Thursday, June 29, 2006

Becoming a Knitter

Barbara Steverson taught me to knit. I was in first grade and living with my family in Germany. My first knitting project was a humble potholder. I can picture that potholder so vividly you'd think I knit it yesterday. Blue, green, yellow and pink pastels arranged functionally into a potholder -- double thick. It's ironic that a potholder was my first adventure in knitting because as an adult I am always burning myself. I'm just not good with fire. You know, the kind you use to cook things -- very dangerous. I finished my potholder and didn't knit again for ten years. I'm not sure what renewed my interest in knitting but, when I was around 16, I decided to knit again. As you might imagine, I had not retained all that I learned on that first project. So, I purchased the "Learn How Book: Knitting, Crocheting, Tatting, Embroidery" published by Coats and Clarks for 66 cents and taught myself. That little book has been my faithful companion for decades and I still refer to it often. For my next project, I chose to knit a sweater. I have never lacked confidence in my ability to do whatever it is I've had in my mind to do. So, I began knitting my peach, fuzzy sweater. As it turned out, I have a rather limited attention span. Not good when you're knitting a sweater. I lost interest in my sweater when I got to the sleeves. The solution --- short sleeves. So, I had a peach, fuzzy, short-sleeved sweater. Over the next several years, I knit many short-sleeve sweaters but not all of them were fuzzy. I also knit several skirts. You don't need sleeves for skirts. I did manage to make one whole, long-sleeved sweater for my fiance (now my ex-husband). I quit knitting somewhere around age 21 just as quickly as I had started and shortly after the long-sleeve sweater. Long-sleeves are very daunting. During the next 16 years, I did some sewing, some cross-stitching, and a little crocheting but I did not knit a single stitch. I also had two wonderful children who continue to delight me. The knitting bug hit again in December, 2005. I made everyone I knew a scarf for Christmas. Then, I decided to give socks another go. It had been one of my biggest knitting regrets that I had been unable to conquer sock knitting. I had tried to knit socks in the past but they were simply beyond my ability. I could not create a single thing that remotely resembled a sock. Why? I couldn't tell you. Anyway, I got out my 66 cent book and began working on the sock pattern on page 45 (Teen Socks). Many hours and late nights later, my first pair of hand knit socks. They even looked like socks. The joy was overwhelming. I had knit a pair of socks! More than a dozen pairs later, I am still knitting socks. It turns out, socks are the perfect knitting project for someone with a limited attention span and an aversion to knitting long-sleeves. I am also currently knitting a sweater for my daughter, chosen because it is sleeveless. Sleeveless by design not because I won't knit the sleeves.

Me, at 18, wearing an ill-fitting, short-sleeved, sweater. I over estimated my girth. It was teal green with pink at the collar. What was I thinking?


At 8:21 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Great story! Glad you finally have a blog!

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Jenny said...

Yay for socks! I've decided that all I want to knit are socks and purses!

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