1. We want to hand knit something special for our loved ones i.e. our babies, boyfriends, husbands etc. (Gee, the one and only time I saw a guy knitting; I was stunned by the chilli-red sweater... I hope his girlfriend appreciates it. I wished the LYS owner could have given him some advice!)
2. We want to *create* something with our hands. Not ready made, something that we could well do from scratch. (well, almost...we don't have sheeps in Singapore so wool shearing is out of the question!)
"From me (my hands) only"
These are the terms that we want to associate our gifts with to our loved ones.
3. We want to knit something that would fit and feels absolutely wonderful next to our skin! With all that time, effort and $$$, of course that is an important criteria.That is why it is very important to learn to read pattern instructions properly to get an idea if the final product is what you want. You must understand that patterns are written to fit general body shapes and if you fall out of that range, i.e. too petite or have skinny limbs (like me) then you must learn how to adapt or adjust the pattern accordingly.
Knitting blindly by following the pattern is not the way to go.
Skip this step and the final results may disappoint you. I have in my early days, had those disastrous attempts where the sleeves are way too short -- I need 2 inches extra or too wide under the arms -- the pattern was way too "comfy loose" fit on me.
And they all go into the frog pond (for those who are new, it just refers to the ripping of the entire project.) It was tears for me initially, with all that hard work put in and if you happen to be knitting under a tight gifting deadline, you'll know what I mean.
That's why for the knitting sessions I conduct, the initial emphasis is on knowing your own fit factor (or your recipient's) and how to custom fit (yes, that's part of the 1-1 session content and the basic pattern designing & writting for your personal custom fit comes with these 1-1 sessions at no extra charge) as we go along or adapt a pattern to suit your needs.
Ill fitting garments just puts anyone off and you won't want to wear them. (Maybe I am just too picky, I have already ripped out my very first garment; it was like wearing an armour shield!)
As you can see, learning to create the right fabric drape is just as important. So is the yarn selection: too scratchy or too heavy will just prevent the item from being a wardrobe favourite. Surely, you won't want to see your painstakingly knitted gift being stored at the back of the closet?
Grace came for the very reason: custom fit pattern for her boyfriend and a badge adaptation for the pullover.
But of course, if you are one of those lucky ones who happen to look good in standard size patterns, good for you since it's propably cheaper for you to purchase a sweater off a rack! However, the reality is: most of us hardly are standard size; I mean, even *standard sizing* varies from country to country!
Like I said, at the end of the day; knitting is meant to be pleasant. The initial period will be tough as your hands are adapting to new coordination skills but once you pick up the momentum, it will soon be easy and you can even watch TV or chit-chat with your friends as you knit!
PS. the 4th reason and the very initial reason I picked up knitting: I wanted to learn something that'll teach me patience.
PPS. Just in case anyone is wondering, I am not against group classes. In fact, I'll only suggest those once you are reasonably equipped with basic skills before you move into those group sessions so that it's easier for everyone as no one lags behind too much. Sharing is sexy