A Memory Stirs
I think my becoming a knitter had stages, so let's look at them closely.
This is the stage that began long ago. This is where it dawned on me that there is truly something special about knits and handknits in particular. I have had a sweater fetish since living in SnarkBeach (Sidenote: I love the Prince to a fault -- but the names he came up with for our past residences made me snort). SnarkBeach is well know far and wide for its hot days and humid lifestyle. Yet, I wore sweater -- wool sweaters.
I would lust over beautiful Arans and dream of someday owning one. Now, the Queen Mum once crocheted -- she made an afghan with 3-D flowers. I have delightful memories of that thing, even if I believe it was made in Red Heart Super Saver. Anyway, I was in awe of all knits.
Because no one in my family knitted, I looked everywhere to fulfill my craft desire. I cross stitched for a bit, I scrap booked for a little while, I even made hand crafted miniature teddy bears. The Queen Mum always said I was looking for "MY" thing, but couldn't find it. I loved the beauty of cross stitch, but I hated following the pattern -- I always made too many mistakes, plus it is way too slow going. Scrapbooking was tough -- as I'm never sure what story these photos tell and my family takes too many photo -- good photos --- to pick out 4 per page. I loved the bears, but I'm a horrible sewer --- are you seeing my problem here?
Knitting may be an Answer:
My desire to knit began the year the Prince and I married. I worked in a craft store for a few extra bucks and I liked the idea of knitting. There was something magical about watching women make fabric out of string with pointy sticks. I knew basically how a crochet hook worked, but how in the world did stitches and and fabric form off those knitting needles. I had asked a couple of people to teach me, but time and my drive wasn't there.
Then, last year -- actually last year and a few months, I was working hard to plan a major event in the mountains. I needed some people to help and put a call into KnitNik's husband. We worked out our things -- then about a week before the event, I get an e-mail:
Do you know if anyone knits? My wife is really into knitting and she will be bored, but might like to meet a few people.Ok, so I put a call out to the people and no one seemed all that interested, I mean seriously interested. So, I casually mentioned that I always wanted to knit. He jumped on it like a trampolene. No problem, Niki told me to get yarn I liked and needles to match. No problem. Seven WHOLE dollars later, I left Michael's with a ball of boucle in shades of green (see first knitted blob) and needles. I think she even laughed at me that I hadn't gone with something smooth.
Then I Learn:
Niki sat down with me at like 3pm one afternoon. Her kids were tasked with watching Duke and she began. Do this, do that. Pretty simple. I couldn't see a single stitch I was making. The green was horid. Calmly, she reaches in her bag and pulls out a ball of smooth red yarn, thick yarn, and says try this. CLICK. Knit stitches. I knitted for maybe 5 or 7 rows and said, NEXT. (I needed more) She taught me to purl. In doing that, I stockingette'd for a bit. Then I ribbed. It was the rib that worried me. I had flashbacks to counted cross stitch where my count was always off. I felt a little heat rise. Then Niki taught me the most important lesson I would learn that day: TINK.
Niki's calm teaching, fun way and instant kinship spurred me on. I frankly went back to my cabin that night thinking that I'd put those needles down and move on. Here I'd made another person happy and I knew "how" to knit. But really, I don't have time. I got bored waiting for something at somepoint and I picked up the green yarn and I tried to re-create what I'd done. It flew off the needles that time and I thought...hmmmm.
Despite making the blob and THREE handbags, I still didn't purl correctly until August when I saw Niki again. And I made more than one woman happy for a few hours -- I made a great friend. Yep, I'll keep her.
Now you know the WHOLE story.