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I am a Knitter ( part 3 of how I came to knitting)

May 2, 2012

I have come to realize I forgot to post the “final” portion of my journey into the land of knitting. I feel like this might be a good time to wrap it up.

When we last left our intrepid knitter, she had just learned how to make a sock, and had started to realize the benefits of knitting.

After that first pair of socks, I decided to work on a birthday present for my dear friend. The challenge of figuring out what exactly I should make became the next task. She suffers from a wool allergy and so that eliminated a lot of ideas. I eventually decided on some fun stitch patterned dish cloths in cotton (even though my hands cramped something fierce, and a fun little stuffed animal elephant. (pattern link http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/elefante) I made the elephant in red and white, she is a fan of the Nebraska Huskers, and the dish cloths in a variety of bright colors. Having never made a stuffed animal before, I had to tackle the stuffing of the elephant, sewing the pieces together and finding a way to attach the eyes (buttons.) I also ended up tweaking a pattern for the first time. It was a minor change but to me it felt like a big deal.

Elephant for my friend

In the end, I finished with enough time to give her the gift for her birthday, and she expressed appreciation over the effort and the thought that went into the gift. It can be easy to feel bummed when someone doesn’t like your gift, as a knitter it feels worse to not have them at least appreciate the time and thought you put into the item.

Around this time I started to think about spinning. I had read a few different blogs, watched videos online and read about it in books. I like the idea of being able to turn fluffy fiber into yarn. I ended up making a drop spindle and ordering some fiber. It was interesting at best. I struggled with the drafting process, and usually ended up with a giant mess of lumpy uneven fiber. I also came to realize my cats have an affinity for wool, the first time I had it sitting out, one of my cats came over and laid down beside me on the opposite side of the fiber. Calm as could be, in my tense and frustrated state I didn’t notice as he started to climb the over the back of the couch. All of a sudden I see a flash of white and my fiber supply is being whisked away by a feline, who acted so proud, he pranced away and carried it to his resting spot by my side of the bed.

The fall came and I found myself wanting a pair of socks for myself. Picking a fun purple colorway I cast on and worked on the sock for months. (In my off time, which was increasingly disappearing.) I carried them with me to knit on the train or bus, to knit in between classes, and during my crafting group. I finally finished them a few weeks before Christmas. The were rather loose, which was disappointing to realize. I wore them none the less, in love with the fact that I made a sock. Unfortunately they were lost among some clothing items and were felted in the wash. During the sock challenge, I decided it was time I tackled cables. Having made a sock, and mittens, and a sweater, I wanted to tackle this. Using a basic cable pattern, I ended up making a green scarf that was soft, and beautiful and fun. I loved cables, I still do, I love the texture, the look, the act of knitting them. They keep knitting interesting, but are something I feel I could do while watching t.v.

Christmas came and went and I felt the desire to try a pair of socks again, this time I used a self stripping yarn and tried a basic pattern. These turned out too large as well, and so they ended up being donated to a local silent auction. The new year brought changes to my life, I ended up making a pair of mitten/gloves out of warm alpaca for my husband (and of course we had a mild winter here.) I worked on a few other pairs of socks, and finally mastered the Kitchener stitch, which is awesome by the way.

My task for 2012 (as determined by my own desire) was to try out lace. As posted elsewhere on this blog I was able to get a shawl done. This led me to casting on another one,( in actual lace weight) which turned out well. I made mistakes and struggled at parts, but I am very pleased with how it turned out. I ended up casting on for another shawl and am still working on it.

In March I ended up picking up a spinning wheel and have started to learn that. I find it much easier than a drop spindle, which surprises some people. I am still working on socks, and finally found a cast on number that seems to work better with my feet. I have only made one this way, but am hoping to start another pair soon.

As I go forward, I can’t help but think of where I started this second time around. In just three years I have taken my skill to unknown heights and found a real passion for knitting and the fiber arts. I know that there are people who don’t always understand why I would want to knit, but the best way I can explain it is the ability to wave sticks and string around and produce something that is a reflection of not only your talent but your time. Knitting has become not just a hobby, but an integral part of my life, it helps define who I am. I am not a person who knits, I am a knitter.

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From → Fiber Arts, Knitting

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