Five Month-Long Project, Complete!
Every once in a while, I get in a crafting mood. Around my sophomore year of college, I suddenly thought it would be a fantastic idea to start a scrapbook of my Bryn Mawr College experiences. I had boxes full of ticket stubs, flyers, and photos -- all sorted by semester into manila envelopes -- that I was going to turn into tangible memories. I finally finished the monstrous thing a full four years after I started. See?
Looking for something a bit less intense, I turned to knitting.
I tried (and failed) to learn how to knit a couple of times. The last time (post-scrapbook), I decided that it was a skill that I would master. It wasn't going to be a hobby, it was going to be an experiment in skill acquisition. Armed with knitting needles, cheap yarn and a few hours, I turned to the most patient instructor I could find.
I turned to YouTube. YouTube is an excellent teacher -- it never tires of repeating instructions. If you're looking for a low-cost way of learning a new skill, I highly recommend seeing if you can find lessons there.
I made a few scarves in my efforts to perfect my stitches. Those went well, but I kept going with those two so that I could do them without thinking about it. I was trying to gain muscle memory, and it worked! By the time I finished my niece's baby blanket, I pretty much had it down.
Time for something more ambitious.
I played around with various patterns until I found the Wave Blanket. This one seemed easy enough for a beginner, so I ordered 17 skeins of yarn and 48-inch circular knitting needles. This was going to be one big undertaking, but I was determined.
I modified the pattern to be quite a bit bigger -- about 3.33 feet in width. I must have started this thing about three times before getting a satisfactory cast-on row. After that hurdle was overcome, I started with the pattern. If you're interested, do check out the link -- I won't repeat the pattern here. I soon found out that one instance of the pattern (four rows) took me a full two hours to complete in the beginning. Yikes.
Eventually, I got the muscle memory down enough thatI could do the four row pattern in around 70 minutes. Here I am, a full five months later, proud to say that I've finished! It wound up being 6x3.33 feet, using just under the 17 skeins of yarn. Unfortunately, I couldn't take a picture of the whole thing, but here's a sample of the final pattern:
Would I do it again? Sure. In a few years or so.