I Taught Myself to Knit…

Well, sort of.

A friend of ours has been cleaning out a rental property where a tenant had passed away. (Not actually in the house, thank goodness!) She was an elderly German woman who was an apparently very skilled seamstress, quilter, and general crafts-person. He sold a lot of things from the house, to recoup rent. After her family got the things they wanted from the house, he was perplexed as what to do with some of the stuff he saw as having no value. A few days before I got pneumonia again, he had let me go through the house to see if there was anything I could use, as he knew I had both moved into a new house, and was a crafter/costumer. I managed to get a lot of useful kitchen items, several linens (thank goodness for the allergy setting on the washer and dryer!) 5 bags of unused (and quite wonderful–just needs a good wash) cloth, including a few silks and linens, several bookshelves, 4 hatboxes, and a box of vintage patterns. While we were taking my significant others’ son back to Houston, I got a call from him saying he had found a few more things, but he wasn’t sure what they were. This is what awaited me, when I got home.

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Be it known, I have never knitted. I was a little overwhelmed by the thought that you could create anything with two long sticks. I’m not very coordinated. This made me a little sad, especially after the nerve damage in my right hand had progressed to the point that crocheting is no longer a comfortable option. I loved crocheting–it was the first crafty skill I learned, from my Grandma. I mourned not being able to crochet anymore, but that still wasn’t motivation enough to take up knitting. Not yet.

Even when I first got the bags of fabric from this woman’s house, I felt a connection, of sorts. Sort of like I now had a universal mandate to make wonderful things with them, to do honor to her legacy, even though I didn’t even know her. I felt like these items came to me for a reason. I decided it was time to knit.

Well, I don’t know anyone who knows how to knit, and even if I did, I was stuck on bed-rest. A challenge, that, in the past, would have caused me to give up on the notion. Enter You-Tube. Thanks to the wonders of technology, I can now call myself a very basic knitter. Or at least, I can cast-on, and do the knit stitch. I haven’t figured out the purl stitch yet, and although I found a good example of casting off, I haven’t actually done it yet.

If anyone is interested in learning to knit, here are the two videos that helped me. I looked at about 10 videos that I considered rubbish before I found these two, that were actually helpful.

For easy casting on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulFEjY87sZo

For the knitting stitch, and how to cast off (plus a little zany humor): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONVQCK_-rKc 
I love her bubbly personality, and her bloopers at the end!

My significant other laughed when he saw me knitting, saying, “I don’t think that is the way you do it!” Never mind the fact I hold the take-up needle under my armpit and do all the work with the other needle–it probably does look silly, but it gets the job done for me, with no annoyance to the bad hand.

And this is what I have, so far:

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No idea what to do with it. Its too thin for a scarf, and too thin for a potholder, but its my first thing!

While I haven’t whipped out an amazing scarf or sweater yet, I was filled with an incredible feeling of, “If I can teach myself to knit, watching You-Tube, what else can I do? The sky is the limit!” What an amazing feeling! Thank you, Universe!

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