Sticks and string and everything in betweenDecember 9, 2011
I am a knitter. And I have been one for nearly nine years. Wow. Sometimes it feels like it’s only been a few years since I started. It took me a little digging, but I eventually figured out that I’ve been knitting since January of 2003, when I asked a knitting friend if she would show me how. My mom says she showed all of us, back when we were very small, but I honestly don’t remember it. I have this very vague recollection of sitting with one of the grandmothers, doing something with yarn, but I’ve no idea if it was knitting or crochet.
It took me a little bit to get the hang of how to hold the needles, and I freely admit that I am a lazy knitter – I prop one needle against myself when I knit. I never figured out quite how to hold both needles away from me, without losing hold of one of them, and even though I know it’d be a really handy skill to eventually learn, I quickly lose patience every time I try. I’m a fairly quick knitter, and propping works well for me. I may never be able to knit while walking, or standing, but I’m okay with that.
I love this craft. I really, really do. There’s something amazingly rewarding about turning skeins of yarn into something beautiful, or even just something practical. I love doing cables – the more intricate the better. I love knitting lace, even though I am most decidedly *not* a lace wearer. And I am just as happy noodling along on a pair of plain stockinette socks as I am hunched over a complicated lace pattern that requires absolute silence, all my concentration, and usually a fair bit of swearing under my breath.
It has definitely had its rewards. I have taken second place twice for my lace – once at the California State Fair; once at the Sacramento county fair. I have knit a LOT of socks, so it is rare that I wear anything but handknit socks these days, and there is a pile of knit afghans (done in machine-washable acrylic because hello, I live with five little shedding, hairball-hacking cats). I do test knitting on a regular basis for two toy designers, and have made a number of shop samples for various local yarn stores, ranging from hats to lace. And four years ago I decided I wanted to try my hand at doing my own designs, just for fun. I set myself a goal – one published pattern a year (I could do more if I wanted, but the whole point of setting such a low goal was to keep it stress free; I’m doing this for fun, not to make a living). And every single year I have met that goal.
This year I managed to squeak it in under the wire, but here’s my published pattern for 2011 – the Embossed Scarf.
I’m pretty happy with this one – I have a LOT of sock yarn in my stash, so finding ways to turn it into something other than socks has become somewhat of a priority lately, and this pattern was the result.
‘Tis the season for Holidailies.