When I first read the topics for this knit and crochet blog week, I knew that today was going to be the most challenging. The prompt recalls nostalgic stories of mothers, grandmothers, or [insert knitting family member here] happily clicking away and then passing on the art. Well, I didn’t have that experience at all. The women in my family were crafty with quilting and crochet. This is not to say that I didn’t try my hand at at crochet (quilting just didn’t interest me at that point).
For the life of me, I could not figure out crochet because my left handedness just couldn’t wrap my head around how to mirror what my aunt was doing with her right hand. I absolutely loved the afghans that my aunt would crochet and I treasured the one she made for me as a child that was made from hot reds, oranges, and white. I could make a mean crocheted chain, but never knew how to build on that foundation. So I gave up on crochet for a while and did latch hook rug kits. And knitting was not a craft that any of my family members did so I had no experience with it.
It wasn’t until the summer of my third year of college that I decided to try knitting again. I was taking summer courses on the main campus of Penn State University and found that I wasn’t making a ton of friends. I actually enjoyed my solitude and often went on long walks, shopping trips to the mall and bookstore, and to the movies by myself. I kept passing a Michaels craft store on the way to the shopping mall and decided to stop in one day. I can’t remember what I actually went in for, maybe to check out the latch hook rug kits, haha. But somehow I ended up at the knitting. crochet, and yarn section. I remember passing my hand over the crochet hooks before deciding that I didn’t want to put myself through that delightful torture again, so I moved onto the knitting needles. I thought that since both hands were used, it wouldn’t matter if I were left handed. So I left with some size 8 pink silvalume knitting needles and a skein of Lion Brand homespun (could I have chosen a more splity yarn to start with – ugh.)
I immediately went to the bookstore where I purchased one of those idiot’s guides to knitting books. With that in hand, I rushed back to my dorm room, hoping that my roommate would be off with her friends somewhere so I could attempt this craft in peace. Well, she was gone but I just couldn’t figure out how to cast on. It started to feel very similar to my experience with crochet. ~sigh~ But I was determined to figure this out! I simply refused to believe that I was this bad at crafts.
I decided to take my knitting, or I guess more correctly yarn and needles, with me on my long bus ride to visit my boyfriend that following weekend. I sat in my window seat and tried over and over to get the long tail cast on to work. And then suddenly…there were 2 stitches on the right needle. Hold the phone. Did I just make a stitch? And do I have any idea what I just did? I think it was something like…this. Ah ha! 3 stitches now! I remember my excitement as I continued to build the cast on row. But the true test was the turn – could I build stitches upon stitches? Why yes, yes I could, albeit awkwardly at first as I had no idea how to hold the needles and the yarn. But I was knitting! I wanted to announce to all the passengers on the bus how awesome I was and to take a look at my inconsistent stitches! I was all like:
And that is how knitting and I first successfully got together. It has been a strong relationship every since. Even better, my knowledge of knitting helped me to finally figure out and master crochet as well!
Day Six (Saturday 17th May): Views Of Others, Views Of Yourself.
Write about another knitter or crocheter that you admire. This could be someone you know or used to know – an aunt that taught you to crochet or the school-teacher that used to run the after-school learn-to-knit club, or someone who you are aware of because of blogging or other areas of social media. Write about your feelings either for their work or what they bring to you as a knitter or crocheter. Reminiscences of the sound of your mother’s metal needles, or the description your grandad gave of what he’d knit as he sat on his bunk below deck in his sailor’s days are as precious as sharing the enjoyment of the work of a new indie designer or dyer. Spread your enjoyment to your readers.
Next, think about if anyone has ever told you how they feel about your knitting, positive or negative. Have you delighted strangers who have enjoyed telling you how they would sit with their grandmother who loved to crochet doilies, or have you had to withstand a little brother telling you repeatedly that knitting is for grandmas?