I’ve been knitting since I was about 14. When I was in high school, I used to teach other kids how to knit during breaks and lunches. I never sought these impromptu students out. I do a lot of silly crafty things, but knitting is very portable and relatively rare in public places so it has a strange way of attracting curious onlookers. People NEED to know what I’m knitting (which can be fun when I’m knitting things like dildo cozies and garter belts) and then those people, boys and girls alike, want SO badly to learn. It’s not hard to learn so I could never help but teach. I was a weird kid though. For a while, I was also selling people mice from out of my locker.
A friend of mine recently asked if I could knit her a goofy hat like the one Jayne Cobb wore in Firefly. How could I say no? If I could combine all the things I love into one super-interest, I definitely would, lol. But I wasn’t going to knit her something crappy. I wanted a quality goofy hat. I wanted wool. I’ve been knitting for at least eight years and I’ve never shelled out for wool. I booked it down to the closest yarn store (Burn on me because I just moved and the closest yarn store to my new house is the one that was right next to my old house.) and picked my colors in wool. Then I tried to knit with it.
Sweet Jesus, casting on with wool is torture. First off, ewwww, I’m knitting with hair. And second, while casting on, which I do pretty fast nowaday, the yarn would just thin out and fall apart. I started over at least three times before I realized that if I went really slow and retwisted the yarn when it started to look like a lot of thin hair, I could cast on without having a bunch of tied together bits. It got better once I had my 80 stitches on the needle but I was so terrified that I had paid $10 for a skein of yarn that was horrible. I can’t imagine returning a skein of yarn and I would feel even worse if I’d gone to return it and it had been all user error.
I just finished the first hat and it looks like I have enough yarn left to make at least two more that are up for grabs. Actually knitting with the wool was great. It feels amazing and soft and so far it looks like it makes a real strong fabric. I am incredibly pleased.
Edit: Here’s the pattern I used. It turned out great, so I wanted to give props to this awesome girl. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=19076.msg169548#msg169548