My hands are ruined.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

This is a stupid freaking way to make anything.

Look what I did:

Ta-DA!

Ow, my fingers!

Knitting is a hobby for masochists, I’ve decided. Thanks to my obsessive nature, I have done almost nothing but hunch over my needles for the last 24 hours. Nothing but knitting, muttering darkly to myself, considering shoving the wooden needles through my own eyeballs, and purling.

At the start of the day yesterday, I didn’t know how to purl. I watched instruction videos, I printed out written instructions, and still I managed to make up my own bizarre knit stitch that somehow doubled or tripled the number of stitches on your needle. I’m not really clear on how I did it, but I did that stitch through three tries until some of my roommates came home around five o’clock yesterday. One of them said, “Uh oh, I think maybe we had better leave. Meg is trying knitting again and it might be safer for us, elsewhere.”

The other stuck her head into the room I was in, laughed ruefully, and started to withdraw but I cried, “Nooo! Don’t leeeeeeeave meeeeeeeeeeeee!” And then I asked her how the hell to make a purl stitch. She laughed at me some more and then showed me, and then showed me how to switch back and forth between knitting and purling.

I won’t complain about her country music for at least a week. She saved me from very likely going insane, pulling my hair out, climbing a tree, and eating the damn yarn.

Anyway: my pinky fingers are cramped and sore (apparently bracing your needles with your pinkies is unusual?), my fingertips feel more like half-numb fingertrips (if I have to keep backspacing and deleting and retyping, heaven help the planet), my shoulders are both tight and mushy, and I have one slightly lopsided cotton washcloth (with a few gaps and dropped stitches and misshapen corners) to show for it.

Why did I pick knitting up again, after making the single most heinous pair of booties known to mankind for my mother for Mothers’ Day? Again, my mother is to blame:

Peru Project 17

Mom sent me this link Thursday night. It was the first thing I saw in my email yesterday morning. I clicked through, I looked at some photographs. And just like that, I was sold.

As soon as I left work yesterday, I headed to A.C. Moore in search of my very own pair of knitting needles and some yarn.

Takumi 8 gauge, 9"

Baby's first pair of knitting needles!

[I’m oddly proud of the fact that I have my own pair of needles, now. I’ve officially lost any chance at escaping the knitting hobby.]

I grabbed four little skeins of Lily Sugar’n’Cream yarns, all 100% cotton.

Sugar'n'Cream

This yarn makes me crave Oreos.

I walked out of the store, plopped myself down on a bench to wait for a bus, and promptly lost all dignity and sense of scale as I (attempted to) knit like the fate of the world depended on it. All with immense frustration, much biting of lips, much bitter oration, and several instances of to-hell-with-this-I’m-ripping-it-out-and-starting-over!!

Having completed this washcloth, I have already begun a second one from the same skein. I’m not sure there will be enough yarn to make a fully square cloth this second time around, but hopefully I’ll figure out that little “tension” matter at some point during this project and won’t lose quite as much yarn on extremely loose stitches. I may actually end up keeping this washcloth, if the others turn out significantly better, because imagine being the poor girl who gets stuck with the washcloth with the gaps in it when the 104 other girls have lovely, professional-looking washcloths from experienced knitters (and people with experienced knitters as readily available tutors!). If the other cloths I make are similarly Frankenstein’d, at least the unlucky girls with my cloths will be able to bond through their laughter at my attempts. [I aim to please!]

If you knit, or know someone who does, please send them a link to Peru Project 17. If you’ve ever thought about learning how to knit, now is a good time (and also, I don’t want to suffer alone). Join me and together we will sacrifice our hands For Great Justice!

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3 thoughts on “My hands are ruined.

  1. Meg…. I am a friend of your mom’s (mom of Amanda from Project 17)… I am so excited your making washcloths for the orphanage, but I am so terribly sorry your fingers and shoulders are sore!!!! Keep at it and pretty soon your going to become one of the professionals!

    On another note, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog!!! Your mom shared it with me and I am so happy she did because its great!

    Jackie

    • Hi, Mrs. Dudek! 🙂 The good news is that my hands are already in better shape. The soreness has eased up a lot and I’m being rather careful with my fingertips so they’re not as tender as they were yesterday. I’m not sure I’ll EVER manage to fall along the ranks of “great” knitters, but at this point I might be able to aim for “not terrible.”

      Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog. Mom says I’m embarrassing her by using “all those bad words” in things her friends are reading. Mission accomplished, I guess?

      Have a happy Fourth!

  2. I’m so glad to hear your not as sore as you were the other day!!! Boy, you’d think knitting is a work out huh??? I wish it were the case cause I do a lot of knitting these days!!!

    Tell Mom she’s silly to be embarrassed! never mind, I’ll tell her myself!!! LOL

    So if your looking for another blog to follow, here is another my daughter has going… she’s making a huge change in her life and is driving across country with her 2 friends to move to AZ also (like us)! If you like it, feel free to share with your friends who are into art and such! (It’s in its early stages!) http://pinkmandarin.blogspot.com/

    Can’t wait to read what you write about next!!!
    Jackie

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