Friday, November 30, 2012

My Musings on Knitting; Epiphanies that Come from Hours of Creating

"Through the knot, in the back, loop over, pull through, pull off...through the knot, in the back, loop over, pull through, pull off..."

I literally had dreams of this last night after my first attempt at knitting. My desire to begin knitting came from seeing some beautiful balls of yarn at Big Lots. I know there are all kinds of crafts I can do with yarn, but each time I saw those beautiful threads, I was pulled back in my memories of a time where I remember my grandma sitting on the couch creating all kinds of things. Before I knew it, I had a little spur in my tush to buy some yarn and get to teaching myself how to knit.

After about 2 hours of a frustrating start, I finally got it. Well, let me back up a minute and explain how I got to that point. I started to buy a book at AC Moore on beginning knitting, but decided that the Internet was full of people who know what they are doing, and are willing to show me for free, so on to Pinterest and YouTube I went {see below for the sites I found helpful}. I stood in front of my computer with my supplies and tried, and tried, and tried, and tried again to get started. I had 3 Tabs with knitting techniques opened, and I flipped back and forth with them. Suddenly I found myself in a rhythm, and I had about 3 rows of something started. So I carried my supplies to the living, sat cross-legged on my couch, and knitted away while watching Big Bang Theory.

And I stayed up waaayyyy later than I normally do looping and pulling that beautiful yarn.

And I dreamed about it all night.

And I read my Bible Study while working on the next few rows.

This is what I learned while knitting:

  1. My hands are gaining new muscles. I'm not sure if I was doing it right, or if I was just holding on to the yarn too tight, but I went to bed with sore hands. It made me think of my grandma and all her older lady friends who would spend hours knitting. Either they had strong hands, they were doing it right, or they suffered because of arthritis. But I never heard her complain. Which gave me a more respect for her. 
  2. My eyes hurt. This happened this morning. I was just-a whirling away with the yarn when my eyes started to hurt. At one point I looked up from my knots and loops, and my eyes were shocked that the sun had come up. I realized that I was holding the wanna-be scarf about 6 inches from my face. Whoa, baby. I now have to stop every few minutes to make sure I pull my masterpiece in the making away from my sore eyes. And again, it made me think of my grandma. 
  3. I have a new addiction. Not sure why knitting is so addictive, but I found myself wanting to bring my  yarn and needles to car line. I wanted to knit instead of eat breakfast. I was willing to stay up LATE just so I could add a few more rows. Every time I would finish a row, thinking "this is the last one", I would go, "okay, one more." And I repeated that process over and over again. No wonder why my grandma was constantly giving me new knit socks every time I turned around. I think she was addicted, too. 
  4. I had a sudden urge to use my rocking chair. There's something about getting into a rhythm that made me desire being in my rocking chair. Having the yarn in my lap is not cumbersome, and I knew the rhythm of the rocking would help me with the rhythm of the knitting. 
  5. Apparently, I had a lot to think about. While looping and pulling, my mind ran crazy. I was thinking of all kinds things, great and small. Even this list came up as I was knitting. I thought about my kids. I thought about my grocery shopping list. I thought about updating my blog. I thought about music {I have Christmas piano music playing}. I thought about books I like to read, and how maybe I need to get another audio book to listen to while knitting. I thought about all the things my grandma used to make while knitting. I examined a blanket my great-grandmother made me with awe. I had a LOT to think about, apparently, and knitting brought it out in me. Which, again, made me think of my grandma. She was very child-like in her later years, and I always just thought she was losing her mind. But she knitted. All the time she knitted. And if she was knitting, she was thinking. So all that time I thought she was just being an old lady, she was probably solving world problems in her head, and quietly praying for all her grandkids as well. 
  6. I love small victories. I was seriously getting frustrated when I started. I almost came to tears quite a few times as I struggled to understand exactly how I was supposed to loop and when I was supposed to pull. But when I got it, I was filled with relief. And then this morning, as I got frustrated over one particular loop that I had messed up a few rows back, I was thinking I was going to have to be happy with a slight gap in the scarf. BUT, after studying the yarn, I saw exactly what I needed to do to fix the gap, and I was back in the game. My chest swelled with pride. It's the small victories that can be the sweetest. 
  7. I can sit still. If you know me, you know my schedule is c-ray-zy. I am constantly doing something. But knitting made me sit back and relax. There is just something calming about creating something warm and fuzzy. 
  8. Most importantly: I should have appreciated my grandma more. Each row made me think of Ruby. I think of how ungrateful I was for all the things she made me. I think of how I spoke to her. I think of how I treated her. No, I wasn't cruel or anything, but I was immature. I had a special treasure in my grandma. I told my children this. And they probably thought the same thing I did, "Yeah, ok, mom." But I now have a desire to teach at least my daughter how to knit. It would be a shame if another generation went by without learning how to do it. My grandma tried to teach me how to knit quite a few times, but I brushed her {and the knitting} off as being something only old ladies did. More times than I can count, I said out loud, "Oh, grandma, if only you could see me now." I gained a new respect for my grandma through this. 
So that's it for now. If you have been knitting for a while, please share some of the things you have learned while knitting. If you haven't been knitting, you really should give it a shot. You might be surprised at what you learn...about yourself, and about those around you. 

Here's what I've done so far: 

Sources I used to learn how to knit: 
  1. Queen of DIY
  2. All Free Knitting  I'm thinking this is the sister site of Allfreesewing and Allfreecrafting that I follow. 
  3. YouTube video: Beginner Knitter
If you have another source, please comment below so others can learn as well. 

Happy Knitting, everyone. :}  

1 comment:

  1. That "addiction" is the same thing I feel for embroidery. It's just so nice to find a quiet place and busy your hands... it DOES release your mind to ponder all sorts of things. And there is this lovely feeling of accomplishment/ learning something at the end! You CAN teach the boys, too! I remember Tim telling me one time that he knew how to sew... his mom taught him. :)