Mother taught herself to knit; when I was about 8, she taught me. In the fourth grade, my teacher and the librarian would help a few of us girls with our knitting, and they taught us to crochet. I don’t remember very many finished pieces, but I did crochet the classic ripple afghan for my Barbies. When I was a senior in high school, my mother gave me a bag of tangled-up superfine wool. I made a glorious pair of cable-knit socks for my boyfriend. I think he wore them once; his mother threw them in the washing machine and did an excellent job of felting them. It broke my heart. Thus began my relationship with my first mother-in-law.
I flip-flopped between wanting to be a cartoonist and a fiber designer, so anything with cloth and fiber I fiddled with. My senior art project was a big piece of burlap with a purple bull embroidered on it, other knitted and crocheted embellishments and a crocheted edging. It won some sort of prize in the school art show but I have no idea what for or what happened to the piece. In college, I made a few scarves as gifts, principally because knitting was so economical.
Later, I got really busy with work and parenting, but there was always a knitting project going on… baby things for Sarah, other children of family and friends. But there was always a knitting project going on. Knitting has always been my ‘go-to’ activity when stressed.
In 2008, my husband Sam had heart surgery that ended up with some major complications. During that very stressful time, it seemed the only thing I could concentrate on (besides all the medical information) was knitting. I had a 1-1/2 year old granddaughter and another grandchild on the way; knitting for them offered a perfect solution for keeping me occupied as well as productive. A large part of my thinking was, ‘when Sam wakes up today and I’m here knitting he’ll know everything is going good.’ Lots of days, my mom would come and knit with me. As Sam’s healing progressed, my knitting continued. The only place (outside of home and hospital) I felt comfortable was at local yarn shops. I had no patience for malls, shopping, strangers or idle conversation. Trite as it may sound, knitting gave me the structure and the comfort I needed during a very trying time. Everyone got knitted Christmas presents that year.
Why do you knit? What does knitting give back to you? What are you knitting now? What would you like to learn about knitting? We invite you to post your comments here, or come by the shop and chat with us.