Saturday, 5 July 2008

Knit therapy...a work in progress

Knit therapy, it is indeed a work in progress, it is constantly ongoing with moments of pure high when you finish a garment...but it is so much more than that, the excitement of planning your next project, the visit to the yarn shop, fondling the yarn and getting just the right one and leaving with your little bag of goodness...It is indeed therapy for the sole. Then you have the hours of knitting time, time in front of the telly, sitting under a tree in the garden or (and I have been known) to even knit in the bath. When you equate the cost per hour, knitting is a cheap hobby, yes the yarn seems expensive at first, think of the hours of enjoyment you get as apposed to a drink in the pub in an evening...a couple of glasses of wine and your already on to the price of two luxury skeins of yarn. Maybe if your really flush you could even treat yourself to the two!!!
I have wanted to knit all my life, I learnt to crochet a chain by my cousin (we sadly lost her to cancer last year) when I was a small girl, I knitted squares, just squares...I could not do anything else, I think they all ended up in the bin, my Mom was never much for keeping things for sentimental purposes. Through my travels in life a few people have offered to teach me to knit but it never happened then one day a couple of years ago a friend (that would be you Caroline) actually sat down with me and taught me to read a pattern and by the end of the first session I had been taught to psso!!! (I have blogged about this previous) I rushed off the next day to buy the yarn for the pattern I had been given to work on. The shop assistant must have known I was so innocent to the world of knitting as she sold me a completely inappropriate yarn...not to be put off I worked on this project till it was finished...
It was big and bulky and very thick not really suitable for the babe I had made it for, I had rib stitches when I should have had moss and visa versa, the buttons did not fasten up straight and the general look was a little, well odd! Still I learnt so much from that piece of knitting and through this knitting my acquaintance with the teacher grew from just another Mom friend to a great friendship and we carried on our knitting time for a couple of years until a move made it impossible for us to continue, still we see each other a few times a year, time gets focused on our knitting and we chat via the phone about our projects and yarn and all things wool related.
Knitting has become part of my everyday being, I knit pretty much everyday, I have a project in most rooms, yes I would love to be a 'faithful to one project' kind of knitter, no I have lots on the go at one time. Socks when I am in the car for those few minutes before schools out, a huge messy basket by my chair in the living room with my big projects in, a knitting bag for knitting night and a pile by my bed of yarn I just like to look at when I slip into sleep or pick up and knit a few rows when my youngest once again can not sleep and needs to climb into my bed for a few hours, once I am awake I can get back to sleep easily so a few rows always helps.
Yes knitting has changed my life, what could be nicer than to sit and pass through your hands a beautiful natural wool and with every stitch you knit with love a garment for your children to wear. I look at the sweaters, bags and scarfs not to mention the endless mittens on string I knit and I remember so much about the place I knitted them in, the age of the children and it triggers off a whole trip down memory lane, a living photograph. Some remind me of happy times of sitting in the garden by the pond whilst the frogs make their merry noise whilst sipping a cool glass of something summery. Sometimes the memories are so sad, when I knitted a sweater by the side of my fathers bed as I watched him, day after day, slip away from me, helpless to do anything about it. Yes these are the memories of life and my knitting keeps them alive for me. For my children I keep a knitting journal of my knitting, photos of my projects and a few words that will help them to understand the importance and the need to make things by hand.

Today I was reading the book Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, one paragraph really stood out for me...Wrapping Knitted Gifts:One of the simplest ways to present a handmade gift is wrapped-without a box-in tissue paper that compliments the gift. It does not mater if the tissue is wrinkled, or if the corners are not perfectly square. To tie the package with yarn leftover from the project and to make a gift tag by stamping the recipient's name on a pretty piece of paper. I think this wrapping has a sweet, imperfect feeling just like so many hand made gifts.

Photographs: 1)Finished this week, felted handbag knitted in Noro 2) Debbie Bliss knitted sweater for my youngest with a sail post motif knitted on the front (WIP) 3) The socks...whoops I have dropped a stitch and I need to buy a tiny crochet hook to pick up the dropped stitch several rows down caused by watching Hero's on the telly. 4) The basket by my chair...just too much going on here 5) My favourite knit made a few summers ago and still in use, a ducks patter, my first pattern and I was overjoyed with it especially as it was my little ones favourite thing to wear. Also his night time bear that gets a new sweater made with the odds and ends of the yarn of my youngest ones latest sweater so they each have the same clothes.

16 comments:

nicolette said...

You’ve become such a skilled talented knitter Suzie! Wonderful!
I love knitting, it can be so soothing...

Miss 376 said...

all the practice has been worthwhile. I think is's great to see the children wearing handknitted garments. So glad mine are still happy with me knitting for them

Kitty said...

I can't knit in the summer - my hands are too hot. I love all those projects. You are very clever. x

Caroline said...

What a fabulous post - you say all the things I think and believe about knitting, but am not articulate enough to come out with. What lovely pictures too - I adore that beautiful bag and the socks - clever you!!! The dark blue sweater looks like it'll be a great holiday sweater for evenings on the beach when the sun has gone down and all the other holiday makers have gone away....
Your trip down memory lane of knitting has sent me down that way too, and I am getting all nostalgic about some of the previous things I have knitted with you :)
xx

Donna said...

I am so impressed by people who can knit really well. I have never mastered the art sadly and always end up with too many stitches, too few stitches or stitches too tight. Knitted makes me all tense and cross, I so wish I found it soothing and relaxing!

periwinkle said...

what a lovely post, my mam is a great knitter as was my paternal grandmother. I love knitting but must admit, I've never done it in the bath!!
lisa x

Anonymous said...

Love what you say about the association between knitting and memories for you Suz and how you're keeping a 'log' for the boys - it's a beautiful idea...
duck sweater is adorable and loved the colours of the bag.
hugs
katexx

Sarah said...

What a beautiful post - sums up so much of what knitting means to me too :o)

Love the projects on show - I'm a lots of things on the go person too. Am particularly impressed at the socks as I know you've been thinking of trying them for a long time - great work

Queen of the froggers said...

All your knits are lovely, especially the childs sweater. I think I need to cast on more knits so that I can have one in each room!

mellyandrosie said...

Your yarn love sounds like my fabric love!!!! I wish I could knit, but I will just stick to the sewing!! i just LOVE that ducky jumper - sooooo cute!!

Greedy Nan said...

For some really lovely unusual little projects try Sue Cropper's book Pretty Knits. I know there is also a crochet volume if you enjoy that. I borrowed it from the library originally but may get my own copy because it's so good.

julie said...

What a wonderful post Suzie! Like you I can't imagine a day without knitting - it's perfect for picking up when you have a moment or two and whilst your fingers are busy your mind is free to daydream and flit. It's lovely seeing all the things that you're working on and have finished. I think it's good to have several things on the go at once - variety is the spice of life!

dottycookie said...

Your knitting is lovely, and thank you for the useful wine vs wool justification!

Lesley said...

Your knitting all looks lovely and I love the sock yarn you're using :)

I love knitting but I'm more of a starter than a finisher!!

xxx

this is my patch said...

You were born to knit Suzie! x

cici said...

oh my! i LOVE that little duck sweater. i've just started knitting - you say that was your first pattern? impressive!