Sunday, May 20, 2007

Beginning Knitting

I come from a family of knitters. Even though my Oma hasn't knit in over five years, my mother still has a big bag of socks she knit that have never been worn. When I was about seven or eight, my Oma tried to teach me, but I never understood how to translate her speedy demonstrations into something my fingers could do. Although she and my mother both tried to teach me a couple more times during my childhood, it never took.
Last summer, my husband and I took our honeymoon trip to Ireland, where you can buy lovely hand-knit sweaters (among other things) for about 300 Euro. Looking at the gorgeous woolen garments, I realized that my Oma could have knit them, and maybe I would be able to as well. Maybe, I would be able to knit some new wool socks.

When we got home, I bought a copy of Debbie Stoller's Stitch and Bitch, a set of #8 needles, and dug out some old acrylic yarn. I tried knitting, but it still felt wrong. Then I turned the page from English to Continental style knitting and changed things around. Suddenly, the knit stitches were flying. Did my body somehow remember Oma's lessons from over 15 years ago? Is my mom right about Continental knitting being easier? Whatever. I was off and knitting.

As my first project, I did what everyone else does and made a knit 2, purl 2 ribbed scarf. I used cheapo acrylic, not wanting to waste any money on what could possibly be a disaster. Many months later, after knitting my husband a hat and scarf for Christmas, I made a hat to match. The hat's pattern came from Lion's website.