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HSRCampbell
01-11-2011, 04:07 PM
I haven't been knitting much. A row or two at a time. Help me get back on track?

I've spent hours every day looking at patterns that I can't make yet.

I'm thinking about making some washcloths (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/grandmothers-favorite)just to get a small burst of confidence, but I don't have any cotton (and I don't want acrylic dishcloths, I use them for potholders way too often).

I haven't been to any specialty stores yet, I've just been buying from Walmart (and had about 10 lbs donated by a friend from college recently).

Antares
01-11-2011, 05:23 PM
Ugh! I know just how you feel. For YEARS I would pick up my knitting needles and try to knit a little something (and get frustrated). Then I would drool over all the wonderful patterns I wished I could make (but couldn't).

For me, it was extremely frustrating because as I was knitting, I would think, "I could do this about 20 times faster if I were crocheting!" By the way, those are very unhelpful thoughts to have when one is trying to learn a new craft!!! However, I had to keep telling myself that if I would just stick with knitting, I would eventually get faster and better at it, and I have--a little. But I'm still not a very fast (or good) knitter.

Believe me, I knit a BUNCH of swatches. It seems like I swatched for years (and I still do just to practice different stitches--like lace patterns which I'm still quite horrible at).

My recommendation is to do a narrow scarf in one of the (soft?) acrylic yarns you have. Use a simple stitch (maybe all knit stitches or all purl stitches). Maybe you could even make this scarf for a young girl so it doesn't have to be very long.

Another thought is to search out a knitting group in your area. Being around good knitters, having help nearby, and having someone keep tabs on your progress can all be great motivators as you learn a new craft.

Most of all, don't give up! None of us learned to knit or crochet in a day, and it takes many trips across (or around) the needle to get good at it!

Jan in CA
01-11-2011, 05:27 PM
Why can't you make something? Just because you're a newer knitter doesn't mean you can't do it. It just means you might need a little more help. I knit my first sweater, a simple pullover, when I'd only been knitting for 3 mos. Start with a simple version of what you want to do and you'll gradually learn new techniques.

If you're having trouble reading patterns start reading them. Learn about knitting lingo so when you do find a pattern it won't be greek to you.

saracidaltendencies
01-11-2011, 06:34 PM
What about just making a some simple hats and then donating them? Gives ya a reason to knit, you can use whatever yarn you have on hand, hats are super easy and a great confidence builder, and, you'd be helping others by donating them...

Debkcs
01-11-2011, 08:26 PM
Just because you're a newer knitter doesn't mean you can't do it

I was going to write the same thing. Start with a wash cloth, or a dish cloth or maybe a child's scarf. I jumped directly into a class for socks, but my learning knitting was backed up by over 35 years of crocheting, and I still had a lot of questions that the good people here were all to happy to answer.

Good luck!

HSRCampbell
01-11-2011, 10:45 PM
All I've ever made was a child's scarf, and it's taken me a month (I was going faster after about 2 weeks, then went on vacation and couldn't do much at a time).

I decided to make coasters for my dad in basketweave. 4"x4" and I'm about a third of the way through one in ruby red.

Jan: Thanks for the encouragement, I'd like to think I could do those patterns in the next month or two, but right now I don't want to start something big because everything I start, I criticize and frog or the kids mess it up (admittedly more former than latter).

If the coasters go well, I have Paton's Nuance (6 skeins of multicolored pink and brown and sparkly) that I want to make into a twirly scarf that I saw on Ravelry for my 5 year old. She claimed the yarn as soon as she saw it, and *wants* a scarf.

I need a place to set up and not carry this stuff from room to room, and when I'm more confident that I won't lose my work, I'll tackle the bigger projects.

Could somebody please be my knitting friend and talk to me about this? My husband is supportive, but doesn't understand knitting stuff.

Jan in CA
01-12-2011, 12:14 AM
We are all your knitting friends here. KH is the best place for support and help. :hug: Another idea is to check a local yarn store (LYS) and see if they have classes or social knitting groups. I go to one every Friday and love it!

If you are more comfortable with small things then by all means do coasters and dishcloths for awhile. If an adult sweater frightens you do a baby sweater when you feel ready. :thumbsup:

kmaclean
01-12-2011, 11:29 AM
I agree with the other posters completely! Keep working at it: it WILL get easier, and you WILL get better. I promise! You just have to remember that learning something new doesn't happen overnight and that you are going to make mistakes .... try to let go a little bit and not be overly critical of your work at this point.

I always used to hate it when I would realize that I had made a mistake several rows back and I would want to frog the whole thing and start over. Eventually, I learned to tell myself to just let it go .... no one is going to notice one wrong stitch. I was usually the only one who knew that the piece wasn't perfect, and I just considered it a learning experience.

If you're more comfortable with smaller projects right now, then by all means stick with that for the time being until you are more confident. With each new project (no matter how small), try to think of something new that you can learn with it .... you could try a new stitch pattern on your next coaster, for example. That way you are learning new techniques and building confidence, but not overwhelming yourself. Eventually you'll feel confident enough in your abilities to try one of those larger patterns you've been looking at and wishing you could do! :)

Everyone here on KH is really great, so whenever you get frustrated or discouraged with your progress we'll be here to encourage you ... and if you get stuck trying to learn something new there's always people here who will be able to walk you through it so that you can conquer that new technique!

Good luck! :knitting:

cacunn
01-12-2011, 12:48 PM
The most experienced knitter here is not perfect, they make mistake, correct mistakes and frog alot. Ask how to fix a mistake and you will get a lot of responses, why, because we have all made the same mistake and more.

You are learning, learn to accept mistakes, learn to correct mistake and learn to relax. If you were to look closely at some of the perfect pieces knitted 100 years ago by some expert, you will find two things. 1) there are "mistakes" or as I call them "unintentional design elements", 2) these mistakes are hard to see because the stitches even out through wear and washing.

If something is worth doing well, it is worth doing over and over and over to learn and improve.

Also - a baby blanket can be made by stitching together, a lot of small 4x4 practice pieces.

Breezed
01-12-2011, 08:39 PM
I am currently knitting a scarf for my 11 yr niece as a bday gift as requested but I find scarves just aren't instant gratification for us newbs. I started enjoying knitting more after trying a few different types of projects, ie cowl, toys, dishcloths, scarves. Knitting the 2 toys was by far my favorite and I have so many plans for what to do next. They don't have to be perfect because they are cute no matter what and if you are giving to a special child, they will love it, no matter what. Consider toys, it's super fun and not as hard as it looks. I don't do on dpns like the patterns suggest but rather on circs, magic loop method I think it is called, which is so easy I think. Search Ravelry for amigurumi, I select knit/free/photos for my searches.

I think we are all friends here which makes this such a great place. But if you ever need personal venting or encouragement, feel free to contact me via private messaging, etc.

HSRCampbell
01-12-2011, 09:00 PM
Well, I bought some cotton yarn last night when I ran back in to Walmart to buy diapers that my husband forgot, lol. I have half a basketweave coaster in red acrylic and almost half a Grandma's washcloth in white cotton, now (the one that starts from a corner and uses yarn-over to make it wider each row, a new stitch for me!), as well as 75% of the pink scarf that my little girls are desperate for me to finish, but I want it to be long enough to wrap around their necks without falling off. (It's about 24" long right now; that's the first thing I started. I intended it as a swatch, but it was about 7" wide, so I just kept going.) At least I did some today.:knitting:

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm really really tired or I'd thank you all individually.

Jan in CA
01-13-2011, 01:30 AM
I've made a bunch of those corner to corner dishcloths. They are super easy and mindless knitting once you figure it out. :thumbsup:

That pattern is often used for baby blankets since all you do is keep knitting till it's half as big as you want it. If you get really bored with the plain garter you can throw in some stockinette or seed stitch for several rows (keeping the border garter) and then start garter again when you want. Makes a kind of pretty stripey effect.

Woodi
01-13-2011, 06:08 AM
I know what is stopping you, H....it's what you talked to me about in the PM!...hint: it begins with the letter 'A'

so I say: begin by stuffing cotton wool in the mouth of that critical- mind, (which is only a fictional character after all, isn't it?)... and make a whole buncha those ever-so-handy corner-to-corner dishcloths which will fill your dish-washing days with cheer, and they also make great gifts to bring if you're invited to a friend's for a meal. I usually wrap a small gift in one, (usually a bar of my handmade soap), tie it with a ribbon and you're good to go! and most of all, ENJOY the process.

Nobody ever has too many of those little dishcloths. My father used to make 'em for me, but he's in a home now, and his fingers don't work very well so he's given up knitting, sadly.

Mokumegane
01-16-2011, 08:51 AM
If you really want to do the dishcloths, you said you buy yarn at walmart and well, they have the sugar and cream, which is the cotton. I know those are less than two dollars a skein... or at least really close! I'd say: gogogo! Get a skein or two of the cotton and make some dishcloths! Dishcloths are a great way to sample different stitches without having to spend a lot of time on them- and you can always use more! If you don't want to do that, one thing we make here to help in the kitchen is a dish scrubbie. We get tulle and cut it into inch-wide strips (or close to that) then knit it up into a square or rectangle that's easy for the hands to hold (you know, not awkwardly large or small). You can try different stitches on that but we mainly garter those... we mix those up by doing different colors, really.

Woodi
01-18-2011, 12:50 PM
I've made one of those tulle scrubbies!....comes out like a scrub pad. I made mine quite small (3 inches) and held a piece of cotton yarn together with the tulle. It took me about 2 hours to make, and my hands were very sore afterwards. At least I made one though.

Mokumegane
01-21-2011, 10:01 AM
I've made one of those tulle scrubbies!....comes out like a scrub pad. I made mine quite small (3 inches) and held a piece of cotton yarn together with the tulle. It took me about 2 hours to make, and my hands were very sore afterwards. At least I made one though.

Lol, yeah, that tulle really rips up your skin... and they put those into some of those fulled skirts, like the one you had for your high school prom, etc. Omg... why do they expect us women to torture ourselves for fashion!