In the afternoon of December 31, I was given a beautiful ball of Granny-Smith-apple-colored wool and a pair of #9 needles. Never mind that I had a huge William Morris needlepoint canvas that will take years to complete, books to read, quilts that needed to be designed and other knitting projects, the green yarn kept calling to me. My exhausted husband had fallen asleep at 8pm so I decided to figure out what I was going to do with the beautiful ball of yarn.
I’m what you’d call an adventurous beginning knitter. I’ll do complicated stitches as long I don’t have to read a chart that’s more than three lines long. If the repeat is simple enough that I can memorize it, it’s manageable. I take one look at those complicated charts and I wonder how those people ever answer the phone.
There was that great passage in Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. Twain talks about how the river captains have to keep so much information about the river in their heads while they navigate that their necks become impossibly large to support their full heads. I kind of feel that way about those people who can remember where they are in hugely complicated knitting charts.
Anyway I had one ball of yarn, #9 needles and a willing spirit. I was also emboldened by my recent discovery of knittinghelp.com. Oh how I love knittinghelp.com. Videos clips on demand demonstrate unfamiliar stitches any time of day or night–even on New Year’s Eve. I decided that I wanted to make a scarf since I only had one ball and that I wanted to try something sort of lacey. A lot of the lace scarf patterns that I came across were for lighter weight yarn and smaller needles but eventually I found the perfect blend of gauge, yardage, and level of difficulty. I knew the friendly lady at knittinghelp.com would help me decipher any new stitches or techniques so I settled on knitzophrenic’s lattice lace scarf pattern and voila. The knittinghelp lady introduced me to yarnovers and I had the beginning of a scarf before the ball dropped in Times Square.