Thursday, April 28, 2016

Throw Back Thursday: Learning to Knit

I may have shared this story on one of my podcast episodes and um...I'm not sure if recording is going to happen today, darn life getting in the way AGAIN! Tomorrow, Tomorrow, there's always tomorrow...where was I again? Oh yeah, learning to knit.

Back in 2008 a good friend came in to town to visit. I was just recently married and we were gearing up for our 10 year class reunion (go class of '98!). She spent the weekend of with us and had just learned how to knit! She insisted on showing me which I of course was very open to. I hadn't ever given much thought to knitting which honestly is surprising since looking back I know my grandmother and great grandmother used to knit. They weren't avid, knit all the time, kind of knitters so it's not like I have memories of them toiling away on projects. But I do remember my grandma knitting this cool, huge rainbow blanket - which she made for me and I still have! One day I'll pull that out and take a good picture of it.  My great grandmother actually crocheted. I want to say she knit as well, but I really am not sure. She also sewed her own clothes, quilted, and did an assortment of crafts. To say she is my inspiration is truly an understatement, I adored and always will adore that woman!

So we headed to Joann and picked out my very first supplies. A set of cheapy Susan Bates straight needles and a skein of worsted maroon yarn that I think was Patons...but I can't remember. She picked up a pretty bulky brownish/tan barber poled. Another Patons.  We scurried back home and she quickly taught me the basics: cast on, knit, purl, cast off. I was hooked. I loved everything about it and was excited to learn more right away. But first and foremost, I was impatient and was already googling how to knit faster. Throwing was just too slow for my taste. So enter Continental knitting. It probably took me a good week to get the hang of it, but once I got that going I was unstoppable! I can't exactly remember what I made first, but I ended up getting a circular or two and made a couple hats, some baby booties, and some fingerless mitts. I took terrible pictures of them and this was before I knew what Ravelry was:

First Knitting

First Hat

First Mitts

Booties for my neice

I was a casual knitter for the next couple years, picking up a few things here and there from Joanns and making hats mainly. Eventually I stumbled across Knit Picks and picked up a nice set of circular needles. Before that I was using a interchangeable by Denise - which was okay - but definitely was not doing the job for me. I spent most the fall and winter knitting, but by spring I would end up too busy with other things going on that it always kind of fell by the wayside.

Since I decided to start podcasting, I have now been FIGHTING to keep the crafting going all year round. I tell you it is a challenge. Fast forward 8 years and life is as hectic as ever. Two busy kiddos and just so many activities and things to get done.

But I have to.

Knitting is no longer just this passing fancy that came my way. It is now and integral part of my life, more than a hobby, but a passion! I love everything about it. I love making things and wearing the things I make. I love making things for other people. I love yarn, the beautiful colors and creations that indie dyers come up with. I hope to one day participate in that creation as well.

I've made AMAZING friendships over this craft and for that I wouldn't trade it for the world! The knitting/fiber community is the best there is. It's far from perfect, any of community of people has their bad apples and flaws, but compared to any other groups I've been a part of - this one is by far the kindest, most generous, most caring group I have ever had the pleasure to interact with.

I look forward to the many more years of knitting and crafting to come and to continue to learn more and do more!

Talk to you tomorrow!

~Andrea The CATT Lady

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