Friday, November 18, 2005

How has knitting changed YOUR life?

Cyn posed the question, "How has knitting changed your life?"

Knitting has been my cornerstone, my constant, my security blanket, during every move the adventure that is life has taken me on. It has taught me to believe in myself, that it's ok to do things different, and it has also given me a way to make new friends.

I learned to knit while an exchange student in Berlin, 19 years ago. My penpal from Southern Germany taught me to knit while on a mini-vacation, then put me back on the train to Berlin. I didn't have a knitting resource in Berlin (I am sure they were there, I just didn't seek them out.) I had to figure out dropped stitches, binding off, and sewing together, all by myself. Knitting taught me to trust myself, that with enough patience and perseverence, I could figure it out.

I didn't knit much when I returned to the US and the safety net of the familiar. I recall taking a class on how to use dpn and knit fair isle. I vaguely remember a humongous blue sweater (this was my lesson on gauge - we all have one, don't we?) And of course the precious baby sweater for my new niece.

Then there was the move to MN. Resuming knitting seemed the natural thing to do. I had no friends, lots of stress with a new job, and besides, warm woolens were needed. I was taking a Swedish class at the ASI, when I met a woman who was knitting socks. She opened up the world to me. She taught me how to turn a heel (lifetime socknitter here). She introduced me to the knitlist, the MN Knitters Guild, knitting retreats in Ely, and the importance of a stash. Need I say more?

Next move - MA. Here we go again: new house, new job, no friends, and a child *sigh*. Thanks to the internet, I found a few local knitters and learned about some wool and sheep events. Mostly, I added to my stash at some of the local shops. This made the time bearable.

Not much later, next move - WA. Here we go again, new house, NO job, no friends, two kids, *double sigh*. Again, with the luck of the internet, I came across Sheila's NWKniterati blog, went to my first soiree, and met many, many, many, friendly and talented knitters. What's more - they spin. Now I've never been interested in spinning, but when we hit the 4 year mark in WA, I decided I better take advantage of the resources before DH gets the itchy feet again! I am so glad I have, as I have yet another enduring hobby that helps me branch out and open up, both socially and creatively.

And that is how knitting has changed my life.


kimber said...

Wow. Very cool

Anonymous said...

As we (your parents) remember it, you changed your life dramatically (and ours!) when, at age 15, you were awarded a scholarship (based solely on your very own merit) to attend your junior year of high school in Germany. Knitting is in your genes. Afterall, we do possess three generations of knitted christmas stockings!