Why I Knit, and You?

For the longest while my Ravelry bio said I started knitting when I was expecting our first baby Katie. Though, when I think about this – it’s wrong.  I did a cross stitch while pregnant with her. You know the type where you put the date and time baby was born?  In the end, I learned that I hate cross stitch. I already knew that, this was me giving it a second chance.  My sister finished it.

Kate died at term, and she never did take a breath in this world, but her beauty took mine away.

It was while pregnant the next time I took up knitting.  I remember now because it influenced my yarn choice.  It was variegated pastel rainbow coloured, for our rainbow baby. (The babe who comes after the rain of tears, the rainbow all parents who have lost a baby hope for.)

Wow, did I stink at knitting! I could work a knit or purl stitch alright, but I hadn’t figured out tension for the life of me.  I was slow, oh so painfully slow! Also, my stiches were so incredibly tight I actually had to wiggle the needle to get it into the stitch. I would knit along for several rows and then notice a mistake, since I had no idea how to drop a stitch to fix a mistake I would rip back.  It went something like this: Knit 5 rows rip back 3, knit 5 rows rip back 2. I wish I was kidding. Adding to my tension problem, I had no idea how to put a stitch back on the needle the right way.  I decided the wrong way was the right way, and every time I ripped back the row I put the needle back into would have every single stitch twisted. Since I was self taught,and didn’t know another knitter I had no one to ask.

I eventually gave up on that blanket.  I think it was about the time we figured out we were having twins. Though, I did work on it in hopes I could make 2, until I was about 6 months along, and decided I was crazy, it would never happen. I stopped knitting.That blanket is still unfinished.

After a few years without knitting a single other stitch, I took up crochet. Then I started a stitching night at my house. I was new to Chicago and it was a great way for me to get to know some of the other moms from my MOPS group.  We made baby hats for premature and stillborn babes. I could crochet one up fairly quick, but I wanted a knit version to show to the knitters of the group, so they could see what to make.  This time it was easier, I loved knitting. The fact that the project knit up so quickly, and was something some mom was going to treasure, really helped.  After that I started to read knitting books. I was a huge Zimmerman fan for a long while.  She taught me how to knit properly.

I started to make more than just hats, and eventually started making things for myself and my family. Eventually moving on to things I once thought I’d never be able to do – lace, colour work, intarsia, writing my own patterns!

So why do I knit? You know why I started now.  I knit because I love it. It has taken over all my other hobbies.  I still on occasion crochet, but everything else is gone.  I have a big family of young kids (4 -6 and under). What I love about knitting, is I can pick it up for 5 minutes, it requires no large amounts of time set aside for it. It is therapy, there is nothing to do while knitting except counting and thinking.  I’ve worked out so much while knitting.  When I knit something for someone it is full of love, and good thoughts for that person.  Knitting is a form of wearable love. I knit because it’s become a part of who I am -even to other people these days.  My friends often send me knitting links to cool things they stumble on, usually with a note saying “I thought of you when I saw this”.

I knit because I’m good at it. I knit because it is something I am proud of.  Perhaps this is the biggest reason for me. We all search for that thing were good at, the thing we love, be it drawing, writing, papercrafting, gardening, whatever. Something that makes us feel great when we do it. It gives back as much as we put into it, it doesn’t feel like work. For me knitting is like putting the world on pause, I’m doing something just for me (the knitting, the project may be for someone else of course). I imagine something, I set to work on it, and suddenly the thing I imagined is in my hands. That is amazing. Knitting is creating something deeply personal and unique, even if I use a pattern, I chose the colour and the yarn, it’s never likely I’ll have the exact same item as anyone else. I love that.

How about you? How did you start? Why do you knit?

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