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View Full Version : My first finished throw - AKA: Lessons learned!


countingsheep
11-27-2005, 11:12 AM
I have decided to share a secret - a shameful and embarrassing secret. Seeing all of these "first projects" and reading all these comments filled with self-doubt, maybe this will inspire you new knitters and make you realize that you haven't done too badly after all! Who am I kidding, you're doing great! Be proud and rejoice!

I taught myself to knit 4 years ago. I searched on the Web for "how to knit" and just copied what I saw in pictures. As a result, I am a continental knitter (hold my yarn in my left hand) and everything I know, I figured out the hard way. I did not know about all of you wonderful people who are so willing to help so I just did stuff the best way I could figure out - with sometimes disasterous results!

My first attempt at reading a pattern was for the "Autumn Throw" in a KnitIt magazine. The pattern is still on the Lion Brand web site, just FYI. It is just beautiful but uses a LOT of yarn - different textures and weights, with what seemed like a fairly complicated repeating pattern. (It was an expensive first major project!) But this was going to be for my wonderful MIL so... it was worth it. She knits and had done amazing work for my kids so I really wanted to impress her!

I learned a few things in this project!

1. Trust the pattern! Ingrid is right!!!! It's like a Star Wars thing - "Use the pattern, Luke".

2. Understand the pattern. A repeating pattern includes the stitches between the two little * and only those stitches - not the one before the first *!

3. Check your work often! OK, you probably know this but I was so sure it was right that I really didn't do this!

I was knitting in the round and just kept going. The throw kept getting bigger and heavier. So heavy in fact, that it broke a pair of circular needles. Should have been a sign! Second sign, I ran out of yarn WAY before I should have. I just ignored these signs and kept going. BIG mistake!

My 4'x5' rectange did not come out right. It was a circle! When I finished it and spread it out, it kept curving and getting bigger and bigger and bigger! After I quit crying, I measured it.... the outside circumference of this circle is 35' - yes, that's feet! My husband laughed until he cried and to this day calls it "The Elephant's Tutu". :shock: :shock: After I measured it, I cried even harder.

How did I manage it? I added one extra stitch each repeat - each row got exponentially longer creating the circle effect. How much yarn did I use? I refuse to calculate how much - I would probably faint! Why haven't I frogged it? I can't bear to do it! I just put it in a box and keep trying to think of a use for it! Looking, back, there are so many little "boo boos" and "oopsies" but... compared to the BIG oops!

So... for anyone who has been embarrassed by their work. At least it didn't turn out like this! For anyone who is afraid to ask for advice... this is what happens when you don't! For anyone who thinks maybe the pattern is off... TRUST THE PATTERN! This is my early holiday gift to you!

I am much better now and have never created another such disaster. I can read and follow a pattern and I ALWAYS ask for help when I need it. It's OK, you can laugh when you see the photo! (By the way, the photo had to be taken from a distance to get the whole thing in the picture!)

Happy knitting! Angela :oops:

Ingrid
11-27-2005, 11:21 AM
Thank you so much for sharing this! You're so right on every point. I will say, though that your determination and stick-to-it attitude is admirable! :rofling: Looking at it laid out like that made me think that if you seam up that one side and make a circle for the middle, you have a nice little rug there.

countingsheep
11-27-2005, 11:28 AM
Oh, Ingrid, bless your sweet little heart!

Determination? :roflhard: Wow, I was going to say stupidity but, hey, I like your adjective much better!

As for a rug... my dog would LOVE that! I don't think so, though, I still turn bright red every time I see it! :oops:

Bless you, Ingrid, bless you! You made my day!!!

Ang

dustinac
11-27-2005, 11:53 AM
Thank you for posting it I love the colors!! :rofling: I see a nice pretty rug too under a small cute table... :thumbsup:

Ingrid
11-27-2005, 12:07 PM
I could see being embarrassed if you tried to wear it, :shock: but it is really pretty. It just needs a new name and you're all set!

countingsheep
11-27-2005, 12:39 PM
Wear it!?!?! :shock: Oh, you'd hurt yourself! The thing weighs a ton! Wear it? :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

A small table in the middle? Hmm... If I had a Christmas tree the size of, oh... the one at Rockerfeller center it would work as a tree skirt!!!

Thanks guys, you're the best!!! :thumbsup:

Ang

KellyK
11-27-2005, 02:28 PM
I was gonna say tree skirt!!

Although, Im sure it would feel REALLY cozy over your shoulders (& rest of your body) while watching TV on the couch.

Its REALLY REALLY pretty!

Sascha
11-27-2005, 05:16 PM
I know it was a booboo but it really is pretty! You really should find something to do with it since so much time and effort was put into it.

kitkat
11-27-2005, 05:49 PM
It really is pretty and your knitting looks great. Circle or not, that should find a use!

Angelia
11-27-2005, 06:03 PM
It looks great! :cheering:

It would make a nice wrap for sitting--one could be cocooned in it! Looks very cozy to me... :D

rebecca
11-27-2005, 07:25 PM
I like it :D

feministmama
11-27-2005, 09:39 PM
I like it too. Give it to yer MIL. Tell her its a...um.... one of them couch cover thingys, yeah that's it! :thumbsup:

Ingrid
11-28-2005, 12:30 AM
I like it too. Give it to yer MIL. Tell her its a...um.... one of them couch cover thingys, yeah that's it! :thumbsup:

:roflhard: :roflhard:

DotMom61
11-28-2005, 01:26 AM
Angela --

I, too, was thinking that it would make a gorgeous tree skirt!! It really is lovely, and the colors are so pretty. Thirty-five feet, huh? I guess it would have to be a pretty big tree. :??

You really should be proud of yourself for putting so much into that. Personally, I would have been bored to tears after about 20'. :lol: But, I'm guessing that the experience you got from knitting that throw is worth way more than the cost of the yarn!!! And it took a lot of courage for you to post it here, I'm sure!!!

countingsheep
11-28-2005, 09:30 AM
OK friends, it's coming out of the box! :happydance: :happydance:

Thanks to you guys, I finally have a use for the "Tutu" - it will now be known as the Christmas Tree skirt and if anyone asks, I did it that way on purpose! I feel certain that you will keep my dirty little secret but the hubby may have to be bribed.

You guys are the very best! Yes, I learned SO much doing this project. Please, don't mention the cost of the yarn again, I turn pale at the thought. :shock: Seriously, I used a whole LOT of yarn. Oh man, now I'm starting to wonder how far one skein goes and how many I actually used. MUST STOP!

Once we put the tree up, I'll take a photo of how it looks with the new, "designer" skirt!

Thanks again! Ang

Angelia
11-28-2005, 09:42 AM
:cheering: :cheering:

Yay for the Christmas-tree skirt!! And of course that was your intention all along!

CarmenIbanez
11-28-2005, 06:27 PM
Well then you'll really appreciate my little story. I also started the autumn throw, thinking it looked so luxurious. Well I soon decided I wasn't going to make it through. So I stopped part way and am turning mine into a cape. Don't ask. I have no idea what I am doing, but will post a picture when done!

Ingrid
11-28-2005, 06:34 PM
Your tree skirt will become an heirloom--all who inherit it will believe that you devoted hours and much money into knitting this luxurious one-of-a-kind tree skirt for their family treasure.

Little will they know. . . . .

shellebelle216
11-30-2005, 07:25 AM
If I put that much work and tears into something I would make it something!!! Anything! It would be used and if I gave it to someone they would use it and like it!

liznwillow
11-30-2005, 06:54 PM
I love that you've decided to use it as a tree skirt! I think it's perfect!! It will feel oh so cozy under the tree sort of bunched up in a comfy sort of way. Great job, btw! It must have taken you forever!

Barefootmama
11-30-2005, 08:47 PM
A very pretty tree skirt was my first though! Boo boo or not, it looks nice. :) Thanks for posting the tips though. I catch myself already questioning patterns.

Selena
12-04-2005, 03:03 PM
Yes. I've never made a project exactly like this one. But in many cases I have needed this advice. I will trust the pattern in future.

rebecca
12-04-2005, 09:08 PM
One should be so lucky as to have such a wonderful tree skirt...it will be passed down for generations as the heirloom Christmas tree skirt :D I can't wait to see it under the tree :happydance: :cheering: :happydance:

kome
12-05-2005, 09:30 PM
I LOVE it! It think it's very unique and comfy lookin'. *snuggles up in it* :heart:

kemp
12-06-2005, 11:16 AM
You are so sweet to post this. One of my first things was a totally embarassing baby blanket. Fortunately, I never took a picture!

I think you could use it as a wrap around blanket...head in the middle and wrap it around. I would love to have something like that to use on cold winter nights on the couch!

InterNette
12-06-2005, 11:29 AM
i kinda like it, looks like a nice shawl or a tree skirt and the colors give it a nice warm rustic feeling. I think it is worthy of display somewhere in your home or on yourself.

itscryttle
12-07-2005, 10:14 PM
:lol: Thank you for sharing!!!

I think its beautiful! But I see your point... it was suposed to be a blanket. I think it would make a beautiful... Tree skirt! :??

:roflhard:

pidget
12-10-2005, 04:01 PM
Thank You for posting that and showing us your "afghan". I am a brand new knitter, teaching myself and going on a month now. My friend and I started a knitting group of all beginners. My first project was also a couch blanket, aka afghan! Well, I CAN RELATE!. I started it with straight needles, then switched to circluar, and it kept getting bigger and heavier. I learned, counting is vital, huh. Well once I took it off the circluar needles ready to finish it, I almost fell down laughing, or crying. The shape is quite strange, part circular, part something from outer space. No way is this a rectangle. Its also circular, and kind of resembles a very long shawl. The worst part is I used chinele in a beautiful greena alternating with green tweed. Well I think I learned I better learn how to follow a pattern and count.

So, thanks for sharing your story, I don't feel so bad. My husband loves it anyway, its really warm and cozy. :XX: