If you’re here, you’re as surprised as I am. I didn’t think I was going to start a knitting blog. I didn’t think I had that much to say about knitting. I’ve knitted on and off for over thirty years, consider myself good at it, but am not what one might call a creative knitter. It’s the knitting, the act of it, that makes it worthwhile for me. Just as I bake because the recipe frees me for the baking, I knit because the pattern frees me for the knitting.
Writing, on the other hand, is an area where I do feel creative, where I can stretch and invent. And while I’ve been knitting over the last couple of months, between trying not to lose my place in a complicated pattern and trying to keep my kids from knocking the needles from my hands, I’ve been thinking about the kinds of knitters I know. My grandmother, who taught me to knit, is a volume knitter. She gets her hands on one or two patterns she likes, and she churns out hundreds, if not thousands, of versions of the same thing. She’s kept my sons in sweaters and hats from birth onward, and though she’s nearly ninety, I have no doubt she’ll knit to and including the day she dies. My mother likes things she can finish relatively quickly. She kept us all in hats and mittens over the years, and did a pair of socks but didn’t take to them. Lately, it’s been scarves and prayer shawls. My sister is an I’m-not-a-knitter-I’m-a-crocheter. I know sometime-knitters and all-the-time knitters, beginners, lifers, and everyone in between.
Me? I knit to stay sane. When my knitting is at its zenith, you can bet it’s because I really need it.
Years ago, before I had kids, I knew a young mother who would pick out days and days of progress on a stitch project–I’m also a stitcher and active with that when I’m not knitting–if she found a mistake. In counted cross stitch, frogging can be as much work as stitching, and most of us are inclined to let a small mistake go. It’ll never be noticed on a trotting horse, right? She explained that stitching was the only place in her life where she had any control, and she just had to make it perfect. And I always thought that was pretty crazy. Then, four hours ago, I raveled half a glove cuff because I couldn’t find my mistake and tinking wasn’t solving the issue. That was all the progress I made on this project today. The gloves are for me–who’d notice? I’d notice. And I doubt it was a coincidence that the baby has been fussing nonstop since he woke up this morning. I want those gloves to go right. Dammit.