Knit Up Some Heat

The contents of my knitting bag.

The contents of my knitting bag.

As the temperatures linger around zero then get blown into the negatives, I have to express my gratitude for the ladies who taught me to knit… my aunt, the authors of that kiddie knitting book whose names and title I’ve long forgotten (sorry), and former fashion design teacher who figured out why none of the knitting patterns were working for me.  (My family knits in the Continental style, apparently, while the patterns were meant for the English method.)

It can be rather an expensive hobby, yes, but it’s useful.  Especially when you’re freezing your ass off in 20 below.  I said that already.  But there is a lot to be said for a lapful of knitting, a Netflix queue, and a nice mug of tea or cocoa.  Especially if that piece of knitting is a shawl (prayer or otherwise), long scarf, or patchwork afghan.  Admittedly the latter is something of a cheat, since you knit the patches then sew or crochet them together to get the final product.

If you already knit, you know what I’m talking about.  If you don’t knit… well, you should learn!  Only not from me.  Get thee to a library, go!  Get thee to a library and put but books in thy pockets.  Knitting books, to be exact.  Find a nice book with clear instructions and good diagrams.  Also find an experienced knitter who can demonstrate the process.  Those diagrams, useful though they are, can only take you so far.  The yarn will tangle, stitches will drop, and in those cases, experienced hands are what you need.

Oh, and keep them away from toddlers.  I remember my dad putting an early knitting attempt of mine on the frame of the dining room doors in order to keep my at the time, very small brother out of it.

As for other words of advice– yes, even with the experienced helping hands, you will have to unravel your work and start over.  Those first two rows are always tricky.  And the first thing you knit may come out rather odd.  My first knitting project somehow turned out triangular.  Don’t ask me how I managed to do that– I have only suspicions.

Look on for patterns and community.  I don’t keep up with it anymore, but it was a lot of fun for a while.  I have friends who still use it, and they are always happy with what they find.

And finally– once you’ve really got it, the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment makes all that frustration and reworking worth it.  Experienced knitters… you knew that, but now I’ve reminded you.  You’re welcome.