Monday, October 09, 2006

10 Knitterly Things You Don’t Know About Me - Meme

Grumperina’s meme got me thinking about my knitting self...

1. I was inspired to learn to knit when I was an undergrad, working at a 5-and-dime (New England Stores in Salem, MA) that sold some sewing notions. A woman came in and bought some pewter-looking buttons in the shape of little bears (was it bears or puppies? Bears, I think. This was 1985, and in the college memory is a tad fuzzy;) ) I gushed over the buttons and asked about the woman’s project. She said “I just knitted a sweater for my nephew, and I’m going to put these on it.” She then pulled a little gray wool cardigan out of her bag. It was like BONG - OMG – MUST. DO. THAT. That night when I left work I bought some needles, a skein of purple Red Heart, and a copy of The Knitting Dictionary and Encyclopedia by Nomis. (I still have that swatch, and the book is still one of my favorites.)

2. My mom doesn’t knit, but she is great at buying already knitted things. My grandmother knitted but didn’t have much success teaching me how. My grandmother’s relatives did a lot of filet crochet and, according to my mother, knitting. I have a picture of my great-great aunt Helen crocheting; I keep it in my office for inspiration.

3. My first project was a sweater (of course!), light blue with dark blue sleeves. The pattern called for size 3 (for the ribbing) and size 5 needles. I chose a heavy worsted acrylic. That sweater must weigh 40 pounds. The metal needles were curved by the time I was done. I actually wore it.

4. My second project was another sweater. This time I did a little better with the yarn selection. I stayed up all night the night before the GRE exams to finish the sweater so I could wear it to the exams, “for luck.” The sweater turned out to be a wee bit too small. I wore it anyway, and despite being utterly exhausted I did pretty well on those GREs :) That’s the power of yarn, I say. (Or maybe I just wanted to give myself an out in case I bombed?)

5. My third project was another sweater. It was a snowflake sweater, red and white. I did a pretty bang-up job with this one, but the yarn I used was very cheap, and unfortunately after a few wears it became horribly pilly. I did learn from this project how to strand yarn, carrying it over the backs of the other stitches; this was a lightbulb moment for me. I also learned, the hard way, the ultimate value of good quality yarn.

6. After that, I just messed up some things and got frustrated. Eventually, I got a hold of some Candide wool and started making socks. I experienced my own version of the Sweater Curse in a pair of ski socks made for a fickle boyfriend. Later, I made several pairs of the same for my most appreciative husband. Live and learn! I took a few years off when my children were small and took it up again about 6 years ago, and in earnest just about 2 years ago.

7. Sometimes, I like the yarn and the books and the blogs and the needles more than the knitting part...ssshh!!

8. I am a closet crocheter – filet included. I have even crocheted doilies. Damn nice doilies, dammit.

9. I am not an especially talented or prolific knitter, but I have this need to knit (okay, and sometimes to crochet) and in a way it connects me to who I was (have been?) at different points in my life. It is immensely satisfying to me as I'm sure it is to you, too. I live in fear of the day my eyesight starts to wane.

10. Knitters are some of the most fabulous people in my life :) Awwww, you guys are the greatest!

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