Joel-n-Liliyarn Show: Awesome visitors & Ravelry!

Hi. It seems like this is definately a week for firsts for me. It was exactly one week ago, that I first tried knitting. Now, I’m doing my first ever weBlog.

My name is Joel. I’m 35, married with 2 beautiful daughters age 7 and (almost) 4. I currently live in northern Colorado, USA. As my first paragraph said, I’m both new to knitting and doing a weBlog. As a full time IT computer guy, I’m picking up the idea of the weBlog faster than the knitting. :lol:

For more info about me, you can see my “introduce yourself” post. But that said, as I was thinking about the Blogs. I thought it would be interesting and potentially helpful for me to create and post to one. Kind of a chronicle of my learning to knit adventures. Something to show other newbies: my failures :wall:, my methods :thinking:, and my successes. :happydance: :cheering: :XY:

My story begins, actually more than a week ago… :study:

My wife has been crocheting for over a year. She loves it! She loves the yarn, she loves the activity, the relaxation, etc. It’s been a useful way for us to provide gifts, cheap! :smiley:

As a way to share in that with her, a while ago, I began to learn crochet. I understood the chaining technique and was starting to work on the slipstich and the single crochet but I wasn’t getting the hang of it and in crochet, there are 7 basic stitches you must know. So, not only did I have the normal tension problems, but I couldnt remember the difference between a slipstich and a single crochet and I knew I still had another 4 or 5 basic stitches that I hadn’t even looked at.

Now each time, we’ve ever gone into Wally-world (WalMart) or any other place with a yarn department. I can guarentee you, my wife was there… looking at discounted yarn, free patterns, etc. As I’d go along, I’d look at the patterns and realized a while ago, that I like the Knit Patterns more often than I did the crochet patterns.

Then came a week ago. :x:

Last week, our community held a community-wide yard sale. In the front of the community, (we’re in the back) was a woman who was selling BOXES of very expensive yarn for very cheap. She had owned a yarn store, prior to her divorce, and was trying to get rid of her excess yarn, and my wife and neighbor went nuts… it was like hitting the jackpot!

Long story short, while talking with her and my wife that morning, she learned I was interested in the knitting, but had never tried it. It was then that I learned knitting has two basic stitches versus crochet’s seven. As part of my wife’s and neighbor’s purchases (they spent a lot of money at her house that day) she gave my wife a full set of needles and some books so that I could learn to knit.

My neighbor showed me a cast-on and the English (right-hand) knit. At the same time, I went to Google and looked up knitting videos, and found this site. :thumbsup:

Ok… the history lesson is almost over.

In the last week, I’ve learned about the double-cast-on, started to learn about the right hand (English) knitting, and then found out about the Left Hand (Continental) which is supposed to be faster. So, after reviewing the knitting books i have, and the videos on this site… I’m attempting to learn that instead and…

My tension still sucks! :lol: The best I’ve been able to produce so far was an “earthworm blanket” that I since have screwed up, and pulled out to start over.

But I’m not giving up!

Welcome. Tension is the biggest pain in the neck ever. But it will come in time. I’m still struggling with it. I’ve been knitting for about 2 months now so I’m far from an expert. But the tension is starting to get better.

I agree with Twig, Joel…tension comes with practice. You arent doing anything WRONG, you just have to get into your own GROOVE. 8)

And, dont worry so much…earthworms aren’t picky. :wink:

Heck Joel, after just one week, be happy you know what tension is! :slight_smile: I’m soooo happy to see you here, I love male knitters. You bring a certain balance to a knitting community, and that’s a good thing. :XX: :XY:

Yay, great to see you’ve started a weBlog Joel! :cheering:

That’s a great story, all of it. Sharing a craft with your wife (I love that!), hitting THE ULTIMATE JACKPOT ( :shock: Wow!) in yarn! And then (my favorite part :heart:): discovering this site. :mrgreen:

If you’re frustrated with tension, try working on a felted project!
Keep it up Joel! Can’t wait to see some pics!


Hello again,

It’s been an interesting few days. Our internet went down over the weekend so I wasn’t able to get online. One of my wife’s friends from school (she is studying to be a Surgical Tech) had computer problems so I went over to their house and fixed/cleaned their computer. The muffler fell off my car. And last but not least, my wife got sick.

But that is not what you come to this forum for… so onto the knitting.

I’ve started an actual project (a dishcloth). That’s right, I’m giving up on the earthworm blanket. :lol: For this project, I’ve switched back to the English style knitting. At the same time, I’ve switched over to a varigated cotton yarn. The way my wife figures it, considering what its going to be used for, it doesn’t have to look pretty. And cotton will handle the abuse. For me, this is a difficult to not want to rip it out and start it over when its not right… (borderline perfectionist tendencies here) but I am forcing myself to not do that.

I’m getting better about not going so tight, but my stitches are still very uneven. Here’s a nice side note, I havent dropped any yet, that I know of anyway. Once this project is done, I will be taking a picture of it and posting it on the forum. With everything that’s going on at home, I’m trying to get about 2-3 rows done every evening after I get the kids in bed. At that pace, it’s a good thing I’m not taking on doing an afghan. :lol:

And for those of you that may be thinking it’s impressive I’m using some term like Varigate Cotton Yarn… after just over a week of knitting, I have a funny short story to tell you.

Several days ago when I was in an audio IM with LisaD715, I was practicing knitting and she asked me what type of yarn I was using… to this day, I can only tell you what I told her… green. I have no clue. I had to ask my wife what the heck the yarn is that I’m using for this dishcloth.

Until next post…


Actually, that is EXACTLY what we come to the Blog forums for! Anything goes here, Joel, and Im enjoying getting to know you and everybody better!

Frogging, I think, can actually HELP a person learn the “anatomy” of a stitch and learn how to fix those mistakes when they happen…but DONT rip out the whole thing…just go to the mistake & fix it. Amy has some GREAT videos on fixing mistakes, AND on how to do that without losing your whole piece of work. Besides that, you should do what you need to do in the way you learn best. If that means ripping things out, then DO IT! :thumbsup:

:roflhard: That sounds like ME describing a CAR! :roflhard:

What is frogging?

Ripping out your work. ‘ribbit’ is the sound it makes.
Oh and I’ve been meaning to say Hello and Welcome :waving: to the forum. You will love it. Amy’s videos really helped me out. One day I sat and watched all of them. It helped when people where talking about things at least I knew what it looked like even if I couldn’t give out help.

I’m the same way Joel! I hate to see even a tiny imperfection, and tend to frog more than fix. My husband is always saying "And this is a relaxing hobby for you because…? I’m actually working on a baby blanket and found 2 mistakes about 5 rows back. Strangely enough, I didn’t feel mad about it. Just sort of oh, well I guess I need to rip.

Note to self…don’t attempt to knit while sitting with the kids at McDonalds.

Hope the wife is feeling better!

Hi Joel! I am a firm believer in frogging… I don’t want to use/wear something I knitted with a mistake… then that’s the only thing I’ll see!

Love the frog… be one with the frog… :frog:

Welcome aboard!! The way you described the yarn you were using is how my sister talks about my motorcycles; it’s so funny :slight_smile: And she keeps sms-ing me for the exact terminology each time she talks to someone about my bikes. At least you remember once you’ve asked :thumbsup:

I understand you’re working with cotton now? What do you think of it? it seems different people either love or hate knitting with cotton so I’d be curious to see what you think :slight_smile:


Hey Karen,

I don’t have much to compare the cotton against. The other yarn I was using, to the best of my knowledge, was some standard worsted weight yarn. The cotton seems fine to me. But based on what I’ve been told, cotton is probably the best thing to use for kitchen type stuff that could come in contact with hot pans, etc… because unlike the acrylic, there’s no chance of it melting when put against the heat.

And by the way everyone, I managed to get another 3 rows done last night. :slight_smile: So, I’m back up to earthworm blanket size and going to keep on going. :wink:

Nice Job :thumbsup: Keep it up and you’ll be done before ya know it. :thumbsup:

I am literally salivating at the thought of running onto a garage sale with a box full of expensive yarns. That’s like my DREAM. :shock:

Oh, and welcome, from another, fairly new, knitter. I’m enjoying your blog. :thumbsup:

I’ll soon be giving cotton a chance aswell; hence the curiousity. I’ve only used whatever leftover yarn I could get my hands on, usually given to me by other people :slight_smile:
I also heard cotton is the best for kitchen things so we’ll see how it will go for me.

YAY!! good job on passing the “eathworm blanket” stage :thumbsup:

Well hello to everyone again and Happy Mother’s Day!

This has been an interesting week. I got more rows done on Saturday alone than I’ve done previously combined! I estimate I did about 15-20 rows in between all the other things happening. The dishcloth is now about 4.5 inches long, and it seems to be more than 10 inches wide. (I’m using a starter set of knitting needles that was given to me.) I can’t for certain tell you the current width because the stitches, when I stretch them out to a normal width, rather than leaving them in their compacted state, would go past the end of the needle.

As for Mother’s Day, I bought my wife a book of really cool crochet patterns, and spent all day today (Sunday) out in the yard, pulling up a huge amount of grass for a new flower bed she wants. I haven’t done any knitting today at all and I’m not likely to… I’m sore as hell. I took an Aleve and plan on soaking in the tub for a little bit before heading to bed to begin the next week of work. Thankfully, this is going to be my short week. I’ll have Friday off and I’m hoping to finish or at least do another 4.5 inches of knitting. I’ve been starting to think about what my next project would be. I need to learn how to purl. And well, doing a scarf as we go into warmer weather, seems a little ridiculous.

My wife just walked in and I was reading her this post… she says but it may take you a little while (to do the scarf). Very True… she’s hopping in my tub (she’s sore too). Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing what I can finish this week on my project. I’m looking forward to posting a picture of this project too. I was chatting with LisaD715 this week and she asked to see me knit. We’ve chatted alot (even before joining this forum). She doesn’t have webcam yet but she does have audio (mic and speakers), so we will do audio chats and I’ve turned on my webcam for her sometimes. She thinks I’m doing ok on my knitting technique.


Well, that’s all for now…