Cathartic Ink

putting my own spin on things

How I Learned to Knit

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For Sara

Okay. I’m going to write this story the way that I remember it. My mom reads so if her memory is better than mine I expect that she’ll clear things up for me.

My mom is crafty. She sews, and she sewed most of our clothes up until I was in middle school. She crochets, including very delicate lace patterns around glass Christmas balls with tiny steel hooks. She knits, including these amazing Christmas stockings that we all have with stripes and figures on them [santa heads, wreaths, reindeer.] We had afghans and knit pillow covers when I was a kid. And now my mom cross-stitches. With beads. Tiny beads. Over canvas with tiny tiny squares. Her patience for it amazes me. Edit: My mom says in the comments that she cross-stitches mostly on linen these days.

At any rate, somewhere about age 8 my mom taught my older sister how to knit. She was making a quilt with big garter stitch squares. And I desperately wanted to learn how to knit but my mom kept putting it off. Finally I convinced her to teach me to crochet instead. What followed was many random Barbie outfits and a whole bunch of granny squares and potholders. Then, finally, I convinced her to teach me to knit. I don’t remember doing anything with it.

Fast forward to 14. I decided to knit a scarf for a friend of mine. It was striped and done in garter stitch I believe. I was thrilled to realize that I could make stripes even if I couldn’t purl. I’m a lefty but knit right-handed [I’m a thrower] because that’s how my mom taught me to knit. And for some reason my left-handed brain just could not get purling. I finally got it and away I went.

I credit my mother with my fearlessness when it comes to fiber arts. The first sweater I ever cast on for was Rogue, even though I’d never knit a sweater OR cables. With the exception of gauge issues, it would have turned out really nicely. Instead, it’s now a simple knitted bodice. 🙂 And I started spinning this time last year after pining away for a wheel for several years prior. So, that’s my short history of my fiber arts career.

One more edit: In the comments my mom also asked me if I remember a fair isle sweater that she knit me. I certainly do. It was a tweedy dark purple with white x’s across the front and I didn’t love it nearly as much then as I would now understanding how much effort and time and love went into it. Kids.

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