Last Thursday, I attended a 4-H knitting project group with my daughter to get back into knitting. My daughter is now a sophomore in high school, but we actually "learned" to knit when she was in the 3rd grade. We were studying 1800's history and used a literature-based unit study with the Little House books. It was so much fun! We even made a ball out of a pig's bladder, just like Laura's Pa did for her. But that's another story for another day.
With her busy schedule, my daughter's only done a few knitting projects since then, but she remembers how to knit. It took me the better part of my time at this project meeting figuring out how to cast on. Sigh. I guess you might say my daughter learned to knit and I learned how to become frustrated when knitting. If there is such a thing as a knitting gene, I'm missing it. My Aunt Mary is an amazing knitter. She's my dad's sister and everyone says I take after that side of the family. I should have it. Just sayin'.
Some people say knitting is like therapy for them. At this stage for me, I'll probably need therapy if I continue knitting. =) But I'm taking the risk. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Right?
Actually, I can crochet the basic stitches. Single, double, and triple crochet. Not anything fancier than that. But you can use crocheting to put an edge around a knitted project. Now that would be a win-win situation, if only I could get this knitting thing down pat.
And my darling daughter brought that little tidbit of trivia up at the knitting meeting. "Mom made a baby hat once on a knitting loom and it looked like it'd fit a cone-head baby. Didn't you, mom?"
Uh...."Yes. Yes, I did. Thank you so much for mentioning that, dear." LOL But she was right. And it was funny!
So why do I want to put myself through this self-inflicted torture? I really love the way knitting looks. I'd like to be able to knit a prayer shawl -- a heartfelt gift, I think. I've heard that some knitters pray for the recipient of their gift while they're knitting (or crocheting). I like that idea.
Believe me, I'm doing lots of praying while I'm knitting. But if I can get this knitting thing down, I could actually pray for the person I'm making the item for instead of for my sanity. Now that would be cool!
I love 1800's history. And back then, women knew how to do things like knitting and crocheting, because they were taught those skills at a very young age. Today, we live more in a hurry up, we want it now, disposable society, and we've lost the many skills that women of yesteryear learned and used.
I'm in awe of those people who can knit and not even look at their project while they're doing it. I'm staring mine down and not getting very far. As our instructor says, it should be taunt, not tight. I think I have too much tension in my knitting. And yes, that sentence has a double meaning.
Any knitters out there? What is it about knitting that you love so much? Care to share any funny "first project" stories? Crocheters, your comments are most welcome as well.