And then I discovered two things that completely changed my crafting life: Ravelry and Knitty.
And I started knitting things like this anatomically-inspired heart, which I think was my first experience with knitting in the round. I used double-pointed needles and yarn held double, which wasn't easy...
|Anniversary heart, 2009 (pattern: Kristen Legett's Heart)|
And then I made these three-fingered gloves, which I remember struggling with. Double-pointed needles AND a cable needle added up to a handful of unruly spikes. But I got there, and the gloves were cool!
|Reptile gloves, 2009 (pattern: Tina Melvin's Tridactyl)|
The fun patterns that were coming out began to spark ideas, like the alternative moustache shape I used on this cowl. I shared my moustache chart on my Ravelry project page, and it was a thrill to see a few people use it on their own cowls.
|Cowl of Disguise, 2010 (pattern: Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark's Incognito)|
I had a go at whichever patterns inspired me, and built up a lot of new skills as I went. This hat (covered in fossil trilobites!) was my introduction to more complex texture with cables and bobbles. I'm keen to knit a new one actually, I love this design.
|Fossil hat, 2010 (pattern: Hannah Ingalls' Trilobite)|
Eventually I took the plunge and knit an actual garment for myself. And I didn't choose a simple one - I went for it and chose one that looked AMAZING. It's knit in separate pieces, with complex cables on the front and back, and double-moss-stitch texture on the sleeves and sides. It took me about three months to knit, and I was super-proud when it fit!
|A progress photo, courtesy of Dad|
|My First Jersey, 2011 (pattern is Norah Gaughan's Beatnik)|
I've since knit more things from Knitty (like my steeked Iðunn cardie), and I have more things in my queue waiting to be knit (like these cute Geek Socks). I've also learned heaps from the articles, and refer back to them for reminders of particular techniques. And I still can't quite believe I have a pattern of my own in Knitty too. :)
Knitty is going through some changes at the moment, and I'm supporting it through Patreon so it can keep being awesome. I've got a massive amount out of it over the years, especially when I was a relative beginner. Easily accessible free patterns for stuff I actually wanted to make? And articles with tutorials for all the new tricks I wanted to learn? Gold.
Thank you, Knitty. <3