About eight years ago, when Sonthing was in preschool and I was rapidly approaching my 30th birthday, I decided to teach myself to knit. Nobody I knew personally knit except for one exceptionally cranky old lady librarian, so I didn’t have anybody to teach me the basics.
I drove to the nearest craft store, bought the ugliest shade of green in the cheapest yarn and some equally hideous gold-colored aluminum needles. I went home, punched in “How to Knit” on Youtube and set to work.
I had the knit stitch mastered in about five minutes. So I just knit and knit and knit and somehow, the piece kept growing. Like..ridiculously so. I couldn’t figure out why I had started off with about twenty stitches and, after an hour or so, had probably three times that many. It was really baffling. And I couldn’t figure out why my purl stitches didn’t look like they were supposed to.
So, whenever I need more information, I tend to take my happy butt to the library to see if I can find some books. I told the cranky old lady librarian what I was looking for and what my problem was. She asked if I’d brought my needles with me and I said no. But I could go GET them…which I did. So ten minutes later I was back, needles and ugly puke green yarn in hand. I sat down with her at a table and got to work. She showed me where I was going wrong with my knit stitches (I was accidentally making yarn overs) and how I was purling completely all wrong. She left me with a scrap of paper with some titles that might be useful on it and went back to work. I undid all of my previous knitting so I could start fresh and cast on again.
About fifteen minutes later I was like, “HOLY CRAP IMMA DO THIS! LOOKIT!”. I was so proud of myself.
A few months later, I taught myself to crochet as well.
I’m not the best at either craft..I still to this day struggle with stranded (aka Fair Isle) knitting and as my recent attempt at making a stranded colorwork crochet scarf for my nephew Tank’s Christmas present has shown, I can’t do it with crochet either. But I do enjoy both crafts..they keep my hands busy when I’d other want to do other things with them. Like stuff my face.
Or…other things I really shouldn’t do.
Crafting has brought me more hours of joy and pleasure than I can count. When I had a failed pregnancy two years ago, I knit a sweater just to keep my hands busy and my mind occupied on something than my grief. But every time I looked at that sweater after I completed it, I would start to think about my failed pregnancy again. So I took it apart and haven’t had the courage to use the yarn again although I can’t bring myself to get rid of the yarn either.
Right now I”m working on a scarlet and gold Gryffindor scarf for Professor, Tanks older brother who’s a huge fan as well as Tank’s Star Wars scarf. If I get a chance, I’m going to make a scarf for their little sister too so that nobody is left out. It’s going to be a squeeze to get them all done by Christmas but the looks on their faces when they unwrap them is going to be totally worth all the blood, sweat, tears, long hours and sore wrists and fingers.