knitting

rookie mistakes

Several years ago, when we lived in Wisconsin, the local craft store around the corner from my house went out of business. In the back of that little craft store was an overwhelming selection of yarns. I suppose when you live in a place with a long, hard winter you must knit your way through it.

I watched the signs on the doors and waited, as each week the prices lowered. "EVERYTHING MUST GO. 50% OFF STOREWIDE."

I decided that the 50% off weekend would be my day to step into the shop and see what I could find.

The place looked like it had been ransacked. Every box from the back warehouse brought out into the store, left open and unpacked. Decorations and trinkets from every holiday of the year. The store was jammed with people. Sashaying sideways to get past customers digging in boxes was always necessary.

I made my way to the back, to the huge selection of yarn and realized I wasn't the only person who had this idea. The place was packed. Women were grabbing yarn by the armloads and stuffing it into their carts.

Like diving into a freezing cold lake, I took a deep breath and dove into the madness.

Now personally, I tend to shut down in these kinds of situations. I'm not the aggressive, elbowing, shoving, anything goes for a good deal kind of shopper. And I felt myself glazing over. Overwhelmed with the scene before me.

When I walked out of the store with two large bags full of yarn and every imaginable knitting accoutrement known to exist, I was feeling quite good about myself.

But it wasn't until weeks later, when I had become inspired by a project I needed to begin right that very minute, that I realized my rookie (or glazed over by the crazy crowds) mistake. I had only purchased one or two skeins of each thing I threw in my cart.

In my dazed state I must have walked through the rows of yarn tossing one or two skeins into my bag without any thought to the fact that maybe, just maybe, I'd want to make something slightly bigger than a cowl or pair of infant mittens?!

I can just picture myself: This is pretty. Toss. Oh! This is pretty, too! Toss. Toss. 

I wonder if the ladies were snickering behind my back….

So now, in my basement (actually my dad's basement b/c I have no storage) sit two large plastic storage tubs of single skeins of yarn.

Lovely. And oh so unpractical. 

So when I became reacquainted with the One Skein book
last week, and saw the felted bowls and took a little visit down to my tubs of neglected single skeins down in the basement, I decided that I would felt and "single skein" my way through these balls of yarn.

I grabbed the bright, electric, pumpkin orange (don't ask, because I have no idea) ball of yarn first because it was the same type of yarn called for in the pattern. Except I didn't have the pattern in front of me because the book wasn't mine and I was just too anxious to give this a try. I simply cast some stitches on the needles and started decreasing haphazardly in a "bowlish-hatish" shape. 

making up for my mistake

And then I felted. Which is amazingly exciting and relaxing and also works wonders if you have poor hand circulation and they are always purplish-cold.

But apparently not every color felts the same. And apparently bright pumpkin orange is one of those colors that doesn't like to felt completely.

But now my "bowl" makes a great doll hat. A quite sophisticated doll hat, in fact.

And I have plenty more skeins where that one came from.

I foresee dishpan hands in my future….

Several years ago, when we lived in Wisconsin, the local craft store around the corner from my house went out of business. In the back of that little craft store was an overwhelming selection of yarns. I suppose when you live in a place with a long, hard winter you must knit your way through it.

I watched the signs on the doors and waited, as each week the prices lowered. "EVERYTHING MUST GO. 50% OFF STOREWIDE."

I decided that the 50% off weekend would be my day to step into the shop and see what I could find.

The place looked like it had been ransacked. Every box from the back warehouse brought out into the store, left open and unpacked. Decorations and trinkets from every holiday of the year. The store was jammed with people. Sashaying sideways to get past customers digging in boxes was always necessary.

I made my way to the back, to the huge selection of yarn and realized I wasn't the only person who had this idea. The place was packed. Women were grabbing yarn by the armloads and stuffing it into their carts.

Like diving into a freezing cold lake, I took a deep breath and dove into the madness.

Now personally, I tend to shut down in these kinds of situations. I'm not the aggressive, elbowing, shoving, anything goes for a good deal kind of shopper. And I felt myself glazing over. Overwhelmed with the scene before me.

When I walked out of the store with two large bags full of yarn and every imaginable knitting accoutrement known to exist, I was feeling quite good about myself.

But it wasn't until weeks later, when I had become inspired by a project I needed to begin right that very minute, that I realized my rookie (or glazed over by the crazy crowds) mistake. I had only purchased one or two skeins of each thing I threw in my cart.

In my dazed state I must have walked through the rows of yarn tossing one or two skeins into my bag without any thought to the fact that maybe, just maybe, I'd want to make something slightly bigger than a cowl or pair of infant mittens?!

I can just picture myself: This is pretty. Toss. Oh! This is pretty, too! Toss. Toss. 

I wonder if the ladies were snickering behind my back….

So now, in my basement (actually my dad's basement b/c I have no storage) sit two large plastic storage tubs of single skeins of yarn.

Lovely. And oh so unpractical. 

So when I became reacquainted with the One Skein book
last week, and saw the felted bowls and took a little visit down to my tubs of neglected single skeins down in the basement, I decided that I would felt and "single skein" my way through these balls of yarn.

I grabbed the bright, electric, pumpkin orange (don't ask, because I have no idea) ball of yarn first because it was the same type of yarn called for in the pattern. Except I didn't have the pattern in front of me because the book wasn't mine and I was just too anxious to give this a try. I simply cast some stitches on the needles and started decreasing haphazardly in a "bowlish-hatish" shape. 

making up for my mistake

And then I felted. Which is amazingly exciting and relaxing and also works wonders if you have poor hand circulation and they are always purplish-cold.

But apparently not every color felts the same. And apparently bright pumpkin orange is one of those colors that doesn't like to felt completely.

But now my "bowl" makes a great doll hat. A quite sophisticated doll hat, in fact.

And I have plenty more skeins where that one came from.

I foresee dishpan hands in my future….

10 comments on “rookie mistakes”

  1. The bowl looks good. 😀 Our Joann’s is always almost empty. They have a sale like every day, but I stopping knitting like…a year ago. I don’t think I’d survive a mass frenzy like that though, I’d just sit back and watching them tear each other apart. Mwahahaha.

  2. Cute bowl/hat. Have you thought about a granny square blanket or ripple blanket where it would be just fine to use one skein in each colour? Can’t wait to see what else you come up with.

  3. Oh, I love this post because I relate to the glazing over effect in these types of situations. I would have done the same thing and thought myself quite the super shopper! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one out there.

  4. I did the same thing a week ago when faced with roving for spinning. I couldn’t choose so I bought a few of this and a few of that. When I checked out I should have realized when the nice lady said, “Well, if you decide you need MORE of a certain color… give us a call… we’ll see if we still have some…” at first I thought it was just a sales pitch. Now I realize it’s the equivalent of buying a single skein. Oops! Glad it’s not just me : )

  5. I do quite a bit of felting and I wear rubber gloves so I don’t wreck my hands – all the soap & hot water hurts after a while. I use pretty heavy gloves that have little nibs on them – helps with the felting.

  6. Now see, I am quite happy buying one or two skeins of wool that I love. I can make hats and scarves-stripes are good, I can make many, many granny square kind of blankets and all kind of things. And I never feel guilty for buying so much of one thing if I don’t finish a project. In fact I often dip into my project wool stash to steal bits of colour here and there for the above mentioned (fun and not huge commitment) projects.

    Pretty bowl. You could always try washing in the machine on hot and tumble drying- that seems to work pretty well for fulling most things that are stubborn.

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