It's been a while since I've shared how I started knitting, so Knitting & Crochet Blog Week is a perfect reason to do so.
In mid-December 2003, I was trying to decide what to get my mother for Christmas. Since her birthday is in early December, and she's notoriously difficult to buy for, I was stumped. She always tells me she doesn't want/need anything, but this time, she mentioned that she would like some dishcloths -- the kind my sister Jayne used to buy for her at craft fairs. Rather than trying to look for them in my new hometown, I decided to try to knit them for her myself. I'd been exposed to knitting when I was in Girl Scouts in elementary school, but other than that, had not picked up knitting needles in over thirty years. So, on that mid-December morning, as I was chatting online with a friend, I mentioned my desire to knit something for my mom. She immediately dispatched several links to videos, websites and books. Shortly after that, I left for Walmart to buy some Boye knitting needles and kitchen cotton.
If you thought I didn't take a photo of my knitting that day, you'd be wrong:
I was in a groove and completely obsessed. At the time, I didn't have the basic dishcloth pattern that I would eventually use as my go-to pattern, so I just knit "square-ish" cloths. After I sent them to my mom (she loved them and used them -- I found them years later when we were clearing out her kitchen for her move to Washington), I looked online for some local knitting groups and when I didn't find one, I started one. We met at a nearby Starbucks and thanks to the listing of our group online, several experienced and proficient knitters showed up -- their amazing projects in hand. One particular knitter brought something new each week -- a Booga bag, multidirectional scarf, socks (!!), gorgeous lace shawls. I've blogged about Mariann before; she inspired me to move beyond dishcloths. If not for her, that's where my knitting career would have ended. She was adamant that I learn how to purl and convinced me that every knitted object I fell in love with was simply a combination of knit and purl stitches; so naturally, I started buying more yarn, better tools and some basic knitting books -- all purchased online. One evening, she brought a flyer for a new shop that was opening in February, 2004. Since I was ordering my yarn online, I doubted I would ever need to go to a yarn shop (HA!), but made a mental note of it anyway. Before the year was over, I was working there, as were Mariann and Alisa, both members of that first knitting group (and much more experienced knitters than I).
The scarf I knit for Mariann in 2004, in appreciation for her putting up with me
I credit working there for my growth as a knitter. There are so many things I wouldn't have attempted if I hadn't seen my friends and fellow knitters doing them first. With rare exception, I am still that way in my knitting habits -- I'm not apt to experiment. There are group projects we've worked on over the years to celebrate milestones in our respective families and I've learned something with each one of those big projects.
When Ravelry came along in 2007, I finally had a place to organize all my projects along with all the photos I'd taken of my knitting. Between Flickr and Ravelry, I now have complete documentation of my knitting career.
I hope you join along in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week! I'd love to hear about your beginnings too.