Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

In Stitches

on September 22, 2010

All I really wanted was a scarf. 

I looked around for the right color,  length, width, the right combination of features that made up the PERFECT SCARF that existed in my head.  I couldn’t find it.  So, I set to making it.  I’m not the type of person who allows the nonexistence of some theoretical thing get in the way of my having it. 

I taught myself to knit.

I had some help in this endeavor.  A little from my mother who cobbled together memories of learning years before, much of which, in the long run, proved inaccurate and unhelpful, but I didn’t know that at the time.  A lot from my co-worker, an avid knitter who could see my mistakes and tell me how to fix them without making me want to abandon the project altogether. 

A year and a half later, I had my scarf. 

Award-winning mittens!

It wasn’t perfect, but the unevenness of its rows and its clumsy bind-off only made its not-quite-rightness more endearing.  I made that.  And, if I could make that, what else could I make?  I wanted to find out.  I kept going with a few more clumsy scarves made of large yarn on biggish needles.  I made some hats and  a dog sweater from leftover bits of yarn that makes Roxy look like Bill Cosby.  I found a community of knitters online who had advice and stories to share, I read books, learned to read patterns, bought expensive, beautiful yarns “to use later.” I found yarn shops, I made toys, I learned new techniques: felting, cabling, lace, fair isle. 

Christmas Stocking for LanaThen I started making socks.  And it was all over for me.  I had turned the corner, I had gone from being a person who knew how to knit to a knitter.  My friends and family tease me about my yarn stash, which I see as an investment in their futures, since my nearest and dearest are the recipients of most of my wooly knitted love.  I got a huge compliment recently when my mom asked me to darn the socks I’d made for her four years ago: my mother wore those socks so much that she walked holes in them.  (I told her how to darn them herself: Step 1, hold over trash can; Step 2, release; Step 3,  say, “darn.”)

So now, I’m the crazy knitting person that people know.  I always have a several projects on the needles, one or two in my bag (this week it’s a lace scarf and a pair of socks), I’m always reading forums and blogs, and making lists of projects for the next round of gift-giving (Christmas knitting starts in August).

Roxy warming Amanda's blanket

Now, though, I’m having trouble finding the PERFECT ARMCHAIR.  I fear I could be heading down a dangerous path.

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