Monday, February 05, 2007

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  • How I Learned to Knit

    Good people are good because
    they've come to wisdom through failure.

    -William Saroyan

    Two Sharp Sticks
    (by far one of my favorite names for a blog) is having a knitaversary party. I love any good excuse for a party, especially a knitting party, . . . and I don't have a whole lot of new knitting content. Did you want to see the Chuppah? It's a little longer than this. Use your imagination. In the meantime, I'm going to go back in my imagination and join in the party with my contribution.

    How I Learned to Knit, by Theresa

    It was a dark and stormy night in Providence, RI.
    Well, it was dark, at least. It was December.
    Our heroine was in a moment of crisis.
    It was exam period.
    I reached deep into my soul and realized that my destiny lay in yarn.
    Or I was web-surfing instead of studying biostatistics and somehow the idea struck.
    I braved the elements in a daring trek to gather the necessary supplies.
    It was cold. And Michael's was in a whole 'nother state. The fact that it was a mere six miles away? A fact of New England life. And there was a Lesiure Arts kits and some ugly acrylic. Yellow.
    I struggled all night to master the knit stitch, working against all the forces of nature, including the terrible light in my college dorm room, and the relative dearth of online tutorials in 2000.
    This much is true.
    I began to knit everywhere.
    But what did I make? Garter stitch scarves in Lion Brand Homespun. For an entire year I made absolutely nothing except garter stitch scarves. Until Every. Single. Person. I knew had a scarf.
    It was move on, branch out, or die. Basic law of biology.
    Biology - what I was not studying the night I learned to knit.
    And I found support in the online knitting community. In particular, I discovered Folk Mittens. I made a pair of basic mittens on dpns and was hooked for life.
    Out of Kitchen Cotton. And the two mittens are radically different sizes. I've never been so proud of anything I knit. But blogs are so much better than The Knitlist, even though I am forever grateful they introduced me to the idea of knitting with wool.

    By the way, I got an "A" on that exam.

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    13 Comments:

    Blogger Meg said...

    Great story, I reckon it ought to be published in the Alumni Monthly under a column 'Useful things I leared at University' !

    2/05/2007 3:13 PM  
    Blogger Elizabeth said...

    I'm impressed at the lengths that you went to avoid studying! Of course, since you got an A and became a great knitter it was definitely the right decision.

    2/05/2007 4:54 PM  
    Blogger Liz K. said...

    Ah, the Knitlist! I just recently canceled my account with the Knitlist. After a year or so on that list, you've just about read it all.

    Great story -- my, how you have progressed beyond the Homespun scarf!

    2/05/2007 6:31 PM  
    Blogger Jenn said...

    excellent story - thanks for sharing!

    2/05/2007 6:51 PM  
    Anonymous Emily said...

    What a great story!


    You made mittens out of Kitchen Cotton? That's got to be a first - you still have them right?

    2/05/2007 7:54 PM  
    Anonymous mary lou said...

    mittens out of kitchen cotton -- that made me laugh out loud! And since I know very little about biology I now know "It was move on, branch out, or die." I love this, and can apply it in so many other areas of life besides knitting. Thanks.

    2/06/2007 7:26 AM  
    Blogger JayJay said...

    What a great story! It's hard to imaging such a skilled knitter making garter stitch scarves and mittens out of kitchen cotton. Your story is quite inspiring to us newbies!

    2/06/2007 8:20 AM  
    Blogger Sarah said...

    Funny, that's pretty much how and why I learned to knit, too -- I don't remember what I was avoiding studying, though. (I also had two roommates who turned 21 before I did, thus leaving me with some time to kill.) After being stuck in the wasteland of craft store yarn for over a year, discovering LYS was like discovering a fabulous new continent or something.

    2/06/2007 10:50 AM  
    Blogger silverarrowknits said...

    That is a lovely story!

    2/06/2007 8:16 PM  
    Blogger Knitting Bandit said...

    Great story! Thanks for sharing. I can't believe you taught yourself. I tried and tried and ended up taking a class at my LYS!

    2/06/2007 9:06 PM  
    Anonymous Tam said...

    Great post. My knitting story is not nearly as interesting.

    2/07/2007 7:54 PM  
    Blogger theflitgirl said...

    Lucky me, I learned from you! (Sadly, I am nowhere near as accomplished as that statement would imply. I caught T during the garter-stitch scarf phase).

    2/08/2007 7:12 AM  
    Anonymous Rachel said...

    Cotton mittens, eh? Do you still have them? I'm guessing cotton is the perfect fiber for San Diego mittens -- you just might get some use out of them yet!

    I can't believe you knit nothing but garter stitch scarves for a full year. That probably impresses me more (for the endurance in the face of monotony) than anything you've done since. :)

    2/13/2007 11:34 AM  

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