Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In the Time Before Quilting, I had tried almost every other needlecraft available--needlepoint, counted cross stitch, knitting, crocheting...you name it, I probably tried it. Then, along came quilting...and the rest, as they say, is history. For twenty years, all I have done is quilt, as both recreation and as vocation.

I had seen many quilters and others knitting. I felt the urge--but felt I didn't have time to knit. So I said no to knitting for about three years. Then, just before Christmas last year (Friday, December 21, at 3:00 p.m. to be exact) I found a dishcloth book with a ladybug design in it. It literally caught my eye as I was flying through the knitting department on my way to somewhere else. I hemmed and I hawed. Because I have a friend who collects ladybugs I finally decided to get the book and the yarn (I had kept my needles). I was SURE that I could knit just the one dishcloth and then quit knitting.

Well, between December 21 at 3:00 pm and Christmas day, I had knit 9 of the 12 designs in the book. From there I made my mom two scarves in seed stitch (k1 p1), on 40 stitches, one 50 inches long and one 80 inches long. I made at least 10 fun fur boas. And at last count I had done about 30 dishcloths! I also made two hats (one with cables), 2 neck gaiters, 3 baby hats, baby mittens and probably some stuff I've forgotten about already! I finally got used to using circular needles. Some of the people in my quilting classes are knitters and have been knitting socks--lots of socks, with patterns to make you drool. I said that I couldn't see myself ever knitting socks--especially with those dreaded Double Points. Then someone was using two circulars and then someone else said something about Magic Loop. I decided that knitting on one circular made more sense to me, since I had just mastered that.

So I got the Magic Loop book and a size 1 40 inch circular needle and played with it. Then came the fateful day when I bought my first skein of Sockotta yarn and cast on my first sock. I truly figured I would get the cuff done and that would be the end of my sock knitting. But, on Sunday night I finished my first sock--except for the toe grafting--I can't quite get the hang of that. And my second sock (of the first pair) is cast on and I have about 1.5 inches of the cuff done! Socks are easy! Who knew? And addicting--but at least sock yarn is comparatively inexpensive. Where else can you get hours of entertainment for under $10? When I told someone that I had paid about $10 for a skein of sock yarn they asked how many socks I could get out of it. When I told them just one pair, their eyebrows shot up and they said $10 for ONE pair of socks? I didn't dare tell them about the hand-dyed sock yarn I got on my trip to Florida--$20 for one pair!

And have you seen the wonderful yarns available today? I remember that when I said "Wool" to someone 20 years ago, we all cringed! Now I've been knitting with merino wool so soft you want to keep running your hands over it. I just got two skeins of merino wool made in Wales--in the softest creams, pinks, burgundies and greens. One for socks and one just because I wanted it! (Uh, oh...I think that's how my fabric stash got so big!)

TA DA: here's the first sock!

I wish I could take credit for the wonderful way the heel turned with the colors aligned--alas, it was the yarn!

Now, for those who are wondering if this will turn into a knitting blog--the answer is no. Although knitting might creep in from time to time! The reason that I'm confessing now is to say that I was feeling guilty about knitting, even though I only do it in the late evening (mostly!) and I am finishing projects before moving on to the next. (Unlike my quilting, where I have over 120 unfinished projects!) I found I can have a finished project in a shorter length of time, and I am not so emotionally invested in it (read, it's easier to give away!). I have started a chemo cap and hope to continue making those to give away. Also preemie hats for a local NICU. And, although I've been trying to rationalize my knitting, I really don't have to. Learning (or relearning) a new skill has made me feel much better about lots of things. It turned on my creativity in other areas. I am excited about something new, which is carrying over to the rest of my life. And my quilting.

A giant thank you to Carol and Barb for gifting me not only with the scarf and wristers but with a desire to knit again!

The last picture was taken Monday night, Memorial Day. THANK YOU to all our troops and to the families who await their safe return. Let's keep them in our prayers.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you enjoy knitting! It's a pleasant diversion from quilting. It's fun to hear you say that knitting has enhanced other areas of your life - including quilting.

    Your socks look fantastic -you have inspired me to learn the Magic Loop method (although I'm not ready to give up my DP's) - and I must say I really like the whole technique! Thanks, Sharon!



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