Saturday, July 20, 2013

Knit 1, Purl 1, Curse 8

Earlier this year, I took up knitting.

The local librarian kept inviting me to come to the Tuesday morning Knit Us Together sessions at the library, but I didn't know how to knit. I went anyway. I sat and observed the ladies who were knitting on round looms as well as with needles. The looms looked easy enough, so I figured it was worth the minor investment in a set of Loops & Threads looms at Michael's to see if I could do it. Then, I watched a few YouTube videos and in a couple of days I had knit a scarf. Not bad for a novice without needles. So I knitted another scarf. And then some hats. And then some slouchy beanies.

And then I got bored. The loom no longer interested me. I wanted to branch out and learn how to knit with needles.

My friend Valerie said she would like to learn how to knit as well, so we asked the shop owner at Ewe & Co. if she would teach us. We found out we could learn in two easy lessons how to cast on, knit, purl, and cast off for a small fee, and a knitting booklet, needles, and yarn were included. We were in.

After the first lesson, I went home and finished the assignment: knitting a pair of fingerless mitts. I wasn't crazy about the cotton yarn we'd gotten in class because I kept  splitting it with my needles. So I ripped it apart and started over with some cheap camo yarn I'd bought at Michael's for $2.99. Then I knitted another pair with some good yarn and had two completed pairs by the time I returned to Ewe & Co. for Lesson 2. Glenna Butts, the shop owner, pronounced me an "overachiever." I told her, "Blame it on my mother."

Mothers are always good to blame, and, more often than not, are the reason we succeed in life.

After the mitts, Glenna said I was ready to make a baby blanket, which was excellent timing because I had just discovered I was going to be a grandmother for the first time. The blanket pictured at the top and bottom of this blog is is what I made for my granddaughter, who is due a week after my 61st birthday. It was made with a lot of love, perseverance, and laced with a good amount of profanity.

I shan't bore you with everything I've knitted since March, but I don't feel right lying down and not knitting. I can't help but think my Auntie Anne, who was an expert knitter, would be proud of me, God rest her soul. Here we are in the dead of July, and I am a knitting fool.

Knitting also has afforded me the opportunity to bond with mother, who also is an expert knitter, and we share photos of projects we are doing.

Glenna also has taught me to be, in her words, somewhat of a "knitting snob." That is, to opt for natural and unusual fibers over the cheap acrylic yarn that is in most craft stores.

Surprisingly, knitting is a lot like writing. It teaches patience and perseverance. If something isn't right, you can't be afraid to edit your work and do it over until it is correct. In the process, you will increase your vocabulary and learn cuss words you never knew existed. In addition, you will learn knitting jargon, and that with just two basic stitches, the possibilities are endless.