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Keep knitting

Thursday, January 12, 2012

For Christmas I knit some socks for my sister and a scarf for my mom. I learned to knit as a kid, but hadn't ever done any complicated projects because I wasn't comfortable following a pattern.

But I gave it a go. The scarf is a beautiful and complex pattern -- so complex that I had to write each row out on a sticky note so I could follow along without getting lost. I also knit about four inches of it just to learn the pattern, then ripped out the awkward mess and started again. It was BOTH difficult and fun. It was a challenge, and the fun part was in figuring out how to overcome obstacles (like losing my place in the pattern) and in celebrating my success (as the scarf grew and I appreciated its beauty).

My friend taught me how to make the socks. She is such an accomplished knitter that she doesn't need a pattern. They were made with the most beautiful wool I've ever seen. I used 2 mm needles - the smallest needles there are. Those socks were a crazy project, and near the end of December I stopped sparking because all I did, night after night, was knit frantically in order to complete them by Christmas.

I was so happy to give homemade presents to the two people I love most in the world. I was so proud of what I made, too!

I wanted my mom and sister to be warm and cozy, and to think of how much I love them each time they put on their gifts.

As I was knitting on the tiny needles, I would look at the socks and be amazed. Stitch after stitch, they grew. They started from nothing but wool, and they became a tube that became a sock, and then there were two. Stitch by stitch. Each stitch on its own was nothing, but over time, they become something precious.

I thought about how the process of knitting is similar to the process of becoming fitter. One step, two steps -- they're not much on their own. Keep putting one foot ahead of the other, and the steps add up. Keep plugging away, and the walks get longer; maybe they even they even turn into a jog. Over time, the body gets stronger. Muscles, lungs, heart get fitter. Just keep at it, and you can make something precious.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    How wonderful! I learned how to knit just this Christmas...since I could not read I wanted to do something to do with my daughter and we learned how to knit together. How wonderful that you were able to challenge yourself and make such complex things! I know that your mother and sister will feel very loved every time they wear your gifts!
    1727 days ago
    Right On! emoticon emoticon I'd like to take up knitting too.
    1734 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/24/2012 9:52:08 PM
  • CATS_MEOW_0911
    Amazing dedication to the craft, just as you are dedicated to yourself. The gifts will be well-loved!
    1736 days ago
    It makes me happy to know that you were knitting furiously to finish presents. And I like how you knitted together hand crafts and fitness. For the past couple of years I've been thinking of that a well shaped practice of art making (all sorts of art- high, low, visual, theater, dance, crafts, etc) is much like exercise- built from small daily or regular actions.

    Keep on knitting. Keep on fitting.
    1741 days ago
    I love this analogy.
    I'm sure your sister and mom loved the gifts made for them with love.
    I can only knit a looong scarf because I don't know how to end
    1746 days ago
  • IONA72
    Good to "meet" another knitter! I have been knitting for over 40 years but have never made socks! Perhaps I will make this the year....
    1746 days ago
    What a wonderful philosophy...and so true!! We're all knitting ourselves new bodies stitch by stitch emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1746 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    lovely, just lovely
    1746 days ago
    1746 days ago
    "One step, two steps" - What a emoticon analogy!
    1746 days ago
    I love knitting too! It amazes me that people seem to have forgotten about this rewarding art - yes, it IS an art! I knit for my grandchildren and the more complicated the pattern the better as far as I'm concerned! I love a challenge. My friend knits socks and she gave me a lovely pair of leaf lace pattern ones for Christmas. Love them! Knitting also occupies your hands so you can't eat while you're doing it. Keep knitting! emoticon
    1746 days ago
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