Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rediscovering Knitting (TJed)

I've just rediscovered knitting. Not that it was lost, mind you. But, I’ve discovered that I can still knit after many years of not knitting. Kind of like riding a bicycle…it seems to come back to you, even after many, many, many (you get the idea) years.

Now, I was never a great knitter to begin with, and my skills certainly did not magically hone themselves during the long pause between needle flashes. But, my little projects seem to be passable enough. There are three objects somewhat resembling scarves (one for each child), and an item that could pass itself off as a hat if you don’t look too closely. But, the kids don’t seem to mind I’m not a great knitter. That’s the great thing about kids. If you catch them young enough, they don’t seem to be too picky about the details; they’re happy enough with whatever comes off the needles if they can wear it. And the great thing about homeschooling is, the kids my kids hang out with all think that homemade stuff is cool, too, so they don't get laughed at or ridiculed when they show up at Park Day wearing something mom made.

So, here’s Mike sporting my first finished pieces. He picked the yarn, and for him, it’s all about the colors. Not that I can argue with him. There’s just something every satisfactory about knitting with variegated yarn. I love the shocking contrasts of colors (especially in Mike’s selection), and then the unexpected blending and bleeding together of rows. And, every once in a while, you get a very cool pattern that you couldn’t have done on purpose if you’d planned for a month. Mike’s hat has one of those. My husband couldn’t figure out for the life of him how I managed to “make it do that”. I tried explaining I didn’t have anything to do with it, but I also couldn’t explain the magic of variegated yarn.

So, here is my knitting basket. There are three projects in there, because when I “take something up” I can’t possibly do just one project at a time. That would be like reading only one book at a time, and what sane person would ever do that?!? So, there are two more scarves on the needles, black for Tom and red for Will, both about half finished. But I think what will end up being my favorite is my Milkweed Project contribution, the lovely, soft, fuzzy white confection that I hope will be included in the final exhibit. This one is the best to work on while reading (yes, just like my mother, I can knit and read at the same time…I think it’s genetic) because I don’t have to count anything. The scarves (which I have to count) are great to do while watching TV. It’s amazing how many rows you can get done while watching Hamlet (especially Kenneth Branagh’s version).

But, maybe the best thing about this recent spat of knitting is that my oldest son wants to learn to knit. He wants to contribute to the Milkweed Project, so I picked up a couple of knitting looms (of course, I had to figure out how to use the darn thing before I could teach him), he selected a “pound-o-yarn” (yes, they actually sell one pound skeins of yarn…who’d have thought), and he’s gotten a start. He can do it by himself now, and the great thing is that he can do it during family reading time. It gives him the all-important Something To Do With His Hands while I’m reading aloud. Whew. All you out there with BOYS! know how challenging it can be to get them focused and sitting (“still” is not necessarily required) during reading-aloud time. And here I thought I had lost out on the joy of teaching my kids handcrafts, just because they’re all boys. It’s enough to warm a mother’s heart. Just wait until Grandma hears about this...

Info on the Milkweed Project here (because I don't know how to make one of those cool click-on hyper links):

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