Knitting Help

Gardener's Supply Company - Deal of the Week

Sunday Stashers, see post below this one – I forgot to add the specific post link on Judy’s site, doh.

Also, for those who don’t like such things, fair warning – there’s a photo of surgical stitches on my hand in this post.

Alright, craftmateers – you came up with great help for the quilter’s knot, which, I’m pleased to say, I was able to use last night with tremendous glee. I still have to figure out how to make it work on the end of the thread when I’m running out and need to finish things off, but baby steps.

Not content to leave well enough alone, I’m trying to teach myself how to knit. I’ve found the following sites, but again (and to my complete consternation,) I’m having a hugely hard time following instructions:

Part of the problem, I think, is I’ve never, ever been any good with knots of any sort. At all. When I worked as a ranch hand/vet tech on the alpaca ranch, this vexed the experienced hands to no end; they would mumble about me in Spanish, only a few words of which I could catch, none of which were flattering. They were good guys, but they surely didn’t understand me at all – what kind of woman does this sort of work? Why didn’t I want to get married, have babies, cook? (Seriously.) And if I wanted to be a ranch hand, I should at least know the basics, the stuff they learned when they were, like, three.

I worked my ass off on that ranch to prove my worth, and ultimately, I think I did – more or less. The guys and I all got along, and I lifted commercial bales of hay and straw, hauled ginormous bags of grain around, mucked out stalls… even though I always needed help with knots.

I miss my little alpaca friends so much, and hope they are all well.

My favorite girl

Me and my favorite girl

Alpacas and knots all do tie into knitting – alpaca fleece is soft and wonderful and is often spun into yarn, and one needs to tie special knots in order to knit. Part of what I’m wrestling with, I think, is the loss of dexterity on my left hand due to having popped off the distal tendon on my left ring finger (in a bizarre fluke accident at the ranch, no less,) which resulted in two surgeries and months of physical therapy (which I didn’t keep up with, and now I’m stuck with the fruits of my apathy.)



I believe I have managed to get a row of cast-on stitches accomplished, after Ani showed me again how to do it. And now I’m stuck again.  Evidently, I am just terrible at these things. “Make a slip-knot,” the instructions say. Ok… how does one make a slip-knot? That I can probably find out online, but you see the tabula rasa I am. [EDIT – Ok, that part was easy: How to tie a slip knot]

Even though it’s Sunday, and it’s always slow on Sundays, I don’t want to be naughty and spend a bunch of time surfing for knitting sites. Plus, there seem to be a great deal of largely unclear tutorials out there, if one is a rank novice.

So, I’m calling in The Internets once again to save my sorry butt – have you ever, in your travels, stumbled across a wildly easy-to-follow knitting tutorial? So easy, a child could do it? Seriously, I’m about to fetch a child of five to teach me how to do this. [EDIT: In that spirit, I’m Googling “teach a child to knit” and found a finger-knitting tutorial… I am even managing to screw that up, omfg. How awesome am I?!]

Thank you in advance for helping this floundering fish so far out of her element.


Posts at least a little bit like this one:


6 responses to Knitting Help

  1. Ouch! Geez. Chris wonders how the cut is a perfect zig zag! hehe How did it heal up? Pretty good scar now?

  2. Elle Clark

    Great picture of you with the alpaca! Having a thing for amazing yarns and starting to work with alpaca I understand the draw.

    In 4-H as a child I was in a knitting class and was sent home due to my teachers inability to teach me to knit. I have been a avid crocheter and have done embroidery, cross stitch, rug hooking, hand sewing, loom knitting, and even tatting (a torturous skill to make homemade lace). And my point (I do have one) is I cannot knit! So, do not feel too terribly about it, knitting is a skill that is very complicated.

    One of the reasons I am going to the fiber seminar is they have professionals who say they CAN teach me to knit! Who Ho! So, with your ongoing quest to learn new skills, take it easy on yourself with this one! And I am sure you will get it (probably before I do)! So good luck! And if you ever feel like adding crocheting to your skill list I would be happy to show you how!

  3. Elle Clark

    Oh and yes those are some amazing stitches!

  4. Erin

    Lisa – the actual injury was completely internal; I got my finger caught in the collar of an alpaca running by, and it twisted and pulled and popped the distal tendon off internally. I thought I’d just broken it and kept on working. 😀 When I realized it was floppier and less painful than it should’ve been with a break, I finally went to the ED. They misdiagnosed it as a sprain. A week later, my doctor finally got it right. Couldn’t have the surgery for 3 months (what a crock, that’s the whole source of my problem currently.)

    ANYhow, for the surgery pictured here, they had to flay my hand and finger open to insert a silicon rod. The tendon sheath had shrunk over the three months I had to wait, and they had to stick that sucker in there for over a month for things to normalize. Then, in the second surgery, they cut a superfluous bit of tendon from my forearm and used it to replace the necrotic old tendon.

    It was a huge, long fricking ordeal. Couldn’t use that hand for anything for months and months. Other pictures with more details are here:

  5. Erin

    Elle – If I never take up crocheting (not out of the question!) I’ll definitely take you up on that.

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