Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The beginnings...

Let me tell you a story of a one poorly knitted item of clothing!

This vest was my first item knitted.
(Okay, I'm not counting the back of a vest my mother made me knit like 15 years ago... She chose the pattern and the yarn herself, and the vest was for me! I knitted the back in plain garter stitch, she did the front in cables. It was the fugliest shade of dark greyish blue I have ever seen!... And it was a disaster from the beginning, because when two people knit the same thing, they put different tension on the yarn - especially such an inexperienced knitter as I was..., so we ended up with a loose soft front and stiff like a cardboard back... I never wore it and that's why my knitting career froze for 16 years!...)

So, this green-brown vest was the first thing I ever knitted myself.

- yarn "Velluto light"50% acrylic, 50% wool, 100 g - 170 m, 4 skeins, $ 3 per skein (wholesale)
- straight needles 4, circular needle 3,5
- stitches: stockinette and 2X2 ribbing on the neck

One would think that a total knitting rookie like me would have chosen a scarf - a simple rectangle shape, in garter or in stockinette. But not me, of course! I decided I'd knit a sweater with a turtle neck. (yes, a sweater)
What's more, one would choose some easy to knit yarn, with even surface and even thickness throughout the whole skein - but not me, of course again! I saw this fuzzy, thicker-thinner mixed coloured yarn in a shop and bought it immediately for my first knitting project!

Well, what should be done better, if I knitted this one more time?...
Everything! (almost)

On the label of a yarn I read "needles size 4", so I took 4s and WITHOUT SWATCHING I started my project. (swatching is for sissies, I thought!...) And it turned out that I was a tight knitter and I should have taken 5s or 6s, because the final result was a dense fabric. It doesn't look that bad, but it could be a bit looser and I would have some more yarn left (I finished 4 skeins till the last cm! That's why my sweater ended up as a vest...).
I started without the rib, so the stockinette curls up like crazy. I even wanted to add the ribbing after I'd finish the vest, but I knitted up all the yarn supplies I had, (and I bought 4 last skeins on sale, so I couldn't just go and buy some more).
I tried to increase/decrease rows for armpits and neckline, basing my efforts on some directions for some other sweater in a knitting magazine, but I didn't grasp the idea correctly and it's very uneven (The same goes for the "opening" below the neck... which, btw, I started too high, it should be a bit lower.)
Shoulder slants are too steep, because it was done totally intuitively - you shouldn't do that!
There is no waist line accented, I just knitted staight line all the way up.
The front looks a bit different than the back. Why? Because while making the back I was purling the normal way, but then my mother showed me purling through the back loop and she said that's the easier way to purl (she didn't know the difference between 'p' and 'p tbl' and 'k' and 'k tbl', how on earth did she knit all those years?!...), so I used this stitch on the front.

With all those bad points, it's surprisingly nice and comfortable, and I wore it last Winter very often! ^^ But don't try this at home!


I read about the idea of "I'm fit and I knit" on Kimberly's blog today and I decided to grab the button and put it on my blog immediately!

Let me tell you about my fitness activities so far...


Well, that's how it was up till this Spring (really, I hated ANY kind of sport, well, maybe chess was a choice for me... ). I was known as the one who totally hates sports (although I did go to a swimming pool once or twice a year, or went for a bike trip, not a very long one...). I wonder how on earth I managed not to grow big and fat, with all those pasta dishes and cakes I love and eat a lot!...

But this Spring I finally decided it's time to move my body! ^^
I started bellydance classes and Hindu dancing classes (the latter I gave up, for reasons that can be see here.) After two months of belly dancing I can see that my level of fitness improved a lot! ^^ I tend to keep my posture straight most of the time, pushing the rib cage forward, which not only is very good for your spine, but also makes you look better! ^^ I started to walk like the Arabic women do - doing a small hip sways, which also helps the spine to relax, unlike our Western way of taking hard steps that is not very healthy for the joints and a spine. And my biggest achievement ^^ - a couple of days ago my husband looked at my thighs when I got up in the morning and was getting out of bed in full light, and he said that he can clearly see that my cellulitis got smaller! (*^-^*) Such words are worth every minute of pain in the gym! Bikini, here I come! ^^


  1. Years ago (no, no, don't ask) I took belly-dancing in Southren California. It was the most fun I ever had earning the right to eat chocolate! Have fun, keep going, dance for your hubby!

  2. That's what he tells me, my husband - to dance for him! ^^ (and sometimes I do!). I think the best part is when I look around my dancing group and I can see ladies of different ages and body shapes, and all this doesn't really matter because we dance together! ^^

  3. I think dancing is the best and most fun way to work on your fitness health. I used to do line dancing unfortunately can't do it anymore, so now i dance with my son when he's in the mood..lol

  4. Yeah!! We're in this together. By the way, I love that sweater!

  5. That sweater looks pretty good for a first project! I started with a triangular shawl, which is a bit more interesting than a scarf but not as complicated as what you picked. It is funny to laugh at those early knitting mistakes (OK, and current knitting mistakes too).

    I was never atheltic either, and also a miracle I am still fairly thin! I would love to take dance classes but I live in a very small town where they just aren't available. I think I need to check out that FAL (Fit along?).