Thursday, May 6, 2010

Brace Yourself -- it's a knitting post!

Not that I think there are many of you, but sorry to any males who may be reading my blog. Of course, there may be more of you than I think but since only the women comment or follow my blog, I'm choosing to ignore the existence of you men.

As a child, I can't remember a time when I wasn't in possession of matching a matching scarf, hat and mittens set made my by Grandma Baker. Whenever I went to stay at my grandparents' house once or twice a month she was always working on either a hat, baby booties, or some form of baby blanket and eventually, I became curious.

*Just for the record, my grandma, although a knitter, was not a grandma who sat inside knitting all day. She was the designated family "school shopper", since my Mom was never the "mall" type and would take me to the mall whenever I was in need of some new duds. She indulged me by continually walking to "pebble beach" (a scattering of gravel in the shallows of the river running through her town) where we would seek out fossils then drag them home later. I can even remember making my Grandpa come down with us so he could be used as slave labor to drag the bucket of rocks home -- poor man.*

Back to the point: When I was somewhere around 10 years old I decided I wanted to learn how to knit. Grandma started me off on two straight needles with some scrap yarn making a simple scarf and for years, all I did was knit scarves. I did, and still do find the repetition of a simple scarf very soothing. Somewhere around 10th grade (I only remember this because I can recall doing it at a District Chorus Competition) someone taught me that I could knit in the round and make a hat almost as easily as I could make a scarf, which gave me a total of two projects in my knitting repertoire.

I was content to continue my lethargic scarf making until forcing my sister-in-law, Chrissy to teach my to crochet back in 2007. This was my first ever granny square.  And sorry for the blur, my low-light photography skills have never been stellar.

--On a side note, who recognizes the background fabric? That chair has lived at my parents' house, then in Seth and Chrissy's house, then in my house in Oakland, then in our apartment in Squirrel Hill and is now at what will hopefully be it's final resting place, Ben's house. That chair has seen better days.

That one granny square eventually became this afghan which is packed away somewhere in the mess of our worldly possessions in my parents' basement. I still haven't sewn in all the strings. I finished it over three years ago. I'm not proud.

After delving back into the knit/crochet world, I joined a knitting group in Pittsburgh. I'm sure you've heard me talk about them at some point or another. I loved that knitting group. For 3 or 4 hours every Tuesday we would sit around in a group of 10 or 20 women. There were some younger girls (and the occasional male) but for the most part, the women were 40 and up. We had a wonderful time though, laughing, eating, laughing, knitting, and crocheting. And most importantly, it taught me that I really could do more than just crochet granny squares and knit and purl (not that many of you necessarily have any clue what I'm talking about). And eventually, it was bound to happen, I got a real job that required me being there from 8-5 every day and I had to start missing my beloved knitting group. But I kept knitting. And now that I'm here in France, without a job, I find that knitting is what keeps me sane. Having a project, even just a hat, means that I have something to complete, something to accomplish.

And having all of this spare time has led to experimentation. I've been trying harder and harder patterns (*gasp* Patterns? I never thought I had the mental capability to read knitting patterns!), forcing myself to learn new techniques. Which has led to these:

Since Heather has now had her baby, I can now show you what the baby blanket looked like that I made for her out of thrifted angora yarn. It's a lace pattern and I'm in love with the striping.

These bibs were made for a fellow GTL wife's new baby. I made about a million of the cabled bibs, which was my first cable experience. And the ducky bib is one of my favorites. It was my first experience with knitting a design into a piece and also my first time making an I-cord.

I really am so grateful to have this craft to keep me busy and my hope it to continue the learning process. I've already made myself a little shrug as well as a shrug for little Kimber (I've mentioned her before, right?), but that'll be another post.

1 comment:

  1. Of course I love a knitting post!
    Mama Maria