Friday, June 20, 2008

Knitting - it looks a little bit like my life. . .

I LOVE to knit. I mean - I don't just like to knit, I really LOVE to knit. I love the whole process involved with knitting.
First, I get excited about thinking what am I going to knit next? Okay, yes, for those of you who read my blog and know me I have done one poncho, I have been working 4 years on a blanket for Allie [okay, at this point I'll need to add more skeins of yarn to be an appropriate size and then it'll just drag out longer - maybe it will be ready for college!], I have been working 1 year on a felted purse and have made 900000000 scarves.

So I start with all the beginning decisions - deciding what I am knitting (and yes, even though most see me as only making scarves, there are sooooo many different ones to choose from), who I'm making it for, what kind of yarn, what colors, what kind of needles, am I going to treat myself and go to a fancy knit boutique to pick out some decadent yarn or am I just going to head to the closest craft store to pick up whatever jumps out at me?

There is something really exciting about picking everything out and coming home, getting in a comfy recliner and making that first slip knot and then casting on that first row of stitches. I'm almost like Allie is when she plays with a new toy - I'm just really excited to begin my project!!

I love to knit for so many reasons. I love the excitement Allie shows on her face when she gets a new sparkly scarf (okay, for a almost 6 year old who lives in Arizona, she has way too many scarves!) or when I give a scarf to one of her little girlfriends for their birthday. I love putting on one of the few scarves I have made for myself - I kinda feel like a little kid who gets to put their artwork on display on the front mantle! I also really really really love the fact that I can knit and eat at the same time - so I'm able to not snack for those few moments of the week when I knit.

I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I finish a project - unfortunately, just like my housework I have lots more unfinished projects laying around the house then I do finished ones! Sometimes I feel just as overwhelmed by my half-done scarves as I do by my half-done laundry piles (washed, not dried or dried not folded or folded but not put away - its sad when your daughter goes to the dryer to get our her clothes just as much as she goes to her dresser drawers!).
I knit in lots of different places - I always have a project in my car with me at all times (like when Allie was a baby, I always carried extra diapers and clothes in the car for her - you never knew when there was going to be a reason for it. . .). I knit when Allie is in her gymnastics class, I knit while waiting at the doctor's office, I knit it the car while I'm waiting for Allie in the car pick-up line at school, I knit at home late at night while watching tv if I'm not blogging, I knit when we go on long car rides, I knit when we get together for playdates at friends' houses now that Allie is older and the kids play by themselves and over the past few years my husband has had various minor surgeries (tonsils removed, a hernia removal and 3 sinus related ones as well) and because I knew he wasn't going in the hospital for anything serious, I relished the uninterrupted hours that I knew I would be trapped in the hospital and was lucky enough to have all those wonderful moment to just sit and knit.

Last week, I started a new scarf with an interesting pattern and began to knit while Allie was at gymnastics. I was trying trying to follow the pattern and busy counting stitches (my preference is just to stick with the straight free form scarf with no counting other than the first row I cast on so knitting can truly be mindless for me) when I made an "oops" and started to fix my mistake. It was then I realized that knitting was kinda like life. . .
While knitting my various projects, sometimes they end up being flawless and perfect and each stitch looks just amazing. And then there are the times where the patterns is really confusing, you keeping making "oops" and you either need to fix them yourself or take them into your favorite "knitting expert" and watch as they undo your last 30 rows and tell you that you need to start all over. Although wouldn't it be nice if life was like that too - just unravel your mistake/problem and start all over?? And the worst is when I don't realize I made an "oops" while knitting until 20 minutes of knitting has gone by and I hold up my project and realize I must have dropped some stitches because the scarf looks a bit lopsided now. Do I go back and start all over or do I just move on and decide I will have a pattern of increasing and decreasing the stitches so it looks like I knew what I was doing from the beginning?
I love knitting things for others - it makes me really connect with that person and think about them and my relationship with them. What would they want? What kind of scarf shouts out their personality? What should their yarn feel like? What colors should their scarf be? There is nothing I enjoy more then being around people and so knitting something for someone is a huge high for me.

Sometimes, its not about anyone else, but all me. One can often tell by the color or type of yarn what kind of mood I was in when I began the project. But just as in life when I put my own needs/desires before others, I feel guilty that I'm doing something just for me and I end up ultimately not finishing it and beginning or resuming to knit a project for someone else.
And just like life is a mystery, so is each knitting project. I begin with what I think I want and it will look like - but it always turns out a little differently each time - sometimes surprisingly better than what I had imagined and sometimes a little disappointing than what I had hoped it would look like.
More importantly than anything, with all if its twists and turns and knots in the road I love my life and I love to knit and I love the fact that I have all these wonderful and special people I have in my life to knit something for. . .because without a full array of people to knit for, my life would not be as wonderful. . .
And if you are one of my close friends reading my blog and wondering where your scarf is - I guarantee you its almost done - just like my laundry is . . .

post signature


Kim said...

I wish I had learned to knit from my Grandma when she was alive. I might take it up one day! nclm

DC said...

I've been wanting to take up knitting for awhile now. Sounds like fun! :)

Miss 376 said...

I love the starting of a new project too, have never finishedon ething before I'm thinking about what I'm going to do next. Think it is the feeling of something fresh

Eliza said...

Hahaha...I used to knit scarves, and once half of an ill-fated sleeveless sweater that cost me as much in yarn as just buying one would my fingers don't cooperate too well but I'm thinking of asking my rheumatologist if it might be alright to do as OT...NCLM!

Jane @ Kidzarama said...

I am just like you about cross~stitch.

I love the choosing part so much that my cupboards are full of magazines and pattern books.
I have 1million sites in my bookmarks and I stress about how I am going to find the time to *do* them all.

About the mistake you made, I'd just keep going& make it a part of the pattern. ;)