I wanted to write a post about how I got started with knitting and what it has done to my life. That sounds like a grand entry but then this has become quite a big thing for me.
I have the usual “my grandmother taught me” line to begin with, although I’m not sure she quite managed it. She taught me to do the knit stitch. But not to purl or to cast on or off. I guess maybe as a seven year old I just wasn’t interested enough. More fool me. I hadn’t really thought that about it much since then until I was pregnant with my son. There were some long, sick months with that and it occurred to me that maybe although I couldn’t get up off the bed, I could perhaps sit in bed and knit. I was wrong. I couldn’t. So I didn’t.
Then when my son was a year old we went to the Cotswolds for a weekend with a group of friends. There was a couple there I hadn’t met before. And on the Saturday evening Sam casually got out of her bag a beautiful book of knitting patterns and a pretty blue hat she was working on. Several of us eyed up what she was doing, flicked through her book, chatted about knitting and the fact that we didn’t, and then carried on with our weekend. I spent quite a bit of time that weekend thinking about Sam’s knitting. I hadn’t seen knitting books like that before. It was a Kim Hargreaves one. And the yarn she was using. That looked nice. And squooshy. I like squooshy. A couple of weeks later I picked up a book and some acrylic yarn and within six months I had completed a strange roll neck sleeveless tank top thing, a shawl and a cardigan. Admittedly the sleeves of the cardigan were several miles too long but I had the bug, and the more I experimented the more I discovered. Things like ravelry, online patterns, knit companion, and beautiful yarn. A whole world of knitting.
And from that point I have never really had problems with feeling down and blue again. And that is what knitting has done for me. I had interests before, things I still enjoy now – playing and listening to music, reading, writing – but not a hobby that was a real passion. I didn’t often feel down and blue but it came up every now and again. Now, if I feel any of that coming on I know to head straight for my needles, which isn’t hard. They are never far away.
Last week I went to Wonderwool and there I met up with Sam and her lovely husband and beautiful children. We had corresponded quite a bit since the weekend in the Cotswolds but hadn’t actually seen each other. It was fantastic to see her again, talk about our projects and the projects we are dreaming of. I will always be grateful to her and her Kim Hargreaves book for giving me a glimpse of the delight that comes from a gorgeous pattern paired with the perfect yarn.