Friday, January 20, 2012

Why I Knit

Ten years ago, I didn't know how to knit. I looked at the yarn that I saw in Walmart or a craft store and didn't really give it a second thought. But a friend asked if I would take a beginning knitting class with her, so I carefully selected a skein of hideous variegated Red Heart and some shiny aluminum needles and cast on for a scarf. Eventually I made a sweater for a bear out of Sugar'n Cream cotton . . . and then I stopped.

I have no clue why I stopped. I just did. Stopped for about two years. Stopped to the point that I forgot how to purl. Stopped and didn't finish an equally hideous scarf made out of lilac wool and white fun fur. But eventually, there was a need to pick up the needles again and create something for someone special. My sister, Bridget, was pregnant with Emma, and I wanted to make her a sweater. So, with the help of Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch, I figured out how to purl again. And I never stopped.


So, why do I knit? That answer is evolving. It gives me something to do. It's been linked to memory retention. It's portable. It makes me think. It allows me to control something. It allows me to fly without Valium or any alcohol (fine, less alcohol). It calms me down. It gives me something to do. It takes my mind off of things. It's better than crack . . . at least I'm 99% sure it's better than crack.

Last weekend, I attended Vogue Knitting Live! in New York City with a friend. I had the opportunity to take classes from people whose knitting I have admired for ages. Got to relish in a full on girl-crush (Clara Parkes, I adore you . . . seriously, let me buy you a drink!) Listened to a lecture from the person who got those needles back in my hand. Bought my own Valentine's Day presents. Suggested to Dave that he buy me a sheep. Took some advice from the aforementioned fiber pusher, Ms. Parkes, and bought a bag of Romney to test out a spindle. Heard Alice Starmore speak and was inspired to try one of her designs.

So, again, why do I knit? I just do. I don't need a damn reason.

Effortless Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Pacific Blue
Needles: 8 (maybe 9) . . . I can't remember
Modifications: none other than where I messed up on the sleeve decreases
Notes: I wanted a slouchy, throw it over jeans and go to the store, kind of sweater. And this is it. It's easy to wear, and this might be the warmest sweater ever. I predict that it won't make it upstairs this winter as I'll wear it as a defacto robe until mid-May. I had been knitting on this for a while since it was stockinette for ages and had allowed the cardi to languish on the needles for way too long. But having the VK Live! deadline looming forced me to finish it so that I could wear something knit at a knitting convention (shocking . . . wearing something I knit at a knitting convention). Because of the construction, it swings open, so I have a shawl pin to keep it closed. And you know what? It's damn near perfect.



  1. Debbie Stoller got me back on track, too! Love your new sweater!