Okay, it's time for me to come clean. I'm obsessed. Some of you may already know this. I love knitting. I really, really, really love knitting. I mean, something has happened in the last few months, right before Cally's birth, and now it's taken hold.
Since I've been living in Hong Kong, I've come to really enjoy knitting. My mum taught me to knit when I was a child, first with a Knitting Nancy, and then on needles. I never completed any projects because I just didn't have the stamina or the patience to do it when I was a teenager. Then my mum reintroduced me to knitting when I was pregnant with Michael, maybe in hopes that I'd knit him a sweet baby blanket or something. That was when she caught the knitting bug again. But, not me. Michael didn't get a baby blanket. He got a washcloth.
For me, it started when we formed a knitting circle - a group of friends, friends of friends, and colleagues - to sit around once a month and knit. We were knitters at all levels. Some of us were just learning, others were seasoned knitters. It was an opportunity to get together for a few hours of uninterrupted knitting time. We bounced ideas off each other. We deciphered patterns together. Some of us have moved on. It was with these women - one of whom is my own mother - that I grew confident to try something more.
My butterfly hat.
My first FO or finished object - See? I've picked up some of the knitting lingo. Obsessed! - was a bean bag for both Michael and Ella. Then I moved onto hats. I made one for Buddy, one for Ella (with a cable knit stitch). And one for our friend Jason at work. Then I made Cally her pixie hat. Most recently, I finished a hat for myself. I found the pattern on Soule Mama. I started it before Cally was born, and I finished it last week. I stuck with it, even though I had to rip it back and start over four times! What I loved about it was that I learned lots of new things. First, I learned to knit in the round. Then, I learned about using stitch markers. And, I did this neat butterfly stitch. It looks fancy, but was surprisingly easy.
Sometime in between breastfeeding, changing nappies, reading stories, playing, blogging, trying to sleep and now pumping, I've managed to surf the net for knitting blogs. I've been a devoted reader of Soule Mama and from there, I linked onto other blogs. You've probably noticed my growing list of cool crafty, knitty blogs. I'm addicted to them. The ones I like the most are Reckless Glue and knitlit. The projects these two women choose to knit are similar to the ones I like myself. In fact, I have some of the same patterns in my queue, waiting to be knitted.
So, now I've got a list of projects that I want to knit. I've moved on from hats and ventured into...sweaters! I've got a pattern for a vest for Cally and a cap-sleeved top for Ella. Buddy wants a vest now, too. Maybe I'll even knit this cardigan for myself. And, oh yeah, I joined Ravelry. It's a knitting/crocheting community online that helps you organize your projects and see what other people are doing and the modifications they have made. You can even ask questions or read about the problems they might have had with their projects.
What's really cool is watching my love of knitting - and my mother's - get passed on to Michael and Ella. I think what I love most about knitting is that aspect of it. It's a craft that is handed down from generation to generation. I love that my mum and I can sit together and knit. And, that it's something she taught me that she's now passing onto my children.
First, with a Knitting Nancy. It was Buddy's Christmas gift from Gooning and he loves it.
I love his face - focused and concentrating - as he does when he's inventing, drawing or making things (like the headphones he made yesterday out of a pipe cleaner and bits of tape and paper). I love that when I knit with my mum now, Buddy asks for his knitting so that he can sit with us. Even Ella walks around with a small ball of wool that I cut off of some wool in my stash that she calls her knitting.
You know, it's funny. I've always wanted to be one of those crafty people. I've always admired my sisters. They both live in NYC. They are artsy. Naem looks at something and thinks, I can make that myself. In addition to working on her novel, she's dabbled in handbags, jewelry, clothing and even furniture. Poo, well, she's always had flare. She used to raid my dad's closet for his old clothes. She always looks cool. She studied photography and can take awesome photos. She works in an art gallery!
Me? Well - I've never thought to describe myself as creative. Nope. I teach. I'm conventional. No flare. But then it dawned on me. I can knit! I don't think I'll be writing my own patterns anyday soon, but I can follow other people's patterns. And, I think I'm getting reasonably good at this whole knitting thing.
I know with my return to work - only a few weeks away now - that I'll have even less time to knit, but that doesn't matter. It's something that is relaxing and it helps me unwind. Not even a dropped stitch can make me grumpy. Don't worry, I'm not transforming my blog into a knitting blog or anything. But maybe - from time to time - I might put up some pictures and share bits and pieces about this part of me, too.