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! 


  1. Hey Ruthie,
    My grandmother also try to teach me how to knit, but... fat chance, I was more into tree climbing and running around with my friends. Later in life, I moved to live alone with my dog, my upstairs neighbor, a sweet old lady, taught me how to crochet, and it has been my soul comfort. My dog dyed, I moved to another house, and there I was alone again. So, I guess crochet has made me a more focus person, more quiet and more in dept with my thoughts. I recently started knitting, and I'm sooooo slow in it...... but I'm making progress (I hope) along the way.
    So I guess, crochet is my truly solace when I'm down or just alone.


    1. Thanks so much for sharing Cat! Isn't it interesting how something so simple, like making something with our hands can be so important and life giving? I love it!
      I was the opposite way- knitting first and then crochet, but I truly love them both! I wish you all the best in your knitting journey!


    2. Thank you Ruth :))
      Wish all the the best for your many journeys.