All summer I’m going to feature guest bloggers talking about knitting and other crafty pursuits. Today I’ve got the hilarious and super craft adventurous Jeanna of Do What Now?, her blog about how to keep sane in a 9-5 world. I asked her, simply, What does knitting mean to you?
Check her on twitter at twitter.com/Yoj228.
Scene: Christmas 2008 at the in-laws. Living room. I’m on the couch facing my husband.
Married: 3 months.
Me: “Oh wow! Look at all my presents! Babe, you shouldn’t have!” as I gather up all sorts of little boxes in my arms.
Me: Unwrapping paper
Husband: *nervous smile*
Me: Holding up eight balls of yarn, confused. I open a box containing needles and I look at him with my head cocked slightly.
Husband: “Well, you said you wanted to learn how to knit!”
And thus began my love/hate relationship with knitting. My husband was actually the one to get me started into this little hobby after some off handed comment I made, obviously. I often remind him of this when he gasps, “You spent how much on yarn?” Tsk, tsk darling.
Without fail that Christmas day, I ran upstairs to watch hundreds of You Tube video’s on how to cast on. How to knit. Purl. Knit and purl? Use circular needles? What the… By the end of the week, I’d spent more time crying and throwing things than actually producing anything that remotely resembled a garment, let alone a square. But I didn’t give up. I believe my first project was a knitted loin cloth (which should’ve been a scarf). And two years later, I can proudly tell you that I can now read a pattern (however, that doesn’t mean I can actually knit it).
For me, knitting is an escape. A chance to reclaim a lost art. These days, my life is full of technology (as I’m sure all of ours are). I’m a desk jockey who’s job revolves around emails and spread sheets. Then there’s Twitter. Facebook. Blogs to keep up, celebrities to gawk at and patterns to drool over. Everything is online. Everything can be emailed. Everyone is connected in some form or another. What is left to be created or touched by hand anymore? So to come home, brew a cup of tea and create something with my hands, well, it’s like giving the finger to technology while screaming, “Oh yeah, I’m unplugging you. Right now. Yep. Oh you don’t believe me?” Sorry about that. That was my Mom voice talking.
I’d like to tell you I spend all my free time knitting up fabulous little keepsakes that make all my girlfriends squeal with delight.
But I don’t. By time I leave work, sit in hellish traffic, pick up my son, get home, make out with my husband, get supper on, maybe catch the news, and take a piss, it’s already 10pm. So when I’m in need of a mental break, I pick patterns that require me to, how should I say this politely, not pay too much attention. This gives me the ability to knit and watch tv. Or knit while I watch my son play drums or draw. I knit in the car (only as a passenger, remember, I’m not that good of a knitter yet) and on little vacations. I knit on my lunch break while fielding the age old question, “How do you do that?”
When my friends found out I was knitting, the most common response was, “Ok grandma! You gonna knit me a dino sweater?” Each smart aleck comment was met with an equally exciting quip from me. Something like, “Well, you just got marked off the gift list for Christmas sucker” or “Of course I’ll knit you a dino sweater! Your granny said it would go great with your knitted Power Rangers cape!” Eventually they wised up though and over these two years, I’ve been able to give away some thoughtful gifts.
There are times though, where I just can’t knit. I can’t bring myself to do another round of K3, P1 for that damn baby blanket. I couldn’t even muster the energy to do a couple YO for another scarf. It’s then that I take a break. Maybe just a day or so, something to give my brain and my wrists a break. After all, you don’t want people to point and laugh while you’re wearing a scarf I’ve made you, do you? Of course you don’t.
Knitting for me, will always be a work in progress. I’ll always be the one to say, “Sooo… you knit that sweater in how long? TWO DAYS?! WHAT?!” I’m that friend that will probably remain an “advanced beginner” and I’m totally cool with that. Believe me, your patience will thank you should you ever feel the need to show me how to do the moebius cast on method.
And if you ever come across a pattern for a knitted bra, garter belt or fake beard attached to a hat, you can bet your ass I’ll be first in line to say, “Oh yeah. I’d knit that.”
Show Jeanna some love by tweeting her knitting story and saying hi to her on her blog. Thanks so much lady!