Sunday, June 9, 2013

Introduction: Part Deux

And now, since traveling across South America doesn't seem to be enough of a gimmick for a blog, I've decided to incorporate my other great love: knitting.  At the risk of boring the pants off everyone who is not a knitter, I will briefly explain how I got into the fiber arts.  In high school, the girl who I'll be meeting in Ecuador come August, came to the library (our cool hang-out spot) wearing a scarf she'd knitted herself.  In a burst of, "If you can knit a thing, then darn it, so can I!" I taught myself from a book, made an ugly scarf, and then immediately lost interest because I couldn't figure out how to knit anything other than garter stitch.

I next picked up a pair of needles five years later, when I was living on a commune in central Finland.  When one lives on a commune in central Finland in the middle of winter and one has no interest in drum circles, there are three activities one has at one's disposal: learning how to ski out on the frozen lake, reading the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, and knitting.  I already had a scarf, so instead I knitted two rectangles and stitched them up the sides, leaving a hole in the seam for my thumb to poke out.  Also, around this time I also figured out how to purl, and was able to knit the lovely, flowing stockinette stitch.  I had finally created garments.  I was incredibly pleased with myself.

The third part of my evolution as a knitter came about last winter when, battling another round of restlessness and cabin fever, waiting for a trip to Colombia that seemed ages away, I picked up a pattern for the Lore Hoodie from Vampire Knits, and knitted frenetically.  I was surprised at how easy it was, and at how fancy it looked by the end despite the proportions being all wonky due to me mixing up the measurements and using the wrong sized needles.

Knitting something that I could actually wear and twirl around in was such a rush that I've been a knitting junkie since then, and have spent far too much money on knitting needles and fancy yarns and excursions to the Sheep and Wool Festival in Harford County, the whole shebang.  Fingerless gloves are my specialty, but I've also knitted cowls, hats, an unfinished raglan sweater, and a tiny dress for my friends' wonderful baby.  

Currently, I'm working on knitting a seamless dress, which at the moment looks like this:

This is the third time this has happened to me, and yet somehow I've only just realized that this is why in the movies knitting grannies wind up their yarn balls from untwisted skeins of yarn that they have people hold out on their hands, cat's cradle style.  These people are usually then rewarded with freshly baked cookies.  That's something to keep in mind as I'm traveling.

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