If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I love to knit. It is easily one of my favorite hobbies, and I love to spend spare time with my needles and a beautiful skein of yarn, creating pretty things for my Olive. What you may not know, however, is that I am still a very novice knitter. I am so humbled by the encouragement I’ve received but wanted to share just how far I’ve come and how much I’ve progressed in a short time. Knitting seemed so daunting last fall, and now I am a confident, ambitious knitter… ready to tackle almost any project I dream up. 🙂
a special fair isle sweater for my Olive
I didn’t grow up knitting or sewing or doing anything remotely domestic, to tell you the truth. I was consumed with my studies and my social life and I didn’t have anyone around me to teach me the domestic arts, if you will. I jokingly tell people that I was raised by a very independent single (at the time) mother and now I’ve made up for it by reverting to a total 50’s housewife. haha! All kidding aside, I did find myself married at 21, fresh out of Berkeley armed with two impressive degrees, yet completely unable to run a household, grocery shop, or cook a proper meal from scratch (sorry Erik, for all the raw-in-the-middle and burnt-to-a-crisp chickens I served you that first year of marriage!!). There was a part of me that really yearned to not only learn those skills, but master them. I desired to be an amazing chef, a skilled seamstress, and an efficient manager of the home. In pursuing them, I feel like I’ve really discovered a dormant part of my creative self. As I discovered little successes along the way, I found such a joy and fulfillment. Now there are few things I relish more than being in the kitchen in the late afternoons, chopping and stirring and creating delicious and healthy meals for my family. When I sewed all of Olive’s bedding before she was born, I felt like I had painted the Sistene Chapel. I couldn’t believe that I did it. I used my two hands to make something. It was worth it.
So last fall, I casually told Erik that I wanted to learn to knit. I had seen some other friends around me begin to knit, and I wanted to acquire another craft that could be equal parts hobby and productive pursuit. Knitting is relaxing in and of itself, but I like that after putting in the time, you end up with a tangible product. My mind was spinning with the things I wanted to make! After mentioning my desire to a few church ladies, they encouraged me to call a local yarn shop about lessons. It turns out that the store has classes 6 days a week, on a drop-in basis. You come in and the teacher will show you what to do, and then assist you on whatever project you bring in that day. I still remember my first day in class, and how intimidated I was by the ladies sitting around the table, proficiently knitting and purling, with beautiful shawls and scarves growing from their needles. I remember how I worked so slowly, asking my sweet teacher to show me again and again and again. I remember taking this picture and posting it on Instagram, and being SO proud of my first few rows of knitting.
the first and last time i used bamboo needles 😉
Well I kept going to class, week after week. At that time, Olive would sleep in her carrier the entire length of class (2 hours) and I could get a great session in. As she grew older and more mobile, the ladies encouraged me to keep coming and they would take turns playing with her while I knit. Now I am still going to class 1x a week, sometimes 2x if I’m not too busy, and Erik will watch Olive so I can really get down to business. Other than my time in class, I probably knit 30 minutes or less a day. But in those stolen moments, I have been able to produce some projects that I’m truly proud of. I have tackled fair isle (my favorite!), lace patterns, seaming, button holes, knitting in the round, hats, scarves of all kinds, sweaters, vests, ponchos and booties! I enjoy learning a new skill with every pattern I take on. I love my afternoons with the sweet ladies in my knitting group. I am endlessly thankful for my patient teacher who has literally taught me everything I know. 😉
Erik now admits that he had no idea how serious I was about wanting to learn to knit; it has become a passion of mine and I am so glad I took the leap to learn!
SO fun to look back at some of my projects over the last 8 months
New skills I hope to add to my repertoire soon include cables, intarsia, and felting. If you are a knitter (or crocheter), you can find me on Ravelry (login required). Otherwise, I look forward to sharing my projects here and on Instagram.
Is there anything YOU want to learn to do (or learn to do better)?? Let me know in the comments… Let’s encourage each other to make it happen this year!