A tale of two knitties

My heritage is needlework; I feel this even if I have not become accomplished at it in over 40 years of feeble attempts.

But I keep trying, not because I believe that one day I will magically cross over the line of pathetic amateur to confident professional, but because I admire the needle arts and I want to feel that I have an understanding with others, including my female progenitors who have all sewed, knitted, crocheted, tatted, quilted, and the like.

So for a Christmas gift to myself, I finished a scarf. This is my first finished project, knitted, since I was a child.

my first (as an adult) finished knitted scarf

I must give credit to 1) Ethel Grogan and 2) Sandy Chambers, who inspired me to take up knitting, after watching them do it at a “finish-your-project” girls’ night out a few months ago. Go sisters! I admire you SO MUCH! and 3) Adrienne Martini,  author of the book Sweater Quest, which captivated my creative hopes.

From pondering the instructions in several knitting books, I’ve discovered that I have a long way to go to perfect my technique. I suppose that I do the English method, which I did learn as a child but mostly forgot, although my hands tend to just go on and keep repeating the motions while my will doesn’t have much to say about it. And I don’t know how to wrap the yarn around my hand as I go, which Debbie Stoller, the author of Stitch ‘N Bitch, says on page 38 that you must learn to do. I saw a lady in the ENT clinic waiting room knitting, with the yarn wrapped curiously around her fingers as she went, and I thought, I can never do that.

Today, I had lunch with my husband,  mom and daughter-in-law, and Mom gave me a shawl that she can’t remember if she or her mother had knitted. Oh, it is beautiful and delicate, soft and lovely, with a few rows of stockinette, then a few rows of a lacy open-weave stitch that I don’t know the name of. Thanks, Mom! I love it.

Knitted shawl

And Santa knew I was fascinated by knit, purl, knit, purl, as he brought me a knitting machine. [Just kidding, I bought it at JoAnn’s when it was on sale $5 off] I like machines. But I truly do love the feel of wool in my hands. It is sumptuous, not really like polyester or nylon or cotton yarn at all. The cotton and synthetic fibers are great to wear, and I’m not excited about wearing a wool sweater, but I love to work with the yarn.

My machine, for age 6+

It came with some eyelash yarn, and instructions to make a hat, forearm warmers, a scarf, socks, and a shoulder bag. Can’t stop smiling at the prospect of operating this machine–mmm, maybe at night in front of the TV as the men of the house, and I, watch people killing and maiming or tackling and running to and from each other, scoring points and time-outs.  I wonder when the female progenitors would find time to knit, with no TV to watch?

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