September 01, 2008

An Anniversary

Approximately one year ago, I took a gift of yarn and needles from Sista Cool, a book called Knitting for Dummies and started knitting. That above is my very first bit of knitted fabric. There are errors, holes, the size changes, the cast on is wonky, the cast off quite neat, and the experience of creation a mix of pleasure and pain. As I look back on my life, I realize that knitting is just about the only thing I've ever taught myself. My parents taught me to drive, my mother to bake, cook, and clean, Mrs. Seifert taught me the art of the piano, and UNC, on some level, taught me to teach.

I remember strongly the experience of teaching myself--holding the needles awkwardly, bending over the open book while sitting cross-legged on my bed--getting more and more frustrated while staring at the directions and pictures. I sought more help--printing off an online tutorial and purchasing Debbie Stoller's Stitch & Bitch: A Knitter's Handbook. This last book turned the tide--suddenly, the knit stitch made sense, and I was off.

I've joked in the months since that knitting saved my life, which is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. Knitting has led to me to my own form of creation, a way to keep my hands moving, something to write about, research, and learn. Knitting has also led me to new friends and a very pleasurable new ritual--meeting every Saturday morning to drink coffee and knit in fellowship. Even Mr. Cool is happy and impressed that I've stuck with this--and it's fun to have a hobby that comes near in cost to his shooting and carpentry.

So, I think I'll consider this my one-year anniversary with knitting. Since the one-year anniversary is paper, I think I'll buy a new knitting book to celebrate.