Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Knitting Evangelism


Can I let you in on a secret? I hate relaxing. I know that sounds insane, but it is true. I find relaxing very unrelaxing. Just sitting there drives me crazy. After I have a baby, I manage to spend the first day in bed with the new baby because the midwives pretty much force me to. The next day, I sit on the couch downstairs in my p.j.s and after that, I just can't stand it anymore and I get up and get dressed and start back into life. Knitting has been my sanity saver during forced 'relaxation'. I didn't realize how much I would love it when I first started learning about 2 years ago.

Why do I love knitting?
  • it is productive
  • the finished projects can be very useful
  • I can still be 'social' when knitting
  • it is very portable, unlike my other favourite hobby - sewing
  • I can pick it up and put it down easily
  • it makes me feel smart!
  • it is not overly costly
  • it is beautiful
As you know, socks are my favourite thing to knit, probably because no matter how fast I knit them, we can never have too many. They are such a useful, luxurious and beautiful thing to make. Contrary to popular belief, they are not hard at all. I started my first pair of socks about two weeks after I started knitting.

Lots of people start knitting by making a scarf. If you are thinking of learning to knit, I would encourage you to consider making a dishcloth for your first project. The yarn costs very little, the dishcloth is immediately useful and, therefore, gives you the instant gratification you need to get you excited about your new hobby. There is a terrific yahoogroup called, Monthly Dishcloths. Twice a month, the list owner will e-mail out about 9 or 10 lines of a simple pattern everyday for about 5 days and everyone knits the dishcloths together. The first pattern of the month is a seasonal picture and the second one is a repeating pattern with a new 'stitch' to learn. Both are perfect for learning to knit, as you can practice your skills on something that doesn't need to have a specific gauge. The picture above is the dishcloth we just finished. (It is a skate, if you can't tell!!) It used only knit and purl stitches, perfect for the beginning knitter. And, knitted dishcloths are wonderful to use.

8 comments:

  1. I'm not a knitter, but I'll link anyway!

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  2. Awwww...thanks, Mama Squirrel. :)

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  3. Sounds like a fun group. I've been knitting for a while, but a girl, especially one who is a mom with 3 messy children, can never have too many dishcloths!!

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  4. My daughter and I have been dying to learn how to knit! Our problem is that we haven't found anyone to teach us in person, and neither of us can get past the first row of stitches when trying to learn from a book or online tutorial. They never teach you how to move on to the next row. Very annoying! Do you think two completely green knitters could learn from Monthly Dishcloths?

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  5. Brandie -- Absolutely!! (And, you can always give them as gifts if you ever do manage to have enough!)

    Sue -- Have you checked out www.knittinghelp.com? It has tons of free videos that can be very helpful when you don't have anyone to teach you in person. I do think you could learn from the Monthly Dishcloth group, particularly if you start off with the beginning of the month cloths, which are mostly just knit and purl. The ladies on the list are VERY helpful in answering questions, though nothing beats in-person. Do you have a local yarn store? They often have beginner classes.

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  6. Thanks for the site reccomendation. I will check that out. We do have a big craft store, but I don't think they have classes. I have one friend in mind who might be able to teach us, but in the meantime I am off to knittinghelp.com!

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  7. Love the knitting here. In December I managed to start and take off the needles 6 projects. Nothing nicer than handing someone a hat for Christmas and having them realize... that there's no tag inside! lol

    Also managed to get my niece's blanket off the needles, but won't be doing something that large and boring again!

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  8. Thanks, songbirdy. I always wonder if people like the knitting pics or just tolerate them. LOL! I'm glad to hear there are some of you who enjoy them. :)

    I totally agree about handmade Christmas gifts. Last year, I made almost all my gifts and it was such a wonderful feeling. I had to scale back a bit this year because of having a baby who never sleeps at night...but I loved giving the handmade gifts I did manage to make. I am blessed with a family who is very cool with giving and receiving handmade, thrifted or even freebies as gifts! :)

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