July 3rd, 2008
Before working at Lion Brand, I only had limited experiences with handknit items. A friend of mine knit me a beautiful ribbed red scarf when I was in college, (It wasn’t until working at Lion Brand that I realized that the yarn used was Wool-Ease Thick & Quick) and later in college, my girlfriend knit me a scarf with Homespun. I kept thinking about how beautiful and amazing hand-knit pieces were, but could never wrap my head around the idea that two long cylindrical objects (needles) could take a piece of yarn and create something wearable. It was a task that I considered far too difficult for my clumsy, maladroit hands.
Not two weeks into working at Lion Brand, however, I noticed the incredible knitting and crocheting culture here. From Zontee (of the YarnCraft podcast) to Jackie and Karen (of the Design Department), I had a number of people telling me that knitting wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought. So one day after work, I sat down with Zontee and was ready to learn. She taught me how to cast on and how to knit. That night I knit a number of rows, and came back to work ready for something new.
After work that next day, Zontee was ready to teach me how to purl. A few rows later, I was knitting a stockinette stitch, and was excited to start my first real project. Looking for a fairly simple project that could help me hone my newly found knitting and purling abilities, the people in our Design Department found a great, easy 2 and 1/2 Hour Scarf for me to complete. This would be a little bit more complex, and used three strands weaved in as one, but was an exciting first project. The first day I was ready to choose my yarn. With the expertise of our creative director, Karen, I picked out three beautiful colors of Vanna’s Choice, and I was ready to go. Once again, Zontee helped me cast on and watched me knit my first few rows.
For the next few days, I could be found at home, on the train and after work working on this scarf. This was during NFL playoffs as well, so I was knitting while watching the Giants play – something that I would have never anticipated. The first few rows started off a little shaky (as you can see on the left side of the scarf), but after that, it was four and a half feet of pretty smooth sailing. When I got into trouble toward the end, Zontee also helped me to fix a stitch I’d dropped.
Truthfully, it was fun, exciting and really not as hard as I’d originally imagined. Though the “2 and 1/2 hour” label given to me probably did not take into account the fact that I had knitting growing pains, it still was a fairly quick project to do. With a little bit of help from everyone here, I now have a scarf that I’m proud to say I knit! I’ll admit though, it’s easier to knit a beautiful scarf when you’re surrounded by fantastic knitters.