A brand new member - in fact very new to the whole idea of on-line communities, so set me right if I break protocol. I've been knitting for years [actually over 60], and I'm a believer my favorite mantra "Knitting is not Brain Sugery" - a pattern is only a set of guidelines, and that gets easier the more experience you get. Knitting is an important part of my life - I live in the wilds of Nothern Michigan, but I'm lucky enough to be only 25 miles away from my LYS in Gaylord which is not just a grea yarn store, but also a wonderful collection of women [and the occasional man] who are part friends, part family and my weekly day at the knitting table is an important part of my life. If you're not part of a knitting group, find one, or start one if you possibly can. That's what's so wonderful about this site though - knitters are supportive people, no matter what age, race, creed, socio-economic background, once the needles come out, we are all just knitters.