Knitting and me, Me and knitting, oh, pure, unadulterated love.

I’ve discovered knitting.

For some of you, that will be enough.  You know exactly what I mean.  You know the sheer joy and bliss of holding exquisite yarn and using two sticks to shape it into something beautiful and useful.

Others of you will not have the foggiest.  You are in the dark as to what pleasure this strange knot tying could possibly bring.  You believe that you couldn’t make your hands work…like that.

I already knew how to crochet.  My mama instilled in me that if you loved someone, you crocheted them something.  If you really loved them, you used a scratchy yarn – always Red Heart.  ALWAYS Red Heart.  In our house, there was no other yarn but Red Heart brand.  (Something about how it always retains it’s shape when you wash it.)

If you really, really, really loved someone, you crocheted them something scratchy and BIG.  Like a couch cover.  Seriously.  Every person in our family has a big, scratchy couch cover.  Always in the ripple stitch.  We didn’t branch out much.

I have wanted to learn to knit for years, just to say I’d conquered it – not because I thought it would delight me so!  I always told myself that I’d learn to knit when my kids were older.  Well, I kept on having kids….and figured I’d better learn if I was going to before the retirement home.

I e-mailed my friend Connie, asking her for a baby hat pattern.  I figured that should be simple enough.  She obliged.  The pattern called for FOUR sticks, no less!  She assured me I could do it, and I did.  Three times.  I kept ripping it out, and trying again.  The hat led to a sweater.  My little Mariam was due and she NEEDED this sweater!  The yarn I found was just that delicious.  I carried my yarn everywhere, needles posed just so out of the bag so that people would ask to see what I was making.  I needed to share this yarn.  Bank robbers and criminals of all sorts should be taught to knit.  It would break something in them, calm them, make them domestic and docile….

At least I know that YARN does something to women.  It causes a feeling I can’t even quite yet describe.  It’s kind of a mixture of how I feel about newborns, and sweet love, and creating, and melty little puddles where ice once rested.  It’s chocolate and warm tea and a good book and fuzzy socks and a fireplace…all the good things in life rolled into one.  And I’ve only just begun!

I know it’s not just me.  My daughter, who hates to do anything crafty, saw my yarn, and something within her changed.  She recently stood in the yarn aisle with me, touching them all, wanting them all, dreaming up projects for each one.  So we will knit side by side, attempting to make our needles clickity clack like experienced knitters.  What a relief to know that I will not pass on the acrylic ripple gene to my daughter.

In the end, I’ve learned that love doesn’t have to be scratchy.  It doesn’t have to be a couch cover.  Some of the best knitting is done on a small scale – for babies!  It can be alpaca, cashmere, merino, soy, or bamboo.  Good yarn gives as much to the giver, as to the givee.

(I’ve almost finished a little bamboo sweater.  It feels like silk!  My next project is a wool soaker for Mariam, and a larger one for Benjamin.  Then some felted mittens….  Pictures to follow upon completion.  The great thing about knitting for little ones is that you can make something beautiful that costs next to nothing!)

How about you?  Any knitters out there?  What are you working on?  What are your favorite yarns and where do you buy them?  Rhapsodize with me!  :)

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31 Responses to “Knitting and me, Me and knitting, oh, pure, unadulterated love.”

  1. Leah Says:

    I have TRIED, and TRIED to figure out how to crochet, and even given knitting a shot once or twice… but alas- it is not to be.

    However, my 13 year old daughter loves to crochet! This past week we discovered that we were invited to a birthday party for a cousin on Saturday. Money was super tight, and there wasn’t going to be any opportunity to go shopping (30 miles away). So, my sweet daughter set her mind to making a hat for her cousin’s 9th birthday. And she made the CUTEST little black hat with a pink flower and pink stripe! I was so proud of her. Now I wish I had taken a picture of it.

    And every time she makes something adorable and cute I wish, again, that I could figure it out! But, I am certain it is beyond my capabilities.
    :)

    ~Leah

  2. Sheri Says:

    Hi Holly!

    First, congratulations on the new little one. Mariam is so cute! I am glad you are getting settled in to your new home too.

    Now..about knitting…I started teaching myself to knit several years ago. I have to admit that I haven’t branched out too much beyond the basic knit stitch :). I love to crochet too, and have made little baby booties, sweaters, bonnets, and stocking hats. Regarding knitting, I made up a little ebook on beginning knitting. I have a pretty simple dishcloth that I like to knit (my great aunt knitted these dishcloths for all the family while she was still living. She would knit dozens of them, even when she was to the point of being almost totally blind, she would knit! Anyway, I didn’t have the pattern for this so searched on the internet..and found it! Yeah!)..that pattern is included in this little ebook, along with a few other easy patterns. If you or any of the visitors here would be interested in this little booklet, just email me: sheri@school4jesus.com. I’ll get a copy to you.

    Have a great day!

    Love, Sheri

  3. Heather Says:

    This is so beautiful and makes me want to learn. Sigh. I can almost, kind of crochet but knitting when you are dyslexic/dysgraphic just doesn’t work. I can’t make my mind and hands work together and it gets upside down and backwards in ways that just shouldn’t be done. I will stick with sewing without a pattern (patterns don’t work too well for me either) and painting. If you ever want to trade a painting for something knitted let me know–I have a LIST of things I want to knit but can’t. :)

  4. Sheri Says:

    I should clarify that this little beginning knitting booklet is FREE to anyone who would like a copy! Just email me: sheri@school4jesus.com.

    Thanks and happy knitting!

    Love, Sheri

  5. Holly Says:

    Thanks, ladies! I don’t know exactly why knitting feels better to me than crochet…but it does! Two sticks, vs. one stick…Not sure…maybe it is the enjoyment derived from figuring out something new. I don’t think that’s it, though.

    I’ve crocheted some very beautiful things, lacy cotton baby dresses, etc. It’s just not the same. Hmmm. What do you think?

  6. sara Says:

    I think it’s the negative associations you’ve made of crochet with scratchy, lol. My grandma crochet’s the most beautiful filet crochet bedspreads. Of course now everyone in the family has more than one and she’s switched to swedish weave. Oh and speaking of frugal, most of her materials were “dumpster dived” from knitting mills.

  7. mom23wildboys Says:

    I’ve been wanting to learn to knit for a few years now and just haven’t. I used to crochet, years ago-I was in grade school, but haven’t in a long time and don’t know if I’d even remember where to begin now!

    But knitting, I’ve got to learn!

    My mom made scratchy afghans for the couch also. You had to use a blanket with them!! ;)

  8. fromthenarrows Says:

    I can do both, but definitely I crochet better. I can read crochet patterns much easier than knit patterns. Knitting, about all I can do is a scarf in a knit stitch. I want to learn to knit a hat. Knit hats look so much nicer than crochet hats for some reason.
    Susan

  9. Tiffany Says:

    Oh Holly!!! I think the knitting bug has bitten me just by reading your post! The yarn sounds so fantastic!

    Sheri, can you really learn completely by an ebook? Even if you’ve never done anything like that before?

    I would love to make myself dishcloths to start. And I really want to make open grocery bags- but maybe that is crocheting? And I fear if I got started on the baby stuff I would never stop. Maybe I’d just have to keep having babies too! This is sounds better and better all the time.

    The thing that really appeals to me about knitting (vs. sewing which I love, but don’t do much of) is that I can just do it for a little bit, and if I get interrupted there aren’t needles and machines and pins and everything else out for days. I sewed baby bedding when I was in labor last time and think I could have knitted for longer ;) That I could have taken to the hospital with me. Can’t imagine the looks on their faces if I had shown up with my sewing machine. ;-)

    Oh my! it is good I don’t have a car today, because I think I just might pack up the girls and head to Hobby Lobby otherwise!!!

  10. Sheila Says:

    Holly, if you start knitting diapers…

  11. Smockity Frocks Says:

    I love knitting. The rhythm is so soothing. I am in awe that someone long ago figured out that if they take 2 sticks and some wool and click them together in a certain way, a sweater would come out!

    I’m afraid I’m too cheap to be a yarn snob, though.

  12. Holly Says:

    Connie, I am in awe as well that someone could figure it out! I feel the same way about algebra. Algebra is not as soothing, though!

    IF you hit a yarn sale or have a coupon, it is very comparable to cheaper yarns. Also, like I mentioned, if you make baby items, they are small and many things can be made with one skein.

    Didi gave me an antique soaker pattern – it only calls for one skein of baby weight yarn. My thoughts are…if you are putting the time into making something by knitting, you want to use quality materials. See, that doesn’t offend my frugal side at all. It’s like an investment that will last, will hold up.

    Anyway – if you hadn’t have sent me the pattern, I probably never would have picked up those four sticks…. :)

    Tiffany – see – that’s another thing I think. I will ALWAYS feel the need to have a baby to knit for. :) Guess when my time is done with having babies, I will knit for Grandbabies and other people’s kids! :)

  13. Shannon M Says:

    I love knitting but I haven’t had time to learn anything beyond the basics. I totally agree Holly – two sticks is better!

  14. Didi Says:

    Yay for knitting! Good for you Holly. I am so impressed that you have even tried double pointed needles! Please take pictures when you finish your bamboo sweater. I can’t wait to see it.

    My MIL uses knitted dishrags and I’m knitting some for her for Mother’s Day. These are fancy ones with cables! I’m also making a sweater for Juju. The pieces are all done and I need to put it together.

    And by the way, did you know that in some prisons they do have knitting programs?? ;)

    I have to recommend a book too called _Knitting For Peace_. Very inspiring and it will make you want to knit more. I got it out of my public library.

  15. Didi Says:

    Hey, how’s the thrush? I hope it’s on its way out!

  16. Smockity Frocks Says:

    I hope it didn’t sound like, “You are a snob and I’m not.” That’s certainly the farthest thing from my mind!

    I also vote for photos when you’re done!

  17. Michelle Says:

    Holly,

    Good for you!! I so want to be able to do something useful like that. My sister can crochet. Her baby blankets are so tight and well-made that people assume they are store-bought. My mom can knit and crochet, but alas I am not so talented. A woman at our homeschool coop offered to teach anyone who wanted to knit last semester so I promptly went out and bought a pair of bamboo knitting needles. (They just looked like they would feel better in my hands than plastic or metal.) We were all supposed to make these easy squares that she would stitch together to make a blanket to donate somewhere. All the other ladies (including my daughter’s 8 yo friend) really took off. Not me. I think I’m too distracted. It’s not that I couldn’t do it, it just didn’t go anywhere. I’m not sure I can even remember how to do the initial chain at this point. Maybe I’ll have to give Sheri’s ebook a try.

  18. Susan T Says:

    What Providence. I just finished a few rows on my practice piece and I’m taking a break and here is your lovely knitting entry. :) A friend, who makes beautiful baby things, and high-end scarves to sell in a boutique, taught me 4-5 yrs ago… and I got busy and stopped practicing and then a couple weeks ago I just had this urge to do something useful with my hands when I’m watching DVDs with my husband &/or kids and remembered and found it and I’m practicing again. As soon as I see a yarn sale again, just missed the Joann Fabrics one, I am hoping to buy something inspiring and see where it takes me.
    P.S. Has anyone else read Rainbow Valley by LM Montgomery, (7th Anne book)… there is a chapter where Anne and her helper Susan quickly knit stockings for the pastor’s daughter, out of fine black yarn. I always wonder just how small those needles were and whether the yarn wasn’t more like a thick thread?

  19. Holly Says:

    Oh goodness, Connie. Of course I didn’t think that. :)

    Didi – the thrush has not reared it’s ugly, ugly head. I’ve changed from applying GSE to the diaper area, mouth and me…to using Apple Cider Vinegar. It is less bitter. Treatments are down to twice a day, and that is not because of symptoms. It’s preventative. I’m amazed! :)

    I would love to read the book. I’ll check at our library.

  20. Didi Says:

    Oh good, I’m so glad treatments are getting fewer and that the thrush monster is almost gone. Ahh, I bet that is a relief!

  21. Holly Says:

    Susan, I think so…(the yarn being more like a thick thread.) I’ve seen some amazing socks, that I can’t believe people make themselves!

    I know what you are saying…sometimes I have that undeniable urge to make something too…and useful is just icing on the enjoyment! :)

    Sheri – thanks for that offer. How sweet of you!

    Michelle…don’t feel bad! :) It’s okay!

  22. Mary Says:

    Susan T, I’ve read almost all of L.M. Montgomery’s books, including Rainbow Valley, sad to say after that, that I have no insight into their knitting project, though I do think you have the right book! ;)

    Holly, in high school home ec, I learned to knit…but I never took it any further than our classes taught–basic stitches. I’ve always wanted to learn more and actually have something to show for it. I’m trying to gather up the guts to ask a couple of ladies at church to show me! lol… Wish you lived closer! As for crochet, well, we had classes in that also, but my teacher gave me up as hopeless. She couldn’t figure out, even after watching me labor through several rows, why my “squares” were always “triangles”. After that I don’t have the heart to learn crochet.

    Can’t wait to see your pictures though!

  23. A Hopeful Hollar Says:

    Holly,

    Hello. Connie directed me your way and I’m so glad that se did! :-)

    I’m also in LOVE with the art of knitting. I started about five or six years ago with an amazing fluffy yarn called Snowflake. Like you, I enjoy making baby gifts. To me it seems to be the best expression of my love for each wonderful little blessing. The wisdom to know the time is now if there is some goal of learning is priceless!

    Do you know about all of the free knitting Pod casts?

  24. Smockity Frocks Says:

    Hi Hopeful! (Waving from below, Brady Bunch style)

    Ooooh! I almost forgot, here is a great site that has videos showing differents stitches and techniques: http://www.knittinghelp.com/

    For those just learning or getting into more difficult patterns, that site is a gold mine. I have used it many times.

  25. Margaret Says:

    I’ve always loved knitting. I can’t crochet for the life of me, but I’ve been turning sock heels since I was 10 years old. :D

    Alas, my carpal tunnel makes lots of knitting too difficult these days. :(

  26. Andrea Says:

    Holly,
    It *is* very addicting!!
    In a good way of course.
    Right now I am making a scarf for my daughter and going to crochet a little flower on the end to pin on it.

  27. Didi Says:

    Ooh, I was just thinking of a website that I like alot….knitty.com

    They have free fun patterns. ;)

  28. Holly Says:

    Sock heels by ten? Margaret! Wow! I’m impressed!

  29. Holly Says:

    Hopeful,

    I should have said welcome! So glad to see you!!! :) Do you mean the little videos on kintting.com? If so, YES, they have been priceless to me!

  30. projects « Breaking Ground Says:

    [...] Holly’s been bit by the knitting bug. She talked it up so well that I almost dug out my needles. But then reality hit me and I [...]

  31. Mary Says:

    Ooh, the sites people are sharing sound good! Thanks, Ladies!

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