Monday, 28 January 2008

Lesson Learned

At 19 yrs old, my first job in the city, in my new appartment (basement appartment in an old house), in downtown Ottawa, I was lost! Born a country girl and coming from a town where only a church and skating arena were the town's landmarks, I really didn't know what to do with myself in the city. Horror stories from my Mom surely didn't help and the fact that I really didn't know anyone made me a television addict pretty fast. Woohoo! I had never heard of cable t.v. and had over 30 channels more than the four local channels I could watch while living in the boonies!

During a leisurely spring stroll around the office building where I worked, I discovered a yarn shop. I walked in, looked around quickly and wasn't instantly drawn to the hundreds of colored skeins lining the walls. I was more intrigued to find out why would a store selling just yarn and patterns be in existence? Was knitting so popular? It was then that my eye caught a Vogue Knitting magazine. Whoa! Vogue had a KNITTING magazine?? I picked it up and flipped through the pages and gawked at all the stylish clothing that could be knit! Then I saw it. That beautiful knee length navy blue straight lined form fitting dress. I knew absolutely zilch about knitting but I wanted THAT dress!

The sales clerk approached me smiling and in her british accent, asked me if I needed any help. Not really knowing what to ask for, I basically inquired if she had any how-to-knit books I could purchase. Before I knew it, I had a how-to book, a ball of yarn to practise with, some knitting needles and of course, the Vogue Knitting Magazine.

As soon as I walked into my dark basement appartment that evening, I threw my work bag aside and ran to the living room with my purchases and put my nose in the how-to book. A few hours later, I had the knit stitch down pat and was working on the purl stitch.

Within two days of my first visit at the LYS, I was back purchasing the yarn to knit that dress. Contradicting what my Mom told me, I was an expert knitter and totally determined to wear that dress a month later. :o)

After 50 or so visits to the LYS (that british lady was so patient and kind!), many purchases of unknown knitting tools, like stitch markers, stitch holders, a darning needle, a measuring tape and a couple of hundred questions, my dress was completed.

It was the moment of truth! I had bought the perfect shoes and hair piece that would compliment my dress. The last stitch sewn, I threw off my clothes and slipped the dress on! It felt so right! Totally ecstatic, I ran to the full length mirror in my bedroom to check it out. I heald my breath and looked into the mirror. My jaw nearly hit the floor when I saw the reflection staring back at me. This was not what I knitted!

I looked like I was 5 months pregnant in the dress! EEEEK! I quickly threw the dress off, bunched it up and tossed it on my bed. After all that work, it looked hideous!

Finally, after about a week, I had the courage to visit the british lady at the LYS and asked her what could have possibly gone wrong. She explained that when I began knitting the dress, my tension was much looser as a beginner. But after many evenings of knitting, my tension got tighter and more even. The front of the dress was what I started with. Therefore it sagged with looser tension, explaining the maternity dress look.

That dress became many slippers as I donated it to my Mom. My second project was a scarf.

If you are just beginning to knit, start off with a small project, like a boring dishcloth... not an out of this world looking dress from Vogue Knitting. I learned the hard way! LOL!

Until the next post...


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