Welcome to Part Two of Tamara Learns to Knit. We've been following Tamara as she teaches herself how to knit using the Lion Brand Learn to Knit Kit. I sent Tamara the kit as a gift when I learned that she was struggling with work-related stress. In the first part, Tamara struggled a little bit learning the knit stitch and gave up for a short time. Let's see how she's doing now.

A Knitter is Born

By Tamara Kay

Long ago in a different life my ex-husband tried to teach me how to play golf. Many, many afternoons spent sweating in the hot Texas sun whacking at a little white stupid ball with various clubs. Here, try this one, maybe that one is too much club for you. Well, try this iron, maybe we need to work up to drivers. Well, here, this driver has a little bit different grip on it, maybe that will help. Once my arms were ready to fall out of the sockets we would head over to the putting green. At least there’s only one club you can use on a putting green, right? Oh no, you can practice another particular sort of hell called chipping. That’s when you don’t really get the ball to the green and need to sort of half hit it to get the sphere from hades up to the green.

I preferred to send my golf balls sailing over the green, or into the little mini sand traps next to the putting green. Another excellent place to learn how to chip, or wedge, or something like that. I never quite got the knack of golf. However every once in awhile, you hit this sweet shot. You can feel it happening all the way from the back swing. Poetry is happening, the club is gracefully arching around, you feel the sweet ping of the ball against the club, the follow through of your swing ends exactly where it should and you know if someone snapped a picture RIGHT THEN you would look like beauty and grace. The ball sails beautifully against the blue sky and that gorgeous little ball lands exactly where you meant it too. That happens just enough for your ex-husband to think there is a chance you will eventually get it. It never quite happened enough for me. Eventually golf and the ex got to be too much work for too little payoffs and I quit both.

tamarascarfWhat does that have to do with knitting? I finally knit a perfect row of purls. Perfect. And then on the other side, I knit another perfect row of, well, knit. Back and forth four or five more perfect times. Wow. That is simply a beautiful thing. I found the instructions in the Stitch and Bitch book explained purling much better then the kit booklet. One problem though. All these perfect rows really make that hole down there in row four stand out. How do holes happen anyway? And all those other weird little bumps and crooked things just glare out at me. As I sit staring at my scarf Ken asks if I will enjoy wearing it, or will I forever just be looking at that hole. I will only ever notice the hole. Well then, I don’t think you have any other option do you? Crap. It’s a good thing he has such a cute butt otherwise he would have to go. So here I am casting on again. The genius people at Lion Brand have at least included this industrial yarn that really holds together well. Except for that one place where it still really does look like a hairball. Hey wait! There were two balls of yarn in that kit. So, casting on with the other ball and i’m off again. The first 10 inches of garter stitch go on in record time and amazingly there are still just 14 loops when I start in with the stockinette stitching. Those purls are going down like Tiger’s putts. Well, the Tiger of olds putts anyway. At the end of the stockinette 10 inch piece and I still have 14 loops. I love knitting. EVERYONE I KNOW is getting a scarf for Christmas.

Soon, I’m back to ribbing. Ribbing makes sense still and I stop to take a picture to send to Angela. I’m just so durned tickled with myself. However, EVERYONE I KNOW is getting a scarf for Christmas as long as it doesn’t involve ribbing. ( After sending the picture I can’t remember where I am in my pattern. Is this the side I start with a purl or a knit? My short term memory has been shot to pieces lately and this is just not helpful. I ask Ken if I should knit or purl? Pardon me? Oh never mind. Really, you would think he would pay attention, I’ve only been muttering knit two, purl two for the past 100 miles. Honestly men just never listen. I take my best guess and continue. It looks a little funny but since I don’t really know what I’m doing maybe it’s just I’m not knowing what it should look like?

So I carry on. After a few rows I see it. I started off wrong on my restart. I just sit and stare at my perfectly stitched backwards pattern. Dang. Not quite a full on cursing event, but not a happy smile either. Ken thinks it looks interesting. Like a checkerboard. So I reverse stitch it again, just to see what it would look like, and he’s right. It is a nice checkerboard pattern. I decide I like it. Ken asks again if it will bother me when I wear it. Nope, this part will be at the back of my neck and besides, its more interesting than the straight ribs. It stays. Ten more inches of stockinette, then ten inches of garter stitches and I bind off. This is the most fabulous knit scarf I have ever owned. Well, except for the one my sweet daughter in law knitted for me for Christmas.


I love them both. I want to knit a baby blanket for my new Grandson, Jett. A visit to a yarn store is now added to my list of things to do tomorrow. I can’t wait.


Look at me! I’m a knitter.

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