Monday, April 21, 2014
in my studio: my knitting story
This month, I've decided to do something a little different for the in my studio series. I love reading about people's process and workspace, but I also love reading the stories about how they came to their particular craft. I've talked about this before, but I thought I would start again from the beginning and tell the story of how I came to knitting. So, here it is!
Growing up I was surrounded by women who craft. My mom, grandma and great-grandma are all knitters. My aunts are seamstresses, potters, designers...One of my earliest memories is making a Beatrix Potter themed cross stitch sampler with my grandma. I remember learning to make friendship bracelets when I was maybe 10 and being completely enthralled with the process. I spent one entire summer making more than I could ever possibly wear.
For some reason, though the women around me (particularly my grandma) were knitting beautiful, intricate pieces, knitting never really captured my heart early on. I remember learning as a teenager from my grandma... and the resulting "scarf" was so ugly that I hid it away in my closet for fear that anyone might see it.
Several years later, I started learning more about where my clothes came from. My husband (then boyfriend) and I decided that we would not purchase new clothing for one year, in an attempt to learn more about suitable alternatives. So I got it in my head to knit him a scarf for Christmas. I knew the basic knit-purl stitches and found a photo in one of my mom's magazines that I liked. She helped me cast on and I was good to go. I planned to give it to him for Christmas and so started in early October, figuring that would give me plenty of time. What I didn't expect was to fall so in love with the craft. I just couldn't stop! Because I didn't want Waldi to see what I was working on, I would wait until I got home in the evenings and then pull it out to knit one long horizontal row. The scarf was basically garter stitch, with a few rows of stocking stitch in the contrast color to give some texture.
Anyways, I had the scarf finished in time for Thanksgiving and just couldn't wait until Christmas to give it to Waldi. I was (and still am) really proud of this project. It made me feel so happy to know that I had made him something with my own two hands that he could wear to keep warm.
I also hadn't expected knitting to capture my imagination the way it did. Not only was it fun and useful, but it made me feel connected to where I come from. To the women in my family that raised me and taught me to be creative.
Several years later (Fall 2011) when Waldi and I moved to Germany, I was lost and homesick and a bit shocked to be so far away from everything I had ever known. Knitting, and later crochet, because my solace and comfort. It connected me to home and calmed my anxious soul. And though I loved it before, I love it even more now.
So that's it. Do you have a knitting story? Or a story about how you came to love a different craft? I believe these stories are so important. They are our motivation and inspiration, our reason for creating. I would love to hear your's!