One of my many hobbies is knitting. I rediscovered this lovely activity about 3 years ago because I wanted to knit me a sweater I had seen on Pinterest. Talking to my mom, she told me it wouldn’t be too difficult if I followed the pattern. But here’s the thing: back then I hadn’t knitted for a long, long time… ok, three decades (I will save you the time figuring out how old I am, I’m in my early forties now).
I had never knitted before, even though my mom was a very prolific knitter -she knitted all of my sweaters and crocheted some of the dresses I wore as a little girl- I wasn’t as interested. In school I was taught how to crochet, we all had to make a blanket. I started one with the double crochet stitch, I guess so I could finish it faster and get back to the fun stuff in life (I’m looking at you, two Coreys). I got bored around a quarter way through it. No amount of changing colors every other row or three could keep me going, so I did what any sane girl would do: I’d hand it over to the professional in the house. Not being a big fan of crochet, my mom sacrificed herself and finished it while watching TV in the evenings. That was it for me. No more yarn and hooks.
I figured that maybe knitting would be more fun. You know, two needles might make me finish everything faster, right? I remember having a ball of white or natural white yarn and two long needles my mom gave me, probably 14” (my mom dislikes the shorter ones). I was taught how to do the knit stitch then the pearl stitch and no matter how much I tried, the fabric was a tight mess and getting the needles through each stitch was a real pain and my hands hurt the further I got. No more, I said, and gave the needles back to her.
For many, many, many years I just looked as my mom would knit another sweater and didn’t try, even once, to pick up the needles again, until I saw that sweet looking pullover. I really wanted it made and I knew that she wouldn’t knit it for me (she practically gave up knitting for me after I stopped wearing sweaters in college).
I had learned to sew a year or so before and had managed to finish an advanced dress. How difficult could it be to knit my very own sweater? So I did what every woman with internet access would do: I opened an account on Craftsy and looked for a knitting class. I found “Knit Lab” with Stephanie Japel, bought a pair of knitting needles and some purple yarn, and just started.
I liked the class very much, because at the end of it I had my first finished project: a keyhole scarf. It wasn’t easy for a beginner -don’t get me wrong, Miss Japel is a very good teacher, but there is a language barrier and I had trouble figuring out all the terminology… knit, purl, stockinette, lace, cast on, bind off… that was a lot of information. I think I was done after a month, because being the perfectionist that I am, I repeated every stitch until I was happy with it.
Since the pullover was all stockinette, I figured I was ready. I got my gauge swatch and was ready to go. The result was a bit disappointing because it ended up being a size too small plus I had knitted it in cotton when I should’ve really used wool. You live, you learn as Alanis sang it all too well.
After a year or so and having some more knitting hours on my needles, I found a nice yarn that had the right colors, the right texture AND the right gauge. YES!!! So, in February of 2015 I took it upon myself to try Ravello once again. It took me four months to finish (I chose the warmest months to work with Merino Alpaca wool, not a good idea) and it fit! I felt accomplished and last winter, after two years of first seeing the pattern, I finally had a nice pullover to keep me warm.
So far I have knitted socks, shawls, hats, scarfs and I’m always searching on Ravelry for something new to knit so I can get rid of my stash that mysteriously seems to be getting bigger instead of smaller.
I have stuck with knitting since I started; it keeps my anxiety at bay, cheers me up when I’m depressed and makes me feel productive and who doesn’t want to feel better and be productive at the same time?
How did you fall in love with knitting or any other craft you practice? You can drop me a line in the comments 🙂