I’m a bit light on blog stuff – honestly, how many times can I post pictures of the Kimono shawl before I get comments like “wow – looks exactly the same as last time” or “your blog is excruciatingly boring”. I’m now knitting the shawl on the train, and its going a bit faster – I’m on repeat 12. Only 10 to go. Although I checked the pattern, and it said 25 repeats. But….I think I may stick with 22. I mean the number had to come from somewhere – maybe its a sign. I’m starting to feel a bit stressed though – this is a Christmas present. So I only have how many days to finish it, block it and get it in the mail? (I did ask Larry how bad overnight charges would be!).
So I decided that since you really don’t want to see repeat 12, and how very different it is than repeat 9, that I would show you my first “real” project. I started knitting about 3 years ago (maybe 4 – I’m getting old and really can’t remember things too well!). My mother came for a visit in July. My mother is a Knitter – I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have sweaters, mittens, hats, etc that she made me. She tried to teach me when I was young – I remember purple acrylic yarn that was going to be a blanket for my doll. Then it was a blanket for Barbie. I think I stopped when it was a blanket for my Little Kiddle (do you remember these? Or am I seriously dating myself?). That was it – just couldn’t get into it. My mother tried at various times over the years to get me interested, but I just couldn’t see the point. So when she came to visit she brought needles and yarn to teach my daughter how to knit. I guess she gave up on me, and concentrated on the next generation. The problem was that Cieara was initially interseted, but then…not so much. I felt sort of bad for Mom, so I asked her to teach me. And that was it – I was obsessed.
So my first project was a hat (I’ll have to see if I can find it) for Cieara. And the second was a sweater for me. I went to Michael’s, and bought a pattern book, needles and yarn – Berat Denim. I didn’t know about gauge, weight, content – just picked the wool that the book said to. It was a simple rib sweater, and I loved knitting it. I can’t remember how long it took me, but I think it was a few months – and that was before I started working multiple projects. My sister sewed it together for me, and I wore it a lot the winter after it was done. I was so proud of what I had made, and thought it was great.
The next winter, when I took the sweater out, I had knit a little bit longer, and knew a bit more. I saw the sweater a little bit differently – the sweater is heavy, big, bulky – and not very flattering. The sleeves are too long – and two different lengths. The neckline? Hmm….well, let’s just say – this was my first sweater.
I don’t wear it too often anymore, but I still have the sweater – I just can’t bear to give it away. This sweater represents the beginning of a shift in my life. Before I knit, I spent a lot of time reading, playing computer games, watching TV. I didn’t do anything remotely creative (unless building cities in SimCity is creative). But once I started knitting, I stopped most other activities (although I do still read – and listen to TV while I knit). Knitting has brought me peace- its what I do when I’m stressed. And knitting has brought me friends – I’ve met so many wonderful people through blogs, online groups, and my knitting and spinning groups. Its also inspiration and confidence. I look back to what I knit 4 years ago, and what I’m knitting now, and I can track my growth. It also led to new hobbies like spinning, dyeing and perhaps weaving.
I put the sweater on tonight to take the picture….and you know? Its actually very warm and comfy. It may not be perfect, but it will always have a place in my closet.