Sunday, May 14, 2006

My Mother Taught Me

My mom taught me to knit when I was very very young (probably 4 or 5 years old). I remember her sitting me and my best friend from next door down on the front step. She presented each of us with a set of Susan Bates aluminum needles. Mine were blue. My friend's were pink (I really wanted the pink but oh well). And she taught us to knit.

I've been an on-again, off-again knitter ever since, up until this past year where it's really taken hold of me via the discovery of sock knitting. And I've learned a tremendous amount since then. The only cast ons I knew prior to socks were the simple loop cast-on (what my mom taught me as a youngster) and knitting on (which isn't very useful). I discovered the act of finishing projects (a benefit of socks) and the joy of knitting with high-quality yarns (something I'd not thought of trying). Lace patterns, compex cabling, short rows, turning a heel, the importance of gauge. All now obsessions. I'm more than halfway done with my first fully-planned sweater (I knit an impromptu sweater for a boyfriend in college...turned out fine, by pure luck but no pattern, no gauge, etc.) Haven't attempted a sweater since.

I'm teaching myself continental-style knitting to endure a marathon of seed stitch. You see, I sort of learned to knit "wrong"...I knit with a very simplified english/throw method...never learned any particular way to thread yarn around my fingers...I just hold yarn between my thumb and forefinger and throw. Fortunately, I've met others who do this who are accomplished knitters, so it doesn't hold me back. I don't lack tension control. I don't lack speed. But I still knit like a small child in many ways. Just the way my mother taught me.


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