Call me slow, but I had an 'ah hah' moment yesterday. Tuesday night I Googled for knitted hairbands (for holding one's hair off the face, not the long haired, usually very loud variety). I found a lovely (free) pattern from 'Half-Assed Patterns'.
Now, I'm not really a knitter. I have knitted an entire jumper (sweater). If I die in winter, I might leave a request to be buried in it. I'm very proud of my jumper. It is all stocking stitch, with ribbing on the cuffs. It has to be simple the easiest jumper pattern on the planet. And yes, it has a couple of dropped stitches, and a entire row that had to be undone and was put back on the left needle incorrectly. But I don't care. I did it, I did it all by myself. And I've never done another one, because I realise I'm not a knitter. It's way too slow for me.
However, I like the entire concept of knitting. When I saw this hairband, which is labelled "advanced beginner", I thought "I can do that!" Hmmm, sometimes (only sometimes) I'm a little over ambitious. This pattern has several techniques that I've never done before. Now, silly me would reach an unfamiliar term, Google it, Youtube it, and then try it - ON MY REAL WORK! Well, duh Freddy, that's just a recipe for disaster. I have unravelled this thing at least five times.
Then the ah-hah moment - DON'T PRACTISE ON THE REAL WORK! It's really so very simple. And it applies to more than knitting.
- cook a new recipe for your family before offering it to visitors
- quilt a pattern on scrap fabric before stitching it on your quilt
- make a calico dummy of new pattern before cutting up your expensive fabric
- paint a test patch on the wall before buying 10 litres of paint
- keep a dummy patch of knitting on spare needles to try new stitches before working on the real project.
I am now up to about Row 30 of my hairband. Successfully negotiated the first little bit of cable. Think I've worked out yarn over, followed by both knit and purl stitches. And about to tackle the next cable section - after I test run it on my dummy project!