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My personal (but public) notes about my homebrewing, knitting and other random stuff

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I've started, so I'll finish

Panda with scarf
One drawback of having a relatively unusual name shared by the host of a popular TV quiz at the time I was growing up (Magnus Magnusson on Mastermind) is that I had to endure endless witticisms from people who thought they were being highly original in quoting catchphrases from the program at me. The main one I remember was "I've started, so I'll finish", which in fact is often quite a good principal.

The reason I mention this now is that over 20 years ago (at the tender age of something less than 10) I started to knit a scarf for my (toy) panda, and I finished it last week. Not the same scarf, mind you, but the same idea for my first knitting project. The first time round, I quickly became discouraged at my inability to knit the same number of stitches in any two consecutive rows and abandoned knitting altogether.

A few weeks back, I was wearing my favourite scarf - a 10' long striped one (inspired by Doctor Who) knitted for me by my sister-in-law, Jane, about 5 years ago (it wasn't quite so long when she knitted it, but it has pouches at the end which I often use for carrying books and things, so it's stretched a fair bit over time). Somebody was admiring it and happened to ask if I'd knitted it myself. I admitted that I hadn't, but it sowed a seed of inspiration and within a few days I'd nipped off to the local bookshop to pick up a book on the subject ("Knitting for Dummies" by Pam Allen - not (to my mind) a very inspiring title, but actually a pretty good book) and then down to the sewing shop at the bottom of my road for some needles and a ball of yarn, followed by several frustrating hours of trying to figure out what to do with them. Eventually I started to get the hang of it and have been happily knitting ever since. Having once started and failed to complete a scarf for my panda, I decided that it would be a good thing to tackle for my first proper project, after a few simple swatches to practise the basic stitches. You should be able to see the result in the picture accompanying this blog entry.

I've started on a few other projects since then, but I'll save mention of them for later as this post is already getting a bit on the long side.
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