Monday, January 02, 2006

Little Red Riding Hood and Me

This is the last item I crocheted before I rediscovered knitting, a sweater for my granddaughter Arlyn Danielle.

My mother taught me to knit when I was quite small, from an old, well-thumbed knitting booklet of doll clothes featuring Little Red Riding Hood. I aspired to knit a Red Riding Hood cloak for my Ginny doll, but I can only recall making a small garter-stitched square in dark red wool. I remember thinking that the eyelet row for the drawstring was too complicated, so I put it away. As I grew up, I would occasionally start a knitting project from my mother's McCall's Needlework Magazine, but I always chose large advanced projects which took forever to complete, and I soon lost interest. I actually managed to finish a pair of mittens and a baby sweater, but my knitting just didn't look right, it was bumpy and the stitches twisted the wrong way. A college roommate taught me how to crochet in 1970, and I was happy with how quickly a project worked up, and I didn't have to fuss with dropped stitches or finish an entire row before taking a break. I occasionally attempted small knitted projects, but my stitches still twisted in a peculiar fashion and never looked quite right.

Recently I found a pattern that I just had to make, but it was knitted. Now that I had a computer and access to all sorts of free information, I did some research on the Internet and discovered, to my chagrin, that I had been knitting backwards for years - knitting through the back of the loop instead of the front. No wonder my stitches looked strange! I had to re-learn the basics, and my knitting finally looked the way it should. I also picked up lots of speed, and now I am knitting faster than I ever crocheted.

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