Recently several people have asked why I started knitting. Honestly, I didn’t have a good answer for them. “Because I wanted to” didn’t seem to cut it. As a writer, I’ve learned we have a motivation for everything we say and do.
My mother taught me to crochet when I was about seven or so. I’ve crocheted for years and really enjoyed it. I love the look of knitted items and always wanted to learn, but couldn’t master using two needles. They felt so awkward.
A lady in my church knits beautifully and offered to teach me. Bless her patient heart. I just couldn’t get it. I hate not being able to do something I want.
Bestselling & award winning author Debbie Macomber was our keynote speaker at the ACFW conference. If you read Debbie’s books, you’ll know she is an avid knitter. I remember watching her knit with a couple of other writers. She carried on conversations with the writers, keeping her eyes focused on them, and kept knitting.
Camy Tang and Allie Pleiter, two authors whose books I love, are writers who knit. I’ve read their blog posts about knitting, admired their wraps they wear at the conferences. Camy has over 50 posts on her blog about knitting. Allie has a blog devoted to knitting. My friend Marie-Anne is an avid knitter, too. Oh, and I can’t leave out Amy. Talk about God-gifted talents!
So, anyway, I decided to try–again–to learn how to knit. I scrounged through my attic for some yarn and came up with a skein of off white acrylic–no shuddering, M-A. Several people recommended www.knittinghelp.com to learn. I watched the knitting help videos over and over. I paused, made sure my hands were in the same positions, and hit play over and over and over. Finally something clicked in my brain and I “got it.”
I posted on Amy’s Facebook wall. I bugged Marie-Anne with knitting questions. They were both oh so patient.
Hubby uses Lion Brand Quick & Thick chenille yarn for his fly tying. He pulled out 8 skeins of this cozy yarn in a variety of colors and gave them to me. Oh, my! What a gift!
Christmas was coming. I promised Hubby I wouldn’t go overboard with gifts. I love to make gifts. I scrapbook, stamp, and crochet, but this year, I wanted to give scarves for Christmas. They are easy for this beginner…and did I mention how gorgeous the yarn was that hubby gave me? Plus, we live in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country. Snow at Halloween is not uncommon. The scarves would be used.
My friend Heidi’s birthday was coming up and the Coffee Girls were getting together to celebrate. I cast on stitches and knitted her a simple scarf in a garter stitch–so easy for a beginner like me. The picture above shows her scarf–my very first completed knitting project. Since then I’ve made 8 scarves and given them away as Christmas gifts. I have 14 more to make before winter’s end.
I knit for three reasons:
- Knitting is a labor of love. I’m crafting a gift for a specific person in mind. A lot of time and love go into those scarves. I’m giving a tiny part of myself with each gift. As I knit, I pray for God’s blessing on the wearer.
- Knitting relaxes me. I can knit while watching TV with hubby. I can knit while playing games with my family. Or knit and listen to audiobooks–combining two of my favorite pleasures. There’s something soothing about the gentle sounds of needle swishing against needle and feeling the yarn slide through my fingers.
- Knitting frees my mind. I can focus on my task at hand, but I can also think through my plots, contemplate my lesson plans for the next day or next week, or ponder other problems I may be dealing with.
What is your labor of love? How do you relax? What frees your mind?
How kind to mention me! Yes I am never, ever without knitting. I especially love it because it turns unproductive time (lines, waiting, watching things that don't engross your attention like baseball games, kids movies, or long meetings) into creative times. Knit on, girl!
My knitting fits right in my purse, so it goes where I go. I hate being unproductive, so this keeps my hands busy! I love your work and your blog, Allie…and your books, too!
My labor of love has been woodcarving. When I create something from a chunk of wood especially for one person, it's something they cherish. And it takes me somewhere in my mind that nothing can intrude upon without my permission. I do some of my best creative thinking with a knife or chisel in my hand.
I like knitting too….had forgotten until making Christmas scarf-gifts how much!
How great you taught yourself to knit! I didn't realize I had THAT many knitting posts on my blog! LOL The scarf is beautiful! I like that particular yarn, too–I bought it for an afghan that I haven't yet knit. LOL You should try sock knitting next! It's easier than you think and very portable b/c the needles are smaller. I always have a sock in my purse.
Reebs, I'd love to see some of your woodcarving when I'm in FL in Feb. My brother-in-law does carving, too. Gorgeous work.
Pattie, I love making scarves. They're so fast and easy! And watching the recipients wrap them around their necks as soon as they unwrapped them thrilled me. 🙂
Camy, I LOVE reading your knitting posts. I'm so glad you share! I haven't tried socks yet, but I'd love to. My friend Amy and I were talking about them today. I love socks in fun colors so I'm sure I'd enjoy them. Maybe they'll be next year's Christmas gifts to everyone. 🙂
I took up knitting a couple of weeks ago using a book my daughter got for Christmas. I also enjoy embroidery, but there is something wonderfully relaxing about the repetitive movements of knitting. Plus I hate to sit still, so it gives me something to do during movie night.