for you when you do have a little bit of time to work on it. It doesn't go anywhere or demand a thing from you (well, except attention to detail now and then) and it should be a relaxing thing. If it's not, try an easier pattern! :)
There is nothing wrong with sticking to smaller types of easier projects either...you could knit scarves and donate them or baby hats and/or booties, etc. Whatever your fancy is...maybe start a 'dream' project to pull out now and then and then have a smaller, more instant gratification one that can be done more rapidly?
I don't confess to knowing a whole lot about knitting yet, but I have learned that it is a wonderful craft to feel connected to others (especially women) and you are NOT alone in feeling the way you do - you are loved.
Hugs to you! :hug: :hug: :hug:
01-16-2008, 12:00 AM
Don't you worry. I'm amazed you even have a moment to pee never mind time to knit. I think your amazing!! :muah: :muah: it will come to you when it comes to you.
And if you want more time to knit without feeling guilty just get a sitter WHILE you are at home. I used to babysit for this woman who made beautiful jewelry as a hobby, she was upstairs, i was downstairs with the kids. it worked out great. I got some great earrings from her that i still wear 15 years later.
01-16-2008, 05:03 AM
You're not alone, I agree with others who think it's amazing that you have any time to knit at all. If all you ever knit is small rectangular projects you're way ahead of most of the population who will never even pick up needles to be able to do that. It took me six years to jump into anything that wasn't small and rectangular, but eventually I did. I bet you could find a pattern you love and be able to do it, whether it be simple mittens or an afghan or a sweater. It might take you time if you only can work a little at a time, but eventually it will happen. I work in little increments and it takes months to finish a project, but eventually it happens, and when it does I'm happy. Good luck with your knitting, and keep it up since you enjoy it.
01-16-2008, 06:10 AM
I am in my 50's, I have been knitting since I was 20 years old and still consider my self and "advanced beginner". WHY? Because in the last 30 years I have raised 5 children, obtained two degrees, worked numberous jobs (often at the same time) and been a volunteer EMT. There were times that MONTHS would go by without me picking up a skein of yarn. HECK maybe even a year.
But I continued to knit because I enjoy it and it relaxes me. NOW, my children are grown, scholl is over and I work one job. I spend hours and hours and hours knitting. My skill has improved more over the last year than the last 30.
My point is if you enjoy knitting, do what you can WHEN you can. Enjoy the act itself and don't obsess over how good you are. Life has a way of flying by very quickly and someday you will have all the time to knit that you want. But for now enjoy the moment.
01-16-2008, 07:25 AM
I'm with all the others who think it's amazing that you can fit in anytime to knit at all!
I have some similar challenges to you, in that I have been a beginner knitter for a year now, and my two youngest children have neurological problems, my youngest has autism, my middle child has ADHD, so there are phases we go through when I just don't get to pick up my needles at all. But I don't work outside the home, so I am just wowwed by all that you fit in.
Just to give you example of how slow my progress is, I started my first item when on half term break in October, and just had to pull it all out as I realised that I had done the ribbing all wrong! So I am giving myself yet another refresher start, and half just learnt the long tail cast on from the video....and yes that took me two evenings LOL. The good thing I feel about knitting is that I can pick it up and put it down easily, and I do enjoy the little I do.
01-16-2008, 09:26 AM
Hang in there, knitpurlgurl! You have so much on your plate right now!
Have you tried small, portable projects, like dishcloths? You can always keep one in a ziploc bag in your purse.
Just a few minutes of knitting a day when standing in line at the bank, waiting for appointments, on the telephone at work, stopped in traffic (my personal favorite), etc may help build your confidence and skill level faster than a few hours once a month.
Using lifelines can be really helpful, as The.Knitter suggested. Also, try putting the stitches back on a needle a few sizes smaller, it is much easier! Then just knit them onto your correct size needle.
ETA-Oh, yeah, and don't worry about contributing to Ravelry! Join us in the Ravelry Underachievers group where we learn from others but contribute little. :teehee:
01-16-2008, 09:36 AM
:hug: :heart: :hug:
01-16-2008, 10:01 AM
I've been helping a friend of mine learn to knit and she was getting so frustrated too, all I said to her was, and I truly believe this, you can knit scarves for the rest of your life and you are still a knitter! It doesn't matter how fast or how advanced you get. As long as you love doing it you are a knitter!:muah:
01-16-2008, 10:02 AM
Hey hang in there knitpurlgirl. I was taught to knit when I was about 10, now I'm 52 and I am just NOW starting to knit things besides big rectangles!
It's because, like you, I had kids, jobs, school and life that I needed to tend to first. Now my kids are grown and my life is a lot more settled down (sometimes) and I can start to knit more.
I think you're amazing for even going to a knitting class!!! Where do you get the energy!?!?! YOU ARE AWESOME.
01-16-2008, 12:28 PM
:Will it get any better? I really DO love knitting.
As long as you love knitting, keep going! And don't be too hard on yourself because you do have a lot going on. I have had times where my knitting was peaceful and calming, but those times are few! Usually I'm knitting in between doing laundry, or cooking dinner, or numerous other things. When you have a lot going on, it is easy to get distracted and make mistakes.
I still make A LOT of mistakes, and I've just accepted that is going to be part of my knitting. I've learned how to fix some things, so it isn't quite as stressful. Learn how to tink (knit backwards), how to do a lifeline, and how to pick up a dropped stitch. It won't keep you from making mistakes, but it sure makes things better when you do make a mistake.
I keep a 'practice' piece of knitting going on constantly. I bought a ball of fun (bright colors) yarn and I use it to practice new techniques before I start the 'real' project. Also, if I don't have a project going on at the time, I'll pick up my practice piece and just knit whatever I feel like - knit, purl, ribbing, etc. When I get to the end of the ball of yarn, I unravel it, wind it back in a ball, and start over. This is how I learned to tink and fix other mistakes.
01-16-2008, 01:26 PM
I do the same thing McKnitty does. I have some left over purple yarn from my first scarf, so I just decided I was going to make a strip and figure out how to knit1, purl1 and cable. Lots of Frogging, lots of Tinking, but I figured it out on my own and in my own time.
Maybe you're getting stuck thinking you have to make "something" when you knit and you should just make a practice swatch. I don't know how long it will get before I rip it all out, or maybe I will just keep it for a while to keep practicing on, or even bind it off one day and keep it, who knows? It's the knitting I enjoy more than the finished project, I have to admit. :)
Maybe you're just afraid of making a mistake on a more complicated set of stitches? Jump in, girl! You can do it! I found a couple quotes for you:
"To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first."
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."
We're all here for you! Blunders and all. :)
01-16-2008, 01:33 PM
The two previous posters have some really good ideas and I'd recommend the same thing. Use some yarn to just play with it. Practice different things, don't rip out if you make a mistake, figure out what you did wrong or adjust it and go on. Nothing's more frustrating than redoing the same thing over and over, just keep going with it. You might even have a piece you want to hang up or save as a sampler to see what different stitches look like.