Tuesday, 2 September 2008

You Spent How Much?

I'm too embarrassed to tell you how much exactly, but to put it into proportion, it was more than my disposable income for the month. That means that instead of petrol, lunch, going out or buying anything at all, I bought Lucy Neatby DVDs instead. I had to have them. All. Now!

I ordered Knitting Essentials One, to see if Lucy was any good, and within the first few minutes I was blown away. I was casting on wrong. Casting on!! How basic is that? I was doing the cable cast on wrong. I was doing the long-tail cast on wrong. No wonder I was struggling to produce good results. I was doing EVERYTHING wrong. So I made my Internet yarn store happy by sending off for Knitting Essentials Two, Finesse Your Knitting One, and Knitting Gems One, Two, Three and Four. Yes, all at once. That's a lot of knitting instruction, but I need to know how to knit.

Lucy Neatby has a pleasant, calm voice and the DVDs show her hands working against a black background and give you a knitter's eye view. No fuss, no mess, no tricks. They are wonderful if you want to learn how to knit. But for me, it was traumatic viewing first time around.
  • Lucy sets the tone by demonstrating the right way to deal with the last piece of yarn and then by demonstrating the way I do it and saying: 'Now promise me you'll never do this again!'
  • Lucy raises the embarrassing topic of stitch abuse. Oh no! I am a stitch abuser! No wonder my poor knitting looked so ragged.
  • Lucy mentions the 'unpleasantness' that results from certain knitting habits. You'll have guessed by now that those habits were all mine.
  • Lucy mentions the 'junk' that hangs from knitting like mine and promises that 'you'll feel so much better' if you tidy it up her way.
  • Lucy explains why the type of yarn I've just bought is so difficult to work with.
  • Lucy demonstrates her way of doing mattress stitch, and then mine, saying, 'you'll see that the result isn't quite so neat if you do it this way.'

You can see that she has a dry sense of humour. It softens the pain of realising just how wrong you can go when learning to knit from diagrams. There's nothing like seeing the yarn actually move over the needles to help you understand how the stitches should be formed. From now on, I do it Lucy's way. It will be interesting to see how the Tangerine Nightmare turns out. But if it's a disaster, it won't be Lucy's fault. It'll be mine!

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