I learned how to knit when I was eight. My grandmother taught me. This was a woman who could knit so fast her needles were a blur, and she could watch TV or carry on a conversation without even looking down at whatever project she was working on. She churned out mitts and hats and sweaters like no one's biznit. Remember those funny little hats with pointy ears that we tied under our chins? They were a 50s staple.
Sure, we were warm but the price to pay was being beaten to a pulp on the way to school by kids who didn't have nice grandmothers who knit.
My mother also knit beautifully, and I was always a crafty kid (in more ways than one) so it seemed a natural progression that I too would knit. After all, it was in my DNA. I made a few projects - a crooked, gnarly scarf that looked more like a pennant owing to my tendency to drop a stitch per row, a potholder if the pot in question was the size of a shot glass, but I gave it up in favour of other cooler crafts like macrame, and dating boys. Years later I took up quilting and other hobbies but never went back to knitting.
Now Youngest, away at university last fall and inexplicably with excess time on her hands, somehow taught herself to knit using YouTube. She made the most awesome gifts this past Christmas. For her brother, she found a "chubby baby alpaca" (the wool, not the alpaca, although it may have been obese for all I know) to make a scarf so heavy and soft it was like holding a newborn. Everyone who picked it up ended up fondling it. Check out the gorgeous wool hat she made for me (it's actually more of a burgundy colour than shows up here.)
It fits me perfectly and is soft and warm and heavy and fits perfectly on my giant head (I'd like to think it's because of my giant brain, but we seem to be blessed with giant heads in our family and having met some of my relatives, I can say with some confidence it is not always our giant brains which accounts for our giant heads....)
So now Youngest has taught me how to knit again and this is the wool I'm going to try to wrestle into a simple scarf. It's hand-dyed "Slubby Blue" from Leicester sheep. Oh yeah, only the best for this wool wrangler.
Good idea in theory. In practice, not so much. Last night, as we stood waiting for the train to take Youngest back to school, she showed me how to "cast on" which was accomplished, then we did the old "knit two purl two" in order to get rows of ribbing. Okaaaaay. After hunching myself into a dither and stiffening my shoulders to the point I couldn't move my left arm, all the while with Youngest directing me to go left no no, right, no around no no back yesss there you've got it (she is a great teacher and has more patience and understanding than I could ever hope for) I got about three rows in and declared myself taught. Ta da. I'd just go home and keep doing exactly what she taught me. How hard could it be? (Whenever I say those words, and I say them often, I always regret it....)
I tried to keep it going this morning. I somehow picked up an extra stitch. Then I lost TWO stitches in the next row. Having no idea how to correct it, I just undid the whole thing and started over. Except I forgot how to cast on. Over to YouTube, which showed me an entirely different way of doing it. No matter. The trick was to just DO it.
I ended up doing and undoing the first few rows THREE times.
Now I'm looking for a book on crochet.
Wish me luck. I think when I said knitting was in my DNA, what that really meant was Do Not Attempt.
I wonder if Youngest could instruct me on Skype?