February 12, 2010

Busy Fingers

I've started knitting again.

You may think this is no big deal but I have a long and tangled history with the hobby of knitting, so in it's way, this is big news.

My poor grandmother tried to teach me to knit who knows how many times. Sewing I could handle, baking I got, knitting and worse, crocheting? Well, my fingers just would not obey. When I was in college I got a wild hair to teach myself to knit. In part this was probably because Will, who had at that point just moved to wet and cold Oregon from the warmer climates of Texas, was wearing wool socks all year round. ALL YEAR ROUND. And because he has very long feet he was forever breaking through the toes of his way too expensive on a student budget wool socks. And somehow I thought I could just MAKE socks instead of watching him go through them my the dozen.

Needless to say I did not jump into knitting wool socks. I learned to darn wool socks, but I have still never knit a sock. Instead I knit a scarf. It took forever and had lots of errors in it but I got it done. And then I figured out how to knit hats. Baby hats were my favorite, they were fast and everyone I knew was having babies so it was a great thing to be able to crank out. I got better at knitting. Not great, never fast, but better. I figured out booties (again with the friends having babies) and made more scarves and then about the time I found out I was pregnant with Briton I decided it was time to knit a sweater. This is where things took a turn for the worse.

I picked a not easy but not horrible pattern and the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad but oh so cute yarn that was covered in tiny lumps which always pulled themselves to the knit side and looked very cute but made knitting very difficult. Plus the pattern called for very skinny needles which made everything worse. But I was determined. I knit, I ripped out bad rows, I reknit. I was DETERMINED to make something for my son. And I finished it. Just in time.

For the hottest August in years.

And the largest baby in creation. (ok not in creation, but the kid was 10 pounds people)

And the "huge" 6-9 month sized sweater, yeah, he wore it once. Because it was too hot and then he was too big. Yeah. That. Kinda. Sucked.

However, I kept knitting. I wasn't in love with it anymore, but it filled the I'm-nursing-and-cannot-move-from-this-spot hours. And when it got cold (finally) I made him hats. I pretty much stuck to hats from then on actually.

When Briton was three the second thing happened that helped put an end to my knitting. He started loosing EVERYTHING! At the time we were living carless in a big city and so were constantly in trains and buses and taxi's and I kid you not, hats lasted about three days with the kid. And because it was very cold and wet almost all of the time, he always needed a hat. So I was always, ALWAYS knitting them or buying them, but usually knitting because hats were not cheap or easy to come by for a little head.

And right about the time my head was going to explode from knitting hats that would just get lost, I had a second baby and we moved to a different (still wet and cold but not as) city. So I just stopped. I never knit anything for Evelyn. I have not made any more hats for Briton, although he is much better at not loosing them these days (knock on wood!) I just...stopped.

But the other day Evie declared her doll needed a hat so I thought, what the heck. I borrowed some needles and used cheap yarn leftover from my Christmas wreath and knit a hat. And when it was done I saw a doll a friend was knitting that was just too cute to not make and so went down to the knitting shop and bought a pattern. And you know what? I love to knit. I'm even surprisingly fast at it for someone who swore off yarn and needles three years ago. The doll is, in fact, in the washing machine felting as I type. As in, almost done. And I started knitting it Wednesday.

I cant decide if it's the fact that I can finish a row (some of the time at least) without someone begging or whining for something. (actually, I'm just better at ignoring it now) or if I'm just older or if it's just having someone to knit for that will wear homemade things that are not hats, or if it's the fact that our house is surrounded by snow and it's nice to have a cozy task in the evenings. But I'm finding myself utterly enjoying knitting again. I look forward to sitting down and knitting. I have planned my next project (or three). It's...crazy. I know, not really. but for me. it's crazy. I thought I would NEVER knit again. But I guess never turned out to be three years. Which is good to know because it feels like I will never be able to finish this mudroom, so, you know, if never is actually three years then I'm closing in on a third of the way there. Not that that makes me feel better about finishing the mudroom because I'm feeling very Veruca Salt about it, but at least it gives me a timeline. :)

*Update* So the doll took longer to finish than I had expected but only because Evelyn stole it from me once I got the head on and half the hair sewn in. It took me another week to work on it by bits while she was preoccupied but at last it's done.

I'm a little bummed because the yard colors really bled and faded in the washing machine but as she loves it to death I guess it doesn't really matter. On to fingerless gloves, felted slippers for me and maybe socks for Will. This is going to be an expensive hobby, I can already tell....