Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Relaxing Hobby of Knitting

I learned to knit a little over a year ago on the way home from our yearly shopping trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. My Aunt Glenda taught me how to make my first washcloth. By the time I had completed it, I had picked up about twenty stitches and left quite a few holes along the way. I was very proud of it. I quickly moved on to scarves, which are really just long washcloths in disguise.

My first big project was a pink sweater and matching hat for Adelaide. It was knitted in pieces and still did not require me to add or drop stitches; which, I was still only able to do on an accidental basis. It took me about a month to complete and required a lot of moral support from my knitting buddies.

When I finally worked up the nerve to start purling, I was able to make wool diaper covers for Adelaide. These required creating ribbing with a pattern of knit and purl stitches, as well as increasing, decreasing and picking up stitches. Hats, knitted in the round, also required more concentration. And thus the days of peaceful knitting came to an end. Now I had to concentrate. That meant no TV, no talking, no background noise and no distractions of any kind, a state of calm that rarely exists in this house.

And so I knit. Hands and jaw clenched in terror that I will make a mistake. I have no idea how to fix mistakes. I also count (badly and repeatedly) and try to keep track of my place in the pattern. Also, I yell, at anyone who asks me a question, brushes against me or causes any sort of background disturbance of any kind. My family treads lightly when my needles come out. They know I'm busy, "relaxing" with my knitting.

Right now, I'm working on a surprise project for my husband for his upcoming birthday to show how much I care. Just last night, as I was working on this, my most complicated pattern, he sat down to talk for a few minutes. I quickly ended that...I'm trying to count for goodness sake!

So now I make sweaters, scarves, diaper covers and hats for my wonderful, sweet family, all the while screaming at them to leave me alone. I'm sure they appreciate the gesture. Remember, nothing says "I love you. You're special to me.", like a hand-crafted gift. These gifts conveniently function as apology gifts to those you have mistreated in the process.

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