I love to learn new things. When something takes my eye that I fancy trying, I am a woman on a mission.
You've probably guessed from my blog that I'm a keen cook. Which is why I attend a monthly Cookery Club at a local restaurant. The chef gives demonstrations on a theme and we watch how to make the dishes and then sample them along with a drink that complements the dish. Today's theme was chocolate. Which explains how, by 11 am today I had eaten a double chocolate chip cookie, a slice of dark chocolate and almond torte and two different white chocolate baked cheesecakes. And a glass of sherry. Only small portions I have to say, but boy did I not need any lunch when I got home!
And I was keen to get home because, inspired by Sian , I am trying my hand at knitting socks. She's showcased some amazing works of art on her blog and she makes it sound like it is a relaxing and rewarding pastime. Whilst I've knitted quite a lot in the past, I've never tried anything quite like a pair of socks. I asked Sian for recommendations on wools and general advice and made a list of what I wanted that I could pass it on as part of my birthday 'wish list'.
So, with a ball of self striping wool and 5 double pointed needles I set myself the task of finding an easy pattern suitable for beginners. Not so easy as you may think - once you start reading them you realise that some involve language that only an experienced knitter will understand. After an hour or so, I found one that spoke my language, the pattern was printed off and away I went.
Have you any idea how awkward it feels to be knitting on 4 needles? Well if you have ever wondered, it feels very awkward to start with. After three false starts, I was off. The tension on the needles was very similar to the tension in my shoulders as I concentrated hard on keeping stitches on needles and wool unknotted. I was just settling into a bit of new found confidence when Coco decided that the only place in the whole house that she wanted to sit was on my lap. On top of the wool. By the time I went to bed, 6 rows of ribbing were looking ok.
I started afresh the next day and was soon knitting back and forth in a happy routine. Confidence was high, and I was already planning the colours of the next pair. As I stopped for a coffee I thought I'd read the next bit of the pattern. Which involved heel flaps. And gussets. Slipping stitches, decreasing stitches, picking cast off stitches back on 4 needles, condensing the stitches to 3 needles, then back to four and don't even ask me about the method for doing the toe area.
Still, I quite liked the look of the tube of knitting that I was achieving and decided that if it all went horribly wrong, maybe I could turn them into ankle warmers and bring back a bit of 80s fashion.
But I'm persevering and I'm half way through my heel flap, I still don't really understand the next bit on joining bits back and turning the corner but I'm working on the assumption that it will become clearer as I work through it, one stitch at a time. Failing that, there's always YouTube! Anybody else out there having a go at something new this year?