Mittwoch, 30. März 2016

5 Reasons a Scarf is no good Beginner Knitting Project


My first knitting project I tried as a ten year old was a scarf. I gave up in the middle, after my Mom made me unravel almost half of what I already knit. Ten years later I wanted to learn knitting again. I started with a scarf again and after I finished this I gave up again. Some years later my urge to knit hit again, but finally I learned something and started with some cute baby booties for a friend's newborn. And got hooked. Since then I am knitting (almost) regularly and enjoying it. So despite hearing again and again that a scarf is such a great beginner knitting project, here are my five reasons it is not (and let me get this clear, if you have more patience and talent than I have a scarf may be an ideal project for you, but these are just my personal reasons):

1. It takes forever to finish it

Especially at the beginning of your knitting career it is normal to knit very slowly. And I mean really, really slow. I remember how I was always fascinated when my mother knit something. It was like watching a prima ballerina. Everything seemed to be so easy and quick. But each of my stitches was a fight. At first I was glad when the damned string would go through this tiny loop and each stitch felt like a torture. So of course a scarf will take a very long time before it is finished. And to be honest I am not a very patient person. I want to see progress with my project. This is the reason I sticked to sewing only for a very long time, because I can have a finished dress after one day, whereas with knitting I need a week for a tiny accessory.
Of course the more you knit, the faster you will get, but here we come to the next reason ...

2. It is boring

With a scarf, especially a beginner one, you knit the same row over and over again. What can be relaxing when you have a bit of experience, can make you insane when you are learning. At the beginning I was unable to tell knit from purl stitches and I was not able to count them right. I was very confused altogether. But even my scarf with only knit stitches made me not happy, because it was so damned boring. And I only wanted it to end. There was no excitement to learn something new. I only wanted to be done with this thing.
So maybe a small project with some more stitches may be better as a start. I loved my hand warmers. They were entirely made with knit and purl stitches, like a scarf. But because this was a much smaller project, it was much more fun. The progress was visible with every row.

3. It is expensive

A scarf with wool is like my son with chocolate. In the blink of an eye it has inhaled all of it. For a long scarf you will need a whole lot of wool. And the other reason I preferred sewing to knitting was that wool is really expensive. With fabric you can get a good deal and have a nice item, but with wool you should not make compromises. I learned for myself that it is always better to pay for the better wool. It feels better, it knits better and you will be much more pleased with the finished item.
So in the beginning, when you are not quite sure if this knitting thing is something for you, you may not want to spend a fortune on supplies, because let's be honest ...

4. You will probably never finish it

Because of reason 1. and 2. it is most likely that you will not have the patience to finish this boring as hell scarf. And then you have another UFO flying around that is haunting you. And you get nightmares about knitting needles stabbing you to death and ... Ok, I am exaggerating. It is just frustrating to fail with something you want to learn.
Or if you are really stubborn about finishing it, there is my last reason ...

5. You will probably never wear it

Your first rows and stitches will most likely not be perfect. And so the finished scarf will most likely look like a first grader made it. And most likely you will not want to wear it in public. At least this was the case with my first scarf. It screamed homemade! And I am not the person to rock this look. It was so frustrating to put all the hours into something I would never wear. I had more fun with knitting when I used the things I made or at least they looked a bit less homemade (or they were just for the fun of it, like knitted toys).

I don't want to scare you of knitting. Quite the contrary, but I really want to warn you about the scarf as an ideal beginner project. Maybe something small like a hat or hand warmers will be much more rewarding. Or at least not so frustrating to put in the back of a drawer. And after some small projects you will find that a bigger project like a cardigan or sweater or even a scarf will be much less frightening.

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