Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Origin of an Obsession

I have no recollection of learning how to knit.  As best as I can figure, my mom taught me to knit sometime between June and December of 2003.  I can only assume that the experience was so traumatizing that I've blocked it out of my memory. At the time I was no stranger to crafts of various types.  My mother is an avid quilter and involved me in her process from an early age.  She taught me how to embroider and do cross stitch, neither of which I took much interest in.  I did latch-hooking and spool knitting, and she tried really hard to get me to enjoy quilting and I did for awhile but it never quite clicked.

Sometime in 2003 then I suppose I either asked my mom to teach me how to knit, or she offered and I accepted.  If I made anything in those first attempts they've been long lost or tossed in the garbage where they belong.  I do remember my first real "project" though.  It was a scarf made out of blue variegated 100% acrylic.  Mostly garter stitch, but with two bands of stockinette at each end because my mom thought I needed to know how to purl, too, and I hated purling so I couldn't muster more than a little of it.  I also put a bunch of fringe on each end to hide the uneven cast on and too-tight bind off.  I remember the first rows, they took forever and I couldn't understand how anyone could make anything wearable out of this tedious process.  My mom remembers me remarking "I guess you've gotta really like someone a lot to knit them a scarf."  She responded by saying that the idea is that the relationship needs to last longer than the knitted item took to make.  She then dug a black mass out of a box in the basement and showed me what was intended to be a scarf for my dad that she had knitted when they were dating in university.  It was black worsted weight acrylic, 14 inches wide, and about 8 feet long.  It was so big that my dad couldn't even wear it.  And 31 years later they are still happily married.

After that first scarf I made a few more scarves here and there, and even an afghan, but I went through many periods where I didn't knit at all.  And of course the only place I knew to buy yarn was Michael's, I only bought sale acrylic, and I only knew how to knit flat rectangles.  The turning point finally came last year when my husband (The Enabler) mentioned that a new wool store called Wolseley Wool was opening in the city.  I went to the store and was completely blown away by all the beautiful wool.  I signed up for the store's newsletter and found out that they offered classes.  At that point I knew I was pretty hooked on knitting but needed something to push me into making things other than scarves and dishcloths.  I signed up for a sock knitting class and thus, a wooloholic was born.

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