Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's Stitch Three Drop Four

Pitch that knittin' out the door right now
Just sittin' with your knittin' all day long
You know knittin's friendly
And knittin's fun
Knittin's good for everyone

I’ve been knitting for, well, for a very long time! My grandmother taught me one summer while I was visiting. She knew how but wanted a review so we went to ‘town’ to the yarn store and she got a book. We also got yarn and needles. Together we started. My first project was a red and white striped sleeveless sweater. It was knit in the round so there were no seams. I don’t remember exactly but I’m fairly sure when I got to the armholes she helped me because the stitches would have had to have been split. I wouldn’t have known how to do that. My mother probably still has it somewhere. From that point on I guess you could say I was ‘hooked’.

Favorite bracelet from

When Callye was born I would hold her and knit. There were many long nights spent that way. I suppose I must have said, “let me finish this row” to her, more than a few times. I don’t remember what I did to make her mad but when she was a little over two, she told me to just go ‘sew my rows’!

The history of knitting has never really been of much interest to me. I always heard that it originated from sailors who knit their nets for fishing. It turns out that the origin of knitting is puzzling and the experts don’t agree. Some believe that knitting started in Persia, but others think it started in Israel, or Jordan and Syria. Still others believe that it started in North Africa or Japan or China. Knitted articles have been found in Egyptian tombs, possibly dating as far back as the 4th or 5th century B.C. Some experts think that these weren’t really knitted but created through a craft called nalbinding. Nalbinding isn’t true knitting but it looks very similar. Many think knitting is relatively new, becoming popular in the 14th century. Apparently, though, even then it was widespread.


When you think of knitting you probably think of a grandmother, or a little old lady at least. But it’s not that way at all. Young people knit. Men knit. And you can knit almost anything. Designers have created things from ‘naughty’ knitting to knitted science. You can even find Knitting for Psychos which is definitely not your grandma’s knitting! The point is, if you think it, you can probably knit it. And if you like it then it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks.

Knitted bi-sected frog

When I was in college the sorority I was in had a winter social called Ski Party. I had the bright idea of making my boyfriend (now husband) and myself matching sweaters. I worked hard and finished both sweaters, just in the nick of time. They looked good, long sleeve dark green cabled pullovers, but they were hot. And his seemed to take an incredibly long time. Did I learn my lesson? No. The next year, same boyfriend, same party, I made matching vests. My thought was it wouldn’t be as hot because there were no sleeves. Wrong. I had one more chance, the third year, and again made matching sweaters. This time I made him a cardigan so he could take it off when he got hot. I made a pullover in matching yarn for myself. Mine had short sleeves because his was so big and took so long I ran out of time! But the third time was charm! He got hot, took his off and my short sleeves kept me comfortable. I look back and figure that was really a pretty dorky thing to do. There was a lot of time involved that could have been used studying! And I never knew I could have blown the whole relationship because of the ‘sweater curse’!

Blurry but here's the green sweaters.

I crochet as well as knit. Most people don’t know the difference. Basically it’s in the number of needles used. Knitting uses two or more needles and crochet uses one, called a hook. I do both, depending on my mood. I like the act of knitting or crocheting but I really think it’s the yarn I like best. I love the colors and the textures and tend to choose yarn with many colors, or variegated yarn. I like the variety and not knowing exactly how the colors will blend while the project comes together. I have a lot of yarn, probably too much depending on who is asked. And I have a lot of scarves, shawls and afghans. I know my kids will probably have some kind of huge garage sale when I’m dead and get rid of it all. I just hope some lucky yarnie comes along and gets to enhance their stash. I’d rest easy knowing it’s appreciated!

Bryce's Granny Squares

Knitting is a relatively safe activity. And it’s productive as well. I don’t have any idea how many afghans, baby blankets, sweaters, scarves and dishcloths I’ve created. I hope that some of the recipients think of them as heirlooms and worth keeping. I occasionally go to flea markets or garage sales and see knitted or crocheted item cast offs in the piles for sale. It pains me to think of the hours invested and the love involved in every stitch stacked on a table with a bargain price tag attached. But I’m probably too sentimental.

Lately knitting is making the news in the form of knitting graffiti or yarn bombing. This is an interesting phenomenon described as “an amusing form of artful anarchism. It's a bit of cockamamie crocheting and granny graffiti all rolled into one!” Granny graffiti? Hilarious! Wikipedia says the practice is believed to have originated in the U.S. with Texas knitters trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects. Go Texas. But it has gained popularity and since spread worldwide. Of course some people are completely against yarn bombing and actually want to prosecute participants. Some people need to lighten up!

A knitter needs his noggin read
So don't come 'round and speak to me of yarn
You can k-nit all day and k-nothin' fits
'Cause only k-nitwits like to k-nit
And k-nittin' k-needles just ain't worth a darn

Knitting is part of who I am. There was a long period of time where I put it aside. It’s been good to get it going and become whole again. My husband accepts it. He doesn’t complain when I bring in yet more yarn. My kids accept it. If I don’t have it with me they wonder where it is. My friends accept it. They tease me and say I’d probably even knit in a bar. Maybe I have! Next time you are in a bar look around. If there’s a lady knitting…it might be me!

My knitting friends from our knitting retreat-Enid's picture

Day 123 of my knitayear is on August 1. It’s getting close to the start of school. All of the stores are having their sales and it’s getting busy at work. But today was a peaceful, tranquil day. Slept in and relaxed getting ready for the week to start. I chose a dark aqua. It reminded me of water. Day 124 was August 2 and the first staff meeting of the new school year. We are still going through some changes but it’s hopefully all for the better. I have one intern so far and I was trying to get him set up, and attend the staff meeting. All in all I was getting a bit flustered. I chose a variegated red/maroon ribbon yarn for today. August 3 is day 125. Again, lots of stuff going on at once. Instead of being two places at once today I had to be three places at once. But I’m feeling pretty secure today because I know I can get it all done. And I do! I have a purple terry cotton yarn for today. Day 126 and I’m scatterbrained. I forget what I got up to get and I can’t stay focused. I chose a thick teal boucle yarn for today. It’s got a thread wrapped around it and some blue spots occasionally. The thread is holding it all together. I’m looking for my thread. Day 127 is August 5. I sometimes amaze myself as to how dumb and clumsy I can be. I walked into a glass door. Thought I had broken my nose! I picked a pink yarn with ribbon flags off it. My nose is pink and will soon be bruised. Just hope it doesn’t make my eyes black! August 6 is day 128. I got everything done! I was attentive, focused and finished. Not with everything but with the most pressing. Yay me. I chose a pale aqua worsted. It’s solid and steady. And then there was day 129, August 7. I had to work today. I have one intern. We were lucky because we didn’t have to stay all day. I got a haircut and he straightened my hair. It’s different but it’s fun! I like it. Makes me feel a little frisky! I chose a bright color novelty yarn. It’s an eyelash yarn wrapped around a velour core. It’s fluffy and a little frisky! So I’m going to keep knitting, knit one purl two…

And that is why we sing this knittin' song
Well it's knit one purl two
It's stitch three drop four
Pitch that knittin' out the door right now

1 comment:

  1. Alan is a dear for wearing a matching sweater with his then girlfriend! Frankie will not do that at all.

    I love love love the knitted trees!