Friday, April 23, 2010

Favorite Fridays: knitting, and more than just knitting

As some of you know, I picked up knitting last October. My Grammy Madgie first showed me how to knit and purl when I was little, and I hadn't picked up knitting needles in 25+ years. I was kind of afraid to, really, since I know how I get when it comes to this kind of stuff. I get kind of obsessed... I like to see the finished product, and I can't seem to put it down until it is done.

(this is my favorite girl in my favorite knit I have done so far.  "The Owlet Sweater" by Katie Davies)

When I was in junior high and high school I worked on friendship bracelets, necklaces and hat bands out of embroidery floss and beads (my projects got more and more laborious and intricate, and remember those plastic weaved bracelets with beads that you made at summer camp?...did those too.).  It seems I never could be found sitting idly.

Something happened (I guess it was life) and I got away from most of it.  I would occasionally do a cross stitch project (like the one I made for my sister for Christmas a few years ago).  I sat every evening, even struggled through headaches to see it come to completion quickly.

Things are different for me with knitting.  Maybe it's the age I'm starting to knit, but it feels so good.  When I first started in October it was looking like the same obsession pattern was forming, but shortly after Christmas and the rush to get hand-made gifts in the mail for my family diminished, I slowed it down a little, and I finally landed on a good balance.

12 puppets, 5 kid sweaters, 5 Christmas stockings, a hat, and maybe a couple other random things.  (Most of these were completed before Christmas).  But knitting (for me) is so much more than the list of projects I have completed.

My favorite part about knitting, besides the motion and meditation (relaxation) of knitting...are my friends and what is really going on in our lives at the time these knits are coming together...and the idea that the stories and little snippets from our gatherings are hidden almost woven into what we are creating with our hands.  I'm using an age-old analogy that I'm sure has been used a zillion times through the years, but I can't help it, and now that I'm in this knitting community I can see it so clearly.

I attend a knitting group of women each Wednesday night.  We take turns hosting.  We knit.  We talk about our week.  We share things.  We share silly things.  We also share deeper things, you know, the important stuff.  The real stuff.  The guts. 

I was friends with some of these women before this knitting group, so, now that I can connect with them on a weekly basis, I realize how very special it is.  Especially since life can get so busy and at least half of us are mamas.  The knitting group on Wednesday puts all the responsibilities and to-do's temporarily on hold.  For a few hours we sit wherever there is room with some yarn and needles and a project taking shape on our laps and let the rest of the world melt away.  It's dreamy really.

Over the time that I have been knitting with these women some pretty huge things have happened in our lives.  Joys.  Struggles.  Heartbreaks.  Worries put to rest.... just a lot of stuff.

I feel so blessed to be a part of something that has been going on for years and years and years, and have a close-knit group of women to share it with.  Pun intended.

**Next Friday I'm planning a Giveaway to see how many people actually read this thing!  I will be giving away one of my Friendly Dragon Puppets. (the Giveaway Puppet is not pictured below - It's a surprise!!)  Stay tuned for details next week!...  So far, they seem to bring out the child in everyone they meet!
(Clarence - on the left ~ He simply has to be in every picture!)


Summer Nicklasson said...

Oh my God you have no idea how much I wish we lived closer. We would be such good friends, I know it...we have SO much in common!
I just love you to pieces in my years getting to know each other through our blogs. You are such a great person.
(And I am SO signing up for that giveaway.)

Unknown said...

The puppets are the neatest things!! You have a real talent if you just started knitting last October. Maybe there is hope for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kathy Perniciaro said...

Love the puppets!! Too bad you and mom (Guylene) cannot get together...She and Madge were very close and mom has kntted all her life..socks, sweaters and mittens..I still have my Lopi Icelandic wool sweater she knit for me in Highschool.she now has a knitting machine to help and made 20+ blankets for the displaces folks after hurrican Katrina..Its a great legacy!!

Art said...

For the record, I read it every-time. Yes, even the knitting stuff.

Ebeth said...

Summer - you are so right! We would definitely be getting together for knitting (and hiking, running, biking) if you were here! It would be so fun!

Renee! There is totally hope for you! I promise!! I am not sure where I heard this but it rings true for me ~ I'm much more tenacious than talented (and I'm not just lying here, it's true)....and it is true for almost everything I do in life, but specifically knitting in this post. Good luck! and check out youtube if you get stuck on a pattern - it's awesome! and the beauty is you can keep replaying it til you grasp the concept!

Kathy - I SOOOOOOO wich I could knit with Auntie Guylene. Did Aunt Nene knit, too? I still have my Christmas stocking Grammy knit for me. She always was knitting us something when we were kids (I am remembering the mittens). That is so cool that you still have your Icelandic sweater! That is the graet thing about knitted things...they don't get thrown away....they are saved forever. Where can I get me a knitting machine? That sounds pretty amazing!

Art - you are the best! When can I look forward to YOUR next post?? I'm dying for a new installment!

Summer Nicklasson said...

Woah! What's up with the name change? I love me a little bloggy makeover!
Hey in response to your comment on my blog, the 5 hour sweater is a breeze. I highly recommend it.