Saturday, March 14, 2009
Oh my goodness! I thought I was getting better about posting but I guess not. I have been overly busy with work and attempting to stay busy with the very little school I have going on this semester. But here it finally is!
I have been in a knitting craze lately, only throwing in a little sewing here and there. Knitting has become a outlet for me. Making all the tedious stitches relieves my stress from a long, high-energy day and soothes my nerves when I'm upset about all the clothes or dishes strewn about my tiny, boxy apartment. I can take it anywhere, like the baseball game on on a car trip, or enjoy an online radio show, a book "on tape," or my favorite cartoons on the boob tube and still knit away.
Not only does knitting relax me, I get a completed, wearable end product. Basic socks are now a breeze for me and I almost don't even have to look at the pattern. I feel overly comfortable knitting sweaters and am even comfortable with adjusting patterns to suit my tastes. I am amazed how how far I have come from my metal shish kabob sticks, the closest thing to knitting needles I could find in my house, and a scarf that was knitted on either side (as knitters know, this doesn't give you a smooth interlocked V side and an opposing bumpy side but rather a series of ridges known as the garter stitch) and no knowledge of purling. I have even taught three of my girlfriends to knit and started a little knitting group. I am up on Ravelry and listed all my projects and yarn. I now have an understanding of gauge, yarn thickness, ply, fiber content, needles of all sorts (single-pointed, double-pointed, circular), how to read the weird shorthand patterns, how to adjust patterns, bought a subscription to a knitting magazine to replace the no longer printed CRAFT magazine, and even have an understanding on how to spin yarn. Nothing in the knitting world is now scary to me. I am intimidated by sewing because I don't know how to size things, intimidated by cooking because I burn and miss measure things, and intimidated by photography because I don't focus well or take two rolls worth of pictures without any film in the camera. But with knitting, I dive right in without thinking about it and am able to come out successful and proud of my work.
I recently went through all my yarn and stashed it on Ravelry, setting aside unwanted skeins and weird projects from who knows when. I took a little box full of my unwanted over to my last knitting party and offered it up to the girls. I found the first knitting project I ever made, on those old metal shish kabob sticks. Two kids I babysat taught me how to knit one summer when I was in high school. They made it look easy while I struggled. But they did have real knitting needles. My friend thought it was cool and liked the yarn. I wonder if she'll frog it or add on to it. It reminded me how difficult and ugly the beginnings of my knitting were. Like many people, I started as a beginner, scared of gauge swatches, unable to understand the knitting shorthand, and not sure how to choose yarn. Now, I don't even care if I have a few funny stitches. Who will notice? What family member will care and give me a white ribbon instead of blue? (Of course, for the county fair next year it will matter.)
Even after I purchased my first knitting book with a Border's gift card I got for Christmas, I only did little samplers of different stitches and only got a few rows into my first sock attempt before tossing it aside (yes, that too was in my give-away box). The day I decided to knit a sock, to just go for it and not look back, was the day my knitting knack was freed. I'm now four and a half pairs of socks, one and a half and an arm into sweaters, and many scarves into a few years of knitting. It may not sound like much, but for someone who is easily scared away by imperfection of the outcome of her projects, this knitter is so far self satisfied and always impressed by the outcome.
Cerise : )