Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Joy of Knitting

There is no aspect of the knitting process I do not enjoy. I can spend hours in a yarn shop exploring the bins of yarn. I slip the thread through my fingers to assess its texture and weight Questions come to mind as I examine the evenness of the thread itself.
What is the best way to show the glory of this yarn? I ask myself.
Is it the right fiber for my grandson's new socks? Will my friend Mary wear a hat made of this pumpkin blend? Can my cousin with a wool sensitivity tolerate a small amount of merino wool in the blanket she asked me to make for her? Do my son's friends really wear the skull logo gloves they bought last year?
Some yarn just insists on coming home with me, project undetermined. I have a special basket in my work room for this yarn. I call it the surprise bin. When I am at loose ends I poke through the bin and find a skein or two of yarn and sit with it on my lap. After a time the project this yarn was made for presents itself. Surprise! That turquoise and brown cashmere and silk blend is perfect for the Victorian neck warmer I have wanted to make for months. The colors were interesting on their own, but twisted together they bring out the undertones in each other, showing the variations hand dying alone provides.
Casting on the stitches is the most time consuming part of the process for me. The first row is the most important. It is either the top or the bottom of the garment and the most visible when the project is finished. I take my time and sometimes repeat he process two or three times to make sure the tension is just right.
Watching the pattern develop as I knit and purl and move stitches with cable needles fascinates me. Following a new pattern requires a leap of faith. I have to believe the person who wrote the instructions did not miss a step. I have to stop and remind myself which direction I am going on the graph. Completing the first repeat always makes me smile.
Tension disappears as I focus on the thread turning into a piece of fabric art, either to wear or grace the table or bed. Time shifts from the present to a higher plane. It passes without my noticing or worrying that something else has to get done.
Casting off the stitches after knitting the last row is the beginning of the end of the project. I have been told that I smile and sigh as I cut the thread and tie off the last stitch. Weaving in the seams seems like the end, but the steaming and blocking are yet to be done.
If you share my joy of knitting, let me know. If you want to see the results of my communicating with the yarns, let me know. If you have questions about a project, ask me. If I can help you I will.


  1. wow, I love this....I love knitting too. but being left handed it takes me longer then most people.

  2. I am also a leftie. I was taught to knit as a young child right handed. If you can stand the initial frustration you can be knitting right handed in no time. Is it transposing the instructions that makes it hard for you?