Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Everyday Goodness

I did it. My gift to Craig last year was to learn to knit. He so wants me to be able to carry-on the Christmas stocking tradition that his mother started when she made theirs back in the 1950s. Love them. And he wants our future daughters-in-love and grandchildren one day to have the same stockings hanging in their homes.
So last January [09] I bought myself a little ‘Teach Yourself to Knit’ kit at Wal-Mart. I have memories of Mrs. Starkey across the street teaching me to crochet and I know Lorna and I knitted a few hair bands back in the day, but I’d never tackled anything of real substance. I started with a simple little purse – and it took me quite a while to get the stitches right [taking out, knitting and purling again and again and then taking it all out once more…] Turns out that while I’m right handed I’m more definitely a left-handed knitter [possibly more continental.] But I finished that purse – haphazard stitches everywhere. Then I was on to a few caps – with some ending up with pointy little tops. A bib seemed easy enough and was fun to practice working patterns. Then I did the little sun-dress for MK.
And then it was time to face the stocking. I found a cute [and much too complicated] pattern and thought I’d give it a go using whatever yarn I had on hand. [It’s supposed to be green, red and cream, I think.] The pattern didn’t matter too much to me – it’s the technique of making that heel and toe that had me befuddled. But I set to work and many [many] weeks later after putting it down and picking it up again I have a completed stocking. Yippee.
And it’s terrible looking. If you look closely you can see that I tend to add stitches [and whole pieces of a pattern] and the decrease instructions finally clicked in my head somewhere around the last three rounds of the heel... So it’s definitely not something I’ll share with others [except in this carefully staged photograph – ha] but I’m happy I did it. I faced my fears of stocking heel. And survived. And, I used double-pointed needles to knit it in rounds – a really fun thing to do.
What’s next? Well, I hate to throw it out here – but I’ve found the pattern that was used for my sister’s family stockings [my mother-in-law did those too] and they’ve had a new family member added this past year…it’s a scary thought, but I think I’m going to go for it. Just don’t ask about it because it may take me a couple of years to complete. But it’s a goal.

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