Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Knittin' History, Why I'm Bloggin', and The Obligatory Cat Picture

I love to knit. I’m actually in what I like to think of as my third knitting phase in my life. The first one started when I was a kid (age 12??) and my mom first taught me to knit. I wasn’t very serious about it, although I was recently reminded of some pink mittens I had made myself. Mittens? Wow. I had completely forgotten about them. I haven’t even made another pair since! Not that I’ve finished anyway. Eventually I lost interest though, or was distracted by other interests, and I stopped.

The second phase started in my twenties when I took a job in a shop that sold fabrics and yarn. (Yeah, I know, spinsterhood here I come! – but I did eventually get married.) I was an avid seamstress, so I was very comfortable with that part of the job, but I knew I needed to relearn the knitting skills if I was going to be able to help customers. The lady who owned the shop was a wonderful knitter and a great teacher and I really value the time she spent teaching me. Before long I worked my way from scarves to sweaters. I loved it!

I probably never would have stopped if it weren’t for another really big distraction. Actually she was quite small. She was a kitten that my husband gave me for Christmas. Let’s just say that she and yarn were a really bad mix. I just adore kittens and cats for that matter, so I put my knitting away, “just for a few months” I told myself. Somehow “months” turned into years. Madison, the little hobby-killing monster I mentioned has mellowed over the years and I love her dearly. She looks so innocent here, doesn't she?

Anyway a couple of years ago I was wandering through the still fairly new AC Moore that opened in our area. (Yeah, I know, evil Wal-Mart of knitting/craft stores.) I was there to check out the bead selection (what I was into at the time) but I had to check out the whole place, ‘cause I love crafts in general and well, I was there. I got to the aisles with the yarns and knitting supplies; saw the many sample scarves, hats, etc. and felt myself getting hooked! Again!

The yarn shop where I worked had long since gone out of business, but about a year and a half ago while visiting AC Moore with a good friend we heard tell of a new local yarn shop, one that was much closer to where I live. How could it have escaped my notice?! I checked it out as soon as I had a chance and found it to be a very nice little shop with many yummy yarns. And they stock Lamb’s Pride! a yarn that I’ve been partial to since my second knitting phase.

I’ve become very interested in felting, or more accurately “fulling” since I started knitting again. Okay, maybe a little obsessed. There’s just something really fascinating to me about that transformation a piece goes through when you toss it in the washer and pull out a very different looking item after a wash or two. The Lamb’s Pride, which I already had a lot of, was perfect for this, and their color selection is hard to beat. I’ve decided to start documenting the befores and afters of the projects I’m doing, partly for fun and partly because it is useful to know how much something is going to shrink. Then I realized I have all the ingredients for a knitting blog:

  • knitting skills
  • growing yarn stash
  • digital camera
  • some semblance of computer skills
  • a need to show off my handiwork (to someone who will care more than my husband does)
And the great thing is my only friend who really knits lives in the next state, so this will be a good way to let her follow my projects too.

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