Knitting a Yarn

7:49 PM

I'm no expert knitter, by any means, but I surely don't LOOK like a complete newbie. I mean, is that the sort of thing that gives off an AURA? I was at Handworks Gallery the other day, searching for the perfect yarn to complete this afghan that seriously is taking me forever to complete. Amidst the thousands of balls of yarn and books about knitting and knitting paraphernalia, sat a woman wearing a sweater she probably knit herself, some wild, frizzy hair and an air of superiority. How long have you been knitting, she queried. Feeling like I was having an out of body experience, I found myself answering her nervously! I felt defensive as I said, "A couple of years." Would I have felt more comfortable if we were discussing sweaters at J Crew? Probably!

But walking into knitting stores always has that effect on me. While part of me is giddy over the untapped potential of the floor to ceiling wooden cubbies stuffed with balls of yarn in every imaginable texture and color...the other part of me is terrified. Not that I'll trip and knock over a display or pull out one ball of yarn and send the entire cubby rolling out onto the floor, although both of those things ARE always in the forefront of my mind. And probably will happen at some point.

I think it's because I feel largely as if I'm posing as a knitter. Like I'm not granola enough or something. Like my mind-set just isn't earthy or liberal enough. I'm not a vegan...I don't eat organic...I love to shop...I vote conservative...I know this may not make a lick of sense, because I normally feel pretty comfortable in just about any setting. And I feel intimidated by possibly one of the coziest environments you have ever walked into! What is it with me?

Here's something else that I I the world's slowest knitter or possibly just the most distracted? The employee at the store was telling me how she knits these baby blankets in an hour and a half while she watches a movie. I was in awe. In an hour and a half, I might do a large number of things...knit a whole blanket NOT being counted among those things. Ever.

Let me put this into perspective for you. I learned to knit at the beginning of 2005, I think. So I'm approaching the 3 year mark. And I have completed two projects - one being the "starter" project that came with my "Learning to Knit" kit.

My sister Rachel taught me how to knit. And I'm a lefty, but I knit as a righty, so I have no idea if I'm making my life harder or easier. Anyway, my first real project was a scarf - albeit a complicated scarf. It took me over a year to knit this thing. I got pregnant and had a baby during the entire time I was knitting this scarf. In fact, I was so appalled by how long it was taking me, that I made it my mission to finish the scarf before my 12 weeks of maternity leave were up. I accomplished that goal, thank you very much. Granted, it was the middle of the spring and the need for a scarf had long passed. But it looked great hanging on the hook!

And because I am a glutton for punishment, my next project choice was a throw. Not just any throw...three strips of four blocks of different colors in different stitches, surrounded by different colored borders. I also am stubborn and have never done the whole gauge thing, so I ended up using twice the amount of yarn required to complete one square and have made this thing much longer than it was intended to be. But the colors are awesome! Hot pink, greyish blue, light pink, multi-pink and a creamy white. It will be beautiful and funky. If I ever finish it.

And I'm getting there. I'm two borders away from having everything knitted, then I just stitch the strips together. Sounds easy enough. So I wonder why it's taking me so dadgum long. Maybe because I knit in spurts. While Brooklyn's playing with Kyle, on our way to church, on road trips, in the bathroom if the mood hits me, never for 90 minute blocks, though.

I'm just wondering if everyone else is knitting much faster than me or if they just have nothing else to do. I may need to learn some tricks to picking up the pace. Or pick projects on a smaller scale. Any suggestions?

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  1. Ok, three things. One: thank you for NOT being granola... those people wear me out. Your an 'antiquer' which is much better. :) Besides, granola people never have cool hair like you. Two: I have always wanted to knit, but I confess, those stores freak me out. Teach me! Three: the throw is awsome! Dont feel bad about the length of time, it took me 365 days to write a 190 page book. Do the math... I'm the queen of slow. :)

  2. I just found you via Delightful Blogs...we have a town named Goshen near us so your name intrigued me!

    I am a relatively new knitter (just a couple sporadic years as well) and I know EXACTLY what you mean about walking around knitting stores. So true. Also? I'm so slow its ridiculous. Actually I think with me its distraction. I have 3 boys and I am a writer by profession, so knitting has to be really purposeful for me.

    Hang in there, I think we'll settle into our knitting zones one of these days!

  3. How funny, I found you from Delightful Blogs and also don't live too far away from a city named Goshen. Wonder if it is the same one as previous post? Anyway, I wanted to say very ambitious projects! I totally understand the intimidation thing though because I feel that way when I go to an art supply store- as if I am an imposter who doesn't belong in the club.

    I learned to knit when I was about 8 or 9, but I can't think of the last project I knitted. In my early 20's I discovered how much faster crochet is. Even at that, I could crochet a scarf in an hour and a half. That lady had to be jerking your chain. To knit a whole baby blanket? I'd want proof!