Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A love story

When I began knitting again, about two years ago, I did not expect to fall in love with yarn. Instead, I expected to dabble a little here and there. I knitted a dreadfully curly stockinette scarf and an acrylic purse, sans straps, that is still in pieces in the playroom somewhere. I liked it, but I wasn't in love yet. Then, I went to my first yarn store. All the yarn was arranged in colors and fibers all over the walls. I became excited, but overwhelmed. I quickly bought the Brown Sheep recommended in the pattern for the scarf. I didn't look at the gauge or the yardage in the pattern which called for two colors of yarn, one skein each. Fearing I might run out, I bought two skeins of each. Naturally, I have a ton of Brown Sheep yarn in two shades of green left over.

I began simply with my knitting, following a pattern almost exactly as it is written. I played around a bit with the yarns specified in the pattern, and often ended up with an item that resembled the piece in the picture, but didn't quite seem to fit right. Then I discovered gauge and my knitting got better. My yarn substitutions were more thought out, and I began to fall in love. Something happened when I knitted. I relaxed. I could sit in one spot for hours and not feel guilty. I became a little more patient, and I could feel tension leaving my shoulders. I turned my mind off and knitted and knitted and knitted. I loved following a pattern and had absolutely no desire to write my own pattern. I couldn't understand why someone would want to think about her knitting that much.

Then I found socks. I tackled socks because they scared me, they were risky. They require tiny needles. They require proper gauge. They required that I think while I knitted. I didn't want to be scared of knitting anything, so I tried it, and I fell further in love. They were portable. They were quick. They were useful! They didn't fit. I had to tweak the pattern and I found a pattern that required personalization. I found I liked the idea of making the socks just for me. Then the whole heel thing was intriguing and I wanted to know the whys and hows of it. That lead me down the path of making up a leaf pattern for a hat because I didn't want to hunt for one, and then, the next thing I know... Wham! I'm tackling a sweater without a pattern, just with some measurements. With the time and thought and consciousness required to knit blind, it was evident I was definitely in love.

All this time, everytime I said, "Oh, I can't ever see myself doing/making/trying [insert some knitting related feat]!" Italian has just nodded and smiled, knowing I would try it and accomplish it. Needless to say, I had fallen in love with him long ago, and that was one of the many reasons why. I've fallen madly in love. I have the yarn, and Italian has the sweater (and socks), to prove it.

Please excuse the very dorky look on my face. I have no idea what I was doing, but evidently, it was something dorky.
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