Back on the Needles

I’m a knitting addict.

When I’m knitting, it’s all I can do not to knit 25 hours a day. That’s why it took so long for me to write a blog post about my return to knitting (or about anything else, for that matter). If I have non-work time, I’d rather be knitting.

Thing is, until this week, I hadn’t touched knitting needles since late 2001/early 2002. This was well before I started blogging, so my knitting addiction never came up in a post before.

My mother taught me how to knit when I was a teenager, and I’ve being doing it on and off ever since. I was knitting constantly for a year or two when Emily was a toddler.

I prefer to do sweaters and larger projects rather than accessories. Why did I stop in early 2002? Because I thought I’d try intarsia (multi-color knitting), and I hated it. Depending on the design, you’re knitting with bobbins hanging all over the place and it’s hard to get the tension right. So rather than yank my 60% finished project out and start over with something else more to my liking,  I put the needles down and didn’t pick them up again for nearly 7 years. Lesson learned: If the project isn’t something you love, don’t do it. And it’s okay to admit it’s not working and start something else. There’s always another pattern.

On my way back from the Convio conference last month, I sat next to a woman who was knitting. Simply watching the yarn fly around her fingers relaxed me. That’s when I knew I needed fiber back in my life. On top of that, there’s a really nice yarn shop about 10 minutes from our new home. Resistance was futile. Eric says I’m a better person to live with when I’m knitting. Less time at a keyboard is a good thing, too.

My favorite knitting is anything with cables, lace or texture. I don’t mind changing colors, but not in the middle of the row. Anyway, I promised Emily that my first project back in my knitting life would be for her. So I’m doing a basic, very easy sweater to get my fingers going again. The pattern is the cover here. I’m doing it in Lava Solid by Punta Yarns in a soft green color. It’s machine washable and wasn’t too expensive, which is a given for anything I’d knit for my kids. It’s knitting up very fast. I started it last Saturday morning. 5 days later, I’m already 3/4 of the way done with the front (back is finished). It helped that I also picked up some Addi Turbo needles, which has made the knitting fly.

I feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle. When I fell “asleep,” knitting was a different world. Now there’s so much for knitters online, it’s hard to grasp it all. Before, there were some high-activity listservs and sites with patterns to download. Now, there’s podcasts, blogs and knitting social networks.

The place to be as a knitter online seems to be Ravelry. There’s a waiting list to get in. The invite I requested on Saturday should be coming through by Friday (they tell you where you are on the waiting list). I’m looking forward to it if for no other reason that I think it will help me catalog my stash (my leftover yarn from older projects, or yarn I purchased but haven’t committed to a project yet).


4 responses to “Back on the Needles”

  1. I've been feeling so badly reading your "waiting for Ravelry" tweets. I am the saddest of knitters. Barely a knitter at all but my sister is quite good and also crochets and she got me onto Ravelry weeks ago. I have to knit a scarf next week. I'm anxious to get started but I know I'll want to "multi-task" and be on the internet as well. I need two sets of arms! 🙂

  2. I learned to knit this year and I love it! I've done really basic things so far, simple hats with stockingette stitch and a scarf with garter stitch, but I have a book with some more advanced patterns. I get the idea of ribbing but haven't done it successfully yet. That's my next project as soon as I'm done with this scarf for my mom.

  3. I knew we were kindred spirits! Knitting is also just about as close to relaxed as I get (without a beach and a pina colada involved). We're going to have to start trading patterns!