Learning to Knit

I 1st learned to knit from a friend's mother, Juanita. I had to be about 11 or 12. I think I only learning the K and possible the P. She made me a Christmas stocking with a big Santa head intarsia'd (http://www.sweaterscapes.com/intars.htm to learn how) on it. His beard is made of white angora. I still have this stocking although it's not quite as fluffy as it once was.

I re-learned in High School from my mother. My first finished project was a pair of white acrylic mittens knitted in the round on 4 DPNs. They turned gray awefully quickly. Mom taught me in the English throwing way. (vs. the continental picking way.) [http://www.fuzzygalore.biz/articles/continental.shtml for the differences and the debate about which is "better"] The mittens were my only project until later...

About 6 years ago, a friend was taking a knitting class. She brought her stuff over one night and showed me the continental stitch she was working on. I had seen this done once before by a friend in Austria a couple of years before that. (I don't actually remember knitting in Austria, but I must have because I remember the Swedes and Poles asking why I held the yarn in my right hand, and they demonstrated this crazy fast way to knit with the yarn in the left hand.) Anyway, my cousin was about to have her first child and I thought, "huh, maybe I should knit something." I believe I knit that baby blanket "Englishly" and it took forever.

My next project was socks, and I had my friend show me again how to knit continentally, and an "aha moment" was born. (The Sock Story: My husband and I were in Galena, IL with friends and there is this barley/granola/essential oil/natural soaps, etc. store. Also, there was hand spun/hand dyed wool that came in clumps of 5 or 6 colors with a pattern for socks. I really wanted the yarn and my husband said "Let me get this straight... you want to pay $36... for socks... that YOU have to make?" YES. So I did.)

Since then, I've cranked out more mittens than I can remember. My taste in yarn has changed from acrylics (not that there's anything wrong with them) to the natural fibers. I still make baby stuff out of completely washable non-natural, but oh-so-soft fibers.

I've taught multiple people how to knit, and it's so gratifying to see their personalities come out in their knitting. Some have tackled projects I never would and choose colors that are, well, not what I would choose, but that please them. I now have knitting buddies who can walk up and down and up and down the yarn aisles and not get bored imagining projects for all that yummy wool goodness. Recently, a college student (who has just finished her 1st project and is working on her 2nd) and I went yarn shopping. At one point we both picked up a particularly cushy yarn, held them up to our faces and looked at each other dreamily over the top of the skeins. It was a bonding moment. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bought that mitten book the year you were born!

Guess who?