indie art & design blog

hooded scarf knitting project: part 1

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 | by Carolyn Price

A little helper to begin indie's KnitKnit Hooded Scarf project

So I had a little help to begin with... With my Hooded Scarf Kit, I was about to embark on a project which would bring back many happy memories of my grandmothers teaching me to knit as a little girl, give me an enormous sense of satisfaction at having COMPLETED a project, and also an unexpected newfound passion for knitting itself. All the things Anna from KnitKnit hopes for people to find when they open up one of her knitting kits and discover or rediscover the craft! (More projects of my own design are now on the horizon!)

Liam and I were both equally delighted with the colour and texture of the charcoal marle yarn supplied in our kit from KnitKnit. What did surprise me, though, was the size of the knitting needles! I remember knitting dolls blankets with slim, brightly-coloured plastic needles, but my brand new bamboo pair were enormous! My knitting was about to achieve warp speed.

The first few stitches - beginning to knit the KnitKnit Hooded Scarf

KnitKnit kits are designed for beginners. Not only do they contain everything you need to complete a fun project (including step-by-step instructions and a calico bag to carry your knitting around in), but they're rated by difficulty so you can choose a project to match your (lack of) ability. My Hooded Scarf project was rated "One star - Newbie Knitter". As I soon found out, the bulky yarn and large gauge needles make knitting much faster than you'd expect....

The purl stitch - KnitKnit Hooded Scarf knitting project

I genuinely didn't have a clue how to begin, but with Anna's careful instructions at hand, I was off to a good start. During my practice rows, my fingers began to remember moving in the same way all those years ago... The image above shows the purl stitch - like a backwards version of a knit stitch. At first, I found the purl rows a chore, but with practice, (and I got plenty), the speed of my purl rows almost caught up to my knitted rows.

KnitKnit Calico bag to hold everything for the KnitKnit Hooded Scarf knitting project

After a little while, the process became almost automatic, and I was racing through one row after the next; gleeful about the growing length of my knit. However, all was not as it seemed! Gradually, my progress began to slow and when I paused to assess the situation, I discovered a great many more stitches than expected curled around my needle! On closer inspection, I found I had been adding a stitch to each purled row.

A quick look back at my KnitKnit instructions solved the mystery. (If only I hadn't been so impatient in the first place!) While I was winding the yarn around the needle in the correct manner for my purl stitches, I had failed to move it to the correct side of the needle between the first knitted stitch and the rest of the purled row, and again at the end of the row. So I was able to experience the exhilaration of unravelling it all... then beginning again! With my improved skill level and reduced workload (without all the extra stitches!), I was back to my previous row count in no time.

Early progress knitting the hood for the KnitKnit Hooded Scarf knitting project

From there, it really didn't take much longer to finish the hood section of my emerging Hooded Scarf. It now lies in wait for the completion of Part 2 - the scarf itself. Stay tuned for the rest of my crafty story!

The completed hood - KnitKnit Hooded Scarf knitting project

KnitKnit Kits are a wonderful way to introduce or reaquaint yourself with a craft loved by many generations. Best of all, KnitKnit projects are achieveable, even for the guiltiest of procrastinators, and at the end, you have something you will love wearing (or perhaps your coffee cup or teapot will love wearing). Anna's patterns are really cute, and come with contemporary woollen yarns in a fantastic range of colours. With my project nearly completed, I'm looking forward to cosy early mornings wrapped up in my gorgeous Hooded Scarf, and an end to chilly late nights in front of the computer. It's charcoal-coloured comfort for me from now on...

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