Sock It To Me Sock Swap Contest #1 Answer

Woo Hoo!!  Sock It To Me Sock Swap Contest #1 time!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

Write a blog entry about why and how you started to knit. Extra points for adding pictures of your first knitted object.

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The “Piglet Scarf” – The first knitting project I ever started, and also my oldest UFO

Hmmm.  Where to begin?  I’ve always been crafty.  Growing up with artistic parents, and being an only child, the response to my whiny, “I’m bored!” was always, “Why don’t you draw something?”  Being that I didn’t inherit any artistic talent by blood, and I certainly didn’t absorb any from mere proximity to the creative genius of my adoptive parents, drawing only worked until I was old enough to discover that I thoroughly sucked at it.  Which is fine when you’re 5, but not so cool when you add a few more years to that and all you can muster is some lopsided stick figures.

My first love was really sewing.  Mom tried, but she had always stuck to the basics, and once I’d learned all those, she was tapped out.  To this day she still calls me to sew up the holes in her sweats or buttons on her shirts.  I remember, after she taught me how to thread a needle, tenderly stitching up my favorite bunny doll Sissy.  I made sure she was comfortable, gave her an “injection” to numb her arm that needed stitching, saying “This won’t hurt a bit,” and then gently stitched up her fur that had worn thin from too many hugs.  After learning to sew and spending years making doll dresses and stuffed creatures on my ancient treadle sewing machine, I turned to crochet.  I’m not sure why, I guess because my best friend at the time was willing to teach me after I saw her crocheting at recess once in 5th grade.  I didn’t really take it seriously, just one of those things that I now knew how to do, but didn’t really mean much.

During grad school and later when I had my first “real” job, I finally had time for some hobbies and I turned to crochet with more focused interest.  After a series of afghans and snowflakes, I wasn’t satisfied with crochet anymore.  Crochet seemed like some kind of weird second cousin to macrame, a 70’s throwback that felt too folky and limiting, at least with the patterns I had access to at the time.  All the good patterns seemed to be for knitters back then.  And I’d always viewed knitting as more refined somehow.  Maybe just because the clothing patterns for knitting seemed so much more attractive.  I’d always been interested in fashion and sewing my own clothing, and the idea of being able to make my own sweaters fascinated me.  But knitting and I would have only a fleeting flirtation at that time.  An ill-fated attempt at a sweater during Christmas break in Martinique with my best friend my junior year in college, a friend of my mom’s repeatedly telling me I was “doing it wrong” as she tried to teach me to knit a sock with needles I’d made myself from small dowels (on her directions), another abortive attempt with some nasty acrylic in Hunter’s Safety Orange that I ended up giving away to my adviser’s wife who knit constantly, and that was it. 

Then, it must have been Christmas of 2005, my best friend knit me a scarf for Christmas made of red eyelash yarn and things got serious.  After I told her how much I loved the scarf and how much I wanted to knit, she, sweet girl that she is, sent me a beginner’s book on learning to knit.  My obession grew to epic proportions overnight.  Why?  I’ll never know for sure.  The conditions were just right this time.  Feverishly, I set about making Warm Up America squares for practice.  I started what I now call the “Piglet Scarf”, and I became thoroughly obsessed.  But somehow I didn’t trust my ability to learn from a book.  I’ve always been great at learning things from books, but I was serious this time about doing things “right”.  So in February 2006 I took a class at the community college.  My first completed project was a dishcloth that I promptly gave to my mom.  And the rest of the roots of my obsession is now history.  This time, I’ve been hooked for life!

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This is my very first FO – a seed stitch dishcloth that I knit in my first knitting class
Alas, I don’t have a “Finished” photo – it is only half finished here….

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2 thoughts on “Sock It To Me Sock Swap Contest #1 Answer

  1. It’s indeed a great story! It’s so wonderfull to see that you came from piglet scarf to beautiful sweaters and socks you knit! I am thrilled to see what you will knit in 2 years time!

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