Learning to knit

knitting.jpg   Last year our daughter-in-law gave me a couple lovely, knitted, cotten washcloths.  She intended them for kitchen use, but I tend to be more of a sponge/scour pad person, and they seemed too pretty to use for scrubbing dishes.  Then at Winter Solstice a friend sent me another lovely knitted washcloth along with a bar of lavender soap, and I realized I could use these washcloths in the shower.  Excellent!  They are absorbent, and just rough enough to give good exfoliation.  Now I use them all the time, and I wanted more.  So I decided to knit my own.

One drawback — I didn’t know how to knit.  I can crochet, and knitting didn’t look that difficult.  So I bought a couple balls of cotton yarn, a pair of knitting needles, and a book of washcloth patterns.  I had a book at home I thought I could learn from, but it turned out to be more for inspiration than actual learning.  Hmm . . .    So I Googled and found this site: http://learntoknit.com  .  Fortunately the washcloths use basic stitches, and this place gave me good enough instructions to get started.  (A friend has since suggested a book, The Knit Stitch, by Sally Melville; it’s on my “to buy” list.)  I’m now about halfway through my first washcloth, and beginning to feel like I know what I’m doing.  Lots of mistakes, but the yarn is varigated, the piece is supposed to have texture, and it’s just a washcloth for my personal use, so I’m not worrying about the mistakes.  I’m learning.   Am no where near good enough to knit and watch a new DVD, but I knitted through a couple of our John Cusack DVDs last night (“High Fidelity” and “Grosse Point Blank”) and did just fine. 

What I hadn’t expected was the calmness and satisfaction I feel while knitting.  I love working with textiles, anyway.  Perhaps it is in my genes, via those Scots ancestors from Paisley, who had rooms for their weaving looms.  When I was a kid I wove pot-holders and made custom orders for our neighbors.  But when I sit and knit, it’s as if I’m connected to generations of women (and men!) who stretch far back into time, creating practical and beautiful items for their loved ones and their homes.  It is a connection I cherish.

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About judithornot

Lives in semi-rural Northern California, happily married, retired counselor, night person, knits, plays WoW.
This entry was posted in practical art, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Learning to knit

  1. ironwing says:

    I learned to knit when I was little, but have long since forgotten how, and I’m doing far too many other things to pick it up again (I’m already “jack of all trades and master of none”). But I own two beautiful handknit scarves – the first was a gift from a friend on my 40th birthday, the second was a gift from one of my long-time jewelry customers. I’ve been giving away bits and pieces of my art all my life (though I rarely do it anymore), but these are the only gifts I’ve ever received that were made especially for me, and I treasure them.

    Like

  2. judithornot says:

    I know what you mean. I still have a red knit sweater a friend made for my son when he was a baby (and he is 29 now), and so many good feelings come up every time I look at it. It’s that personal connection that means so much, whether it’s a washcloth or a scarf or some other piece of art. 🙂

    Like

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