Sunday, October 30, 2011

A new infatuation............

While my dad was in the ICU for a week, my mom and I spent a LOT of time sitting in the ICU waiting room.  Since Dad was never conscious the whole time he was in the hospital, we had a lot of time on our hands.  For the first several days, I just sat or paced or drank a lot of the free coffee.  On the evening of the fourth day, I asked my husband at about 8:30 p.m. if he had any cash on him.  He handed me a $10.  I thanked him and said I needed to run to the store real quick.  He asked what for.  I sheepishly admitted that I was going out to buy a pair of knitting needles and a skein of yarn.  He looked a bit mystified as I left on my errand.  I've been wanting to learn to knit for quite some time.  In fact, Hubs had bought me a gift certificate to a knitting shop several years ago.  I never used it and within the last 6 months the store closed.  My mom taught me the very basics of knitting when I was in elementary school, so I knew a little bit.  I packed my new ball of yarn and needles in my purse to take to the hospital the next morning.  My mom laughed as she watched me knit a few rows, rip them out, and start over again.  I did this MANY times.  It kind of bothered her that I was ripping it out so much.  (I'm a perfectionist.)  I finally listened to her advice that the knitting gets easier once you have several rows on the needles.  I kept going.  My plan was to knit a little dishcloth.  I used the basic garter stitch.  What I wasn't expecting is that my boys were VERY interested in this new craft.  They both pleaded with me to teach them!  My little boy has helped me knit a row and my oldest now has his own pair of needles and ball of yarn and has been periodically picking them up and knitting with them.  VERY COOL! 

Since the boys were so into the knitting, they were having none of the "dishcloth" plans.  The first dishcloth soon was appropriated as a blanket for my little boy's stuffed bunny.  Of course I then had to knit a blanket for my big boy's giraffe.  With the leftover bits of yarn I knit (or is it knitted?  my knitting vocabulary is still weak!) matching pillows for each animal.  The cool thing about these particular stuffies is that my boys got them in their "memory" bags for Grandpa.  A wonderful nurse named Jean (she refers to herself as "Mean Jean", but I know better!) gave me the bags for when Dad passed.  Each bag contained several resources for helping children deal with grief including two very helpful pamphlets.  They also each had a stuffed animal for the boys to keep.  I love it that they have these special reminders of Grandpa, and I also love seeing the little guys cuddled up under the "blankets" I made.

I think it's safe to say that I'm now kind of obsessed with knitting.  I love it for its portability.  I can sit and knit pretty much anywhere and don't need to drag out a lot of "gear".  I am currently knitting a scarf for my youngest son (at his request) and have a skein ready to knit one for my big boy too.  I also have a scarf for myself in the works.  I have a list of "favorites" on Ravelry too............a great website with TONS of free knitting patterns.

If you are interested in knitting but are afraid to try...........I say, "GO FOR IT!"  I knew a little bit, but everything else I know (which isn't much yet) I learned by watching knitting videos on You Tube.  I had put off learning to knit because I thought I needed a live person to teach me, but I have truly found everything I need to know online.  I do have one question though for any of you who are still reading this non-homeschool-related post and who are also knitters.............what's the deal with "knit 2 together"?  I am trying to make myself a scarf with that stitch as part of the pattern.  I know how to do it, but I am finding that it is SO hard to get my needles through two stitches at once...........the stitches are so tight!!  I realize this is a tension problem, but I don't know how to fix it other than trying to avoid patterns with "K2tog" a sidenote I am ridiculously impressed with myself that I know what K2tog means now.  Knitting patterns used to look like a bunch of gibberish to me.  And the more complex ones still do!!  Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.  In the meantime, I'll search for a real live person to ask!!  Following are some photos of what I've done so far..........


  1. Wow! I am the first to read and respond, I guess. Congratulations! Hooray! Another knitter... or rather, three new knitters! I have always knit loosely so have no clue how to tell you to knit more loosely except to say that it is often related to your own tension. When you are more relaxed your knitting tension should relax... especially if you try to consciously keep from holding the yarn so tightly. (Like that is a more relaxed way to knit!!) An experienced knitter should be able to show you how to wrap it around your fingers so it flows more smoothly.Keep knitting in public and one will show up to help. We like to talk to other knitters and share the joy of it all. It looks like your tension is even as your little projects do not have that 'New Knitter' look to them. I think you are doing a fine job! Keep going!

  2. Hi Laura,

    I have just read your Expedition Earth post. I have a really wonderful resource that I would like to share with you that you might like to use with your children. Would it be possible to email you the details of it? The site is