I do not come from a family of knitters. I am not that gal who learned to knit from her grandmother, who learned to knit from her grandmother, and so on... I would love to have a story like that but I love my story too.
I was a Senior in college, it seems I learned a lot that year, and just about out of the blue decided that I wanted to knit. There was a yarn shop in our little college town called The Camel. I wondered in there one day and fell in love with all the fiber I found there. As the days passed I could not get that little shop with all of it's texture and shelves of potential waiting to become something out of my head. I wanted to learn how to make something with all that amazing yarn!
The teacher was from Scandinavia. She taught us, four of us if I remember correctly, to knit continental style, or left-handed knitting because that was how her grandmother taught her. We learned with circular and double-pointed needles to knit a hat. It did not take long before I was hooked. I was knitting with every spare moment I had. Knitting at night after my studies, in the morning before practice, between classes, anywhere I could find a few minutes for a few stitches I was knitting. One night, while staying up late waiting for a certain Mr. to get back from a geology field trip gone awry, I knit, and knit, and knit. Once he arrived home at 2 am I had three hats!
In pretty typical new knitter fashion I moved on to scarves. And... over the last 17 years or so I have not ventured far from those roots of hats and scarves and the occasional big blanket. That is fine. That was fine for a good long time because that was knitting's place in my life. A place I could go and have something to do but not have to put a whole lot of thought into it! But for whatever reason, maybe midlife, I want to move forward with my knitting. I want to think about it. I want to become what in my mind is a "knitter."
This shot shows the yarn color best for those of you interested.
I want to be that knitter who knits a gauge swatch. Who tackles projects that might make her winch when she first sees the pattern. Who walks into the knit shop, with said pattern in hand, and without fear asks for help. Yes, for years I was actually intimidated by "knitters" and was afraid to show how little I knew after all these years of knitting. Crazy. I know.
It started back in Nova Scotia with the design of this little bracelet pattern. Now that we are settled I am ready to get knitting again.
Last weekend, after failed attempts to find yarn locally, and being a bit nervous and impatient to order yarn online, I went up to Durango and discovered the most wonderful yarn shop. I took a deep breath and walk through the door, pattern in hand, and asked for help! Lonnie, the shop keeper, was great. She saved me from buying needles I really did not need for the project. She showed me YouTube video of a new-to-me technique right on her computer. And she made sure I bought just the right amount of yarn for my project... not too much!
Asking for help was awesome. She was awesome.
When I got home I looked up how to knit a gauge swatch on circular needles. Amanda confirmed over twitter that she does it just the same way and I was off... It seems that I knit just the same way the pattern designer knits. My first gauge swatch matched up!
The thing I loved about knitting the gauge swatch as that it also helped me practice the pattern, a Spanish Moss. I cursed that knit-to-together more than a few times but kept on with these tiny needles!
I have started the ribbing of my little leg warmers and after a few rounds of figuring it out really like the magic loop technique. Have you tried it?
Looking at this process I am thinking one becomes a knitter when they first start to knit, but like everything in life, it is a process.
Do you knit? When did you feel like you really became a knitter?