I hear many stories of fiber artists who learned to knit or crochet from a beloved family member. I was not one of those people.
I was a huge arts and crafts kid. Nothing was more fun than getting a new boxed kit. Bead pets, suncatchers, pom-pom animals-I dabbled in them all. (And I still have quite a few of them. Anyone want a beaded gecko keychain?) Long before it occurred to me that I could learn to create things with yarn, I LOVED squishing all the crazy novelty skeins at Michaels. I recognize now that this indicated that a
giant healthy stash was only a matter of time. When I was in middle school, my aunt let me pick out the yarn that she’d use to make me a scarf. Score! I chose some Bernat Bling Bling*, and this is how it turned out:
That scarf really jazzed up the green robes that I wore to my high school graduation.
In spite of my love of arts and crafts, and my affinity for yarn, I never considered learning to knit or crochet. Both crafts seemed way too difficult for me to figure out.
Fast forward to summer 2013, the sandwich between my first and second years of graduate school. I knew I needed something other than my research to keep me busy, and what could be better than making adorable little critters? I took the plunge and enrolled in an amigurumi class at the university craft center.
Birds of a Feather by Hannah Kaminsky
This little sweetheart was our class project, and in creating her, I became a fiber artist. Soon, I was crocheting little octopuses and even a giant star ripple afghan…which I still have every intention of finishing.
Days after learning to crochet, I joined Ravelry. As I was browsing patterns, I quickly realized that many of them were written for knitters. Even though the knit items appealed to me, I didn’t consider teaching myself to knit. To my untrained eye, it looked as if knitters performed complex maneuvers simultaneously with both hands, yet never got confused. How could the needles grab the yarn without hooked ends? Could I manipulate two needles at the same time, accomplishing a different task with each hand? For the record, I can pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time, as well as rotate one hand clockwise and the other counterclockwise. But knitting? Ha! No way could I do that without accidentally strangling myself.
So how did I become a Knitter, with a capital k? You’ll have to keep reading.
*I posted a picture of this scarf in a forum on Ravelry. Someone was able to identify the yarn. Tell me that’s not awesome.