Présentation d'une Amateur Knitter

Hi everyone! Julia, aka Amateur Knitter speaking. For a long time I had a blog in which I mostly wrote about my love of reading and all things Jane Austen and BBC related. It was fun and I discovered things and people I never dreamed I would... After a few years, I realised my interests had shifted, not changed entirely, but I could not find the will to continue. In the meantime, I had discovered knitting and the wonderful world of Ravelry! In the early days, I never quite understood how people could say they were addicted to knitting. To me, it was a nice hobby, sure, but not something I thought I could really become passionate about... Well, needless to say I was wrong!
I've been knitting for 2 or 3 years now. I taught myself for the most part. My grandmother did teach me how to cast on, knit and purl but a stroke left her unable to knit and I had to fumble onwards on my own. I turned to Phildar catalogues for patterns and beginners instructions but after a while it got frustrating. One, their patterns are really unclear and hard to decipher. Two, I don't love their designs...
And then, one day, a few months ago, I discovered the magic of Ravelry and that opened up a endless horizon of possibilities. Hooray for Ravelry I say! I've mainly stuck with accessories, which seemed easier and more accessible to a somewhat beginner like me. But I do love a challenge and I love patterns that teach me new techniques and methods, such as knitting in the round, magic loop, cables (Oh, how I love cables!), and so on... My most recent discovery was grafting with the kitchener stitching method, I learned it this morning.
For my sister's and my roommate's birthdays, I offered to knit them each a sweater and they chose the patterns they loved. For my sister, it was the Twenty Ten cardigan by Veera Valimaki. Needless to say, I am absolutely obsessed with her designs, they embody everything I love about knitting: simple, modern designs. The funny thing, though, was that I was extremely ambitious when offering to knit two sweaters with only one month til the first brithday, and both birthdays being ten days apart. Thank god my roommate chose the Abalone pattern by Beata Jezek, easy and simple, plus it's a quick knit, so I might finish it in time! All of this meant that I have been knitting like a crazy woman for the last few weeks and I'm looking forward to finally knitting something for myself. You see, I have the unnerving tendency to give away my finished projects to people when I fully intended to keep them for myself.
Anyhow, I have just completed my very first sweater and I couldn't be prouder. I don't think I ever really intended to manage it, and I was stunned to do it in about three weeks! My sister's Twenty Ten is blocking as I type, drying away on the balcony in the breeze of a warm Paris evening.
I followed religiously all of Veera's instructions. Her patterns are so well-written, so clear and almost effortless to knit. Just do everything she says and you're golden! I love the diagonal buttonband, the high collar, the short sleeves and warm body of this cardigan. I don't think I would have chosen it for myself, but it suits my sister perfectly. No blocking necessary as it was already the right size, so I just laid it flat and hoped for the best. It seems to have grown in size somewhat though, which worries me, but I'll just have to wait and see how it ends up once it's completely dry. I'm really new to blocking by the way, and I don't enjoy it one bit...
So I hope this blog turns out well and that I will persevere in keeping it afloat and fed regularly. I might also embark on other topics but we'll see about that later! It's a work in progress!

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