Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Tale of Two Needles: Adventures in Knitting

A long, long time ago a little girl sat and watched her mother knit and crochet each evening while watching TV.  She wanted to be just like her mother so she asked if she could learn.  So the mother taught the little girl to knit.  She never really made anything - she just learned how to do a knit stitch and a purl stitch and learned about different needle sizes and knitting accessories.

The little girl grew up and went to college and got married and had children.  She didn't think much about knitting during those years.  Then during the busy years of children she remembered the soothing rhythm of knitting and started to think, "One day I'm going to take up knitting again."  Years later with the wisdom of years she wondered why she didn't just take up knitting back then.  It might have made her days more content and her mothering more relaxed.  But nevertheless, it wasn't until about eight years ago that she again picked up the needles.

So many years had passed since her mother taught her to knit that she had to resort to a book to again learn the stitches.  The pictures weren't very good but somehow she managed to produce a few pieces that seemed to look like properly knitted stitches.  A co-worker at the time pointed out that something didn't look quite right with the stitches but they were generally right and created patterns as intended.  Of course she could only knit flat things so everyone in the family soon had scarves.

The little girl (now a grown and almost old woman) had a young son in high school at this time.  He decided that knitting looked like fun and he decided to knit also.  He shared this knitting hobby with some high school classmates.  They were the ones to point out to him that his technique (identical to the woman's since she was his teacher) was indeed backwards!  In fact everything about it was backwards.  So the woman went back to the book and with much trial and error finally learned to knit properly.

But eventually everyone had a scarf and the woman couldn't think of anymore flat things to knit and the needles went back into a bag and were stored in a closet.

Today the woman is indeed an old woman and no longer needs to work thanks to a loving husband who encouraged her to retire early and have time for all the things she gave up for many years to raise her children.  She took up sewing and quilting and eventually her thoughts returned to knitting.  She was encouraged by knitting projects shared by some of her online friends like Stella and Nita

But when she returned to knitting, her natural tendency was to again knit backwards since she had knitted backwards much longer than knitting properly.  And even though she knew there was another, more proper way to knit she couldn't figure it out.  So again there was a lot of book reading, trial and error and UN-knitting done until she finally figured it out, again.

So, recently she has been knitting dish clothes (a flat project that is easy, fairly quick and everyone can use more than one ).  Her loving husband thinks that she takes a lot of time to make something that can be bought for pennies at the store and teases her quite a bit, but still she perseveres.

After two weeks of knitting she has produced:
FOUR glorious dish clothes.  The first one (top left) was knit backwards and didn't exactly come out square.  Not only did she learn to knit correctly but this time she also learned how to add a new piece of yarn to the project!
What does the future hold?  Well, recently the woman was shopping and found this yarn called Chenille yarn.  She decided that she could use this same dish cloth pattern and larger needles and turn it into a small baby blanket.  So that's what's on the needles now.  So each night she happily knits away while watching a bit of (usually bad) TV.

The End.


  1. I love this post, Nina - funny lady and great dishcloths!!

  2. :) This post makes me smile..I am detrmined to learn to knit more than dishcloths and scarves too! I am currently working on socks! It may be the death of me but I just NEED to learn it!

  3. I can knit but I can't follow a pattern. I wish I could see how you knit "backwards." Is it because you hold the needles a different way, or because you put the yarn over a different way, or...? I love how you presented the story and I love your dish cloths. They are lovely.

  4. What a lovely way to tell the story. I occasionally do some knitting and especially enjoy knitting in the car, but e everything I've knitted for myself comes out the wrong size or shape. I even tried making some socks, which came out well except for the fact that I followed different size instructions for each sock! Perhaps I should go back to knitting scarves.