Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Knitting

Maroon, navy and gold hat for my dad
Creating: I love to knit.  I learned how when I was a jeune fille studying in France.  My mother is queen knitter but I had to travel across a large ocean to learn how to knit from a neurotic French woman, Madame Miclot.  It's a long story about why I didn't learn from Mom - ask her about it sometime when you see her. 

My first project was a scarf.  I bought some lovely soft acrylic that matched one of the colors in my jacket, a kind of teal-green sort of color.  Knitting became my form of meditation and relaxation.  By the time I got home, my scarf was 6 feet long.  Turns out, I had not learned how to stop knitting.  Mom showed me how to cast off/bind off.  It wrapped around my head twice and around my neck as well, so I didn't have to wear a hat.  I wore that scarf for years.  I am not sure where this treasure is now - probably packed away somewhere. Surely I would never get rid of it!

After that, I was given the yarn, needles and pattern for a fan and feather afghan.  This is a lace-type pattern and it was made with an off-white acrylic.  This afghan is still in beautiful shape nearly 20 years later, and in regular use in my living room. 

orange cat hat with ears - looks cuter on my sister
Did I mention that when I was first knitting, I was in college and, at that time, NO ONE was knitting.  It had not yet become "hip".  There were no movie stars "KIP'ing" (knitting in public).  But it was good for me to knit - I had a very stressful senior year and knitting helped keep me somewhat sane.  And I started teaching others to knit.  There is a good picture of our knitting group, sitting in my dorm room.  Me with my afghan, Bruce with the start of his black scarf and Kris with the beginnings of her scarf.  Bruce was a much better student than Kris.  If I could figure out the scanner, I might post that photo...

When I was a nanny after college, I read about a woman who taught classes on knitting Norwegian (Nordic) sweaters and signed up for her next class.  Having gone to a Norwegian-American college, I had been surrounded by those ski sweaters for 4 years.  I will post more about that class and its results in the future (think "N"). 

I was a fearless knitter. No one ever told me what I was doing was difficult, or that I wouldn't be able to do it, so I didn't know any better.  I didn't know that a large lace pattern afghan is kind of a big undertaking for a second project.  I had never knit in the round or with multiple colors or done many of the other techniques in the Nordic sweater class but that didn't stop me.  My project after the ski sweaters was an Aran knit cardigan with raglan sleeves (more on that later - think "R" for raglan), and pockets, and buttonholes.  Since then I have made socks (see future "S" post), more hats than I can shake a stick at, scarves, mittens, baby blankets and sweaters and booties, prayer shawls, a cellphone cozy that looks like an orange cat, and a scarf for a penguin.  I taught 3 squirrely third-graders and a sedate 4th grader to knit.  I taught E to knit (he made a coaster!).  If you want, I will teach you to knit.  I have met so many friendly knitters (and a couple of uppity snobbish ones, too) and even was part of a knitting book club for about a year - we read books about knitting, yarn and, in one instance, sheep.  I have been known to pick up yarn and needles and just start knitting, not knowing what I am making.  That is how I ended up the the red, black and white hat with tassels that fits absolutely no one, but makes a fine Christmas tree topper. 
 It fits no one but now goes on top of our Christmas tree as a quirky tradition.

Think I am off to make those sticks click for a while.

Until we knit again,
Hallie

4 comments:

Mom said...

I have now overcome my fear of teaching knitting! I've taught 2 people now and there were no injuries! I am available for teaching now! And my kid (see above) IS the most fearless knitter I have ever known!

Sharkbytes said...

Beautiful knit projects. You do a really nice job. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

Lynn Proctor said...

i used to knit--my daughter knits on a frame--cute hats

SherryE said...

I've always wanted to learn how to knit. Just haven't gotten around to doing it. Beautiful projects!

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