Tuesday, October 18, 2005

on learning to knit

Susie asked in a comment below how I learned to knit.

Someone taught me how to crochet as a child (my mom, maybe? I can't remember). I've crocheted on and off, going through phases. But I'd given everything away long before I went to seminary.

Spring of 2004, I found myself going through some tough times. I found that engaging in creative activity really helped. I started to feel the pull of the yarn, and found myself browsing in craft stores, buying hooks and patterns and crocheting.

I also realized, as a priest, I was going to be spending the rest of my life in church meetings. I knew some people who knit, and there was an interesting article in the St. Louis newspaper about the rebirth of knitting, conveniently listing the metro area yarn stores.

So it was that I found myself at Hearthstone Knits in South St. Louis County, with a lovely woman named Joan, some Susan Bates size 8 alumninum needles and some pale yellow acrylic yarn.

Being a crocheter, I already knew how to make a slip knot, so we could move right on to learning to make the knit stitch, casting on, and binding off. Joan loaned me some Brittany wooden needles, which I immediately bought, as they helped control the yarn.

Joan was a great teacher, and many of the others things I've learned have been self-taught. I used Melanie Falick's Kids Knitting , among other books, and have taken some more classes, first at Knitorious in St. Louis with the lovely Beth of Yarn Envy, and now here in Oklahoma City at Gourmet Yarn. There were a number of other clergy knitters in the St. Louis area, so I felt in good company.

Knitting has enriched my life through new relationships; learning from resources online got me into blogging; I've enjoyed understanding how I learn something new; I can't believe how tired I was after that first hour's lesson, with six whole rows of garter stitch on my needles, and how much I can accomplish now. And it was great to move to another city knowing that somewhere, out there, were more friendly knitters to learn from. I like planning gifts for people, and being able to make something usable and pretty.

Let's not think about how much money I might have spent on yarn and patterns.

It gives me something to do with my hands during church meetings, which both allows me to hear what is going on, and yet not always react when things are said that might otherwise raise my blood pressure. Oh, wait, THAT never happens in the church.


At 4:29 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Maybe I ought to take up knitting again ... yeah, right, "that never happens in church" .... hello, what church? I tell you, I admire the clergy more and more as I see all that they have to put up with.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger donna y said...

I got "hooked" on crocheting a few years ago. I tried to teach myself and got so frustrated that I finally enrolled in a class to learn. SO much easier when someone is demonstrating. Last year I tried my hand at knitting (via a book) and, once again, so frustrated I threw the needles across the room. I guess I'll have to find another class.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Susie/Nueva Cantora said...

"I also realized, as a priest, I was going to be spending the rest of my life in church meetings."

Yep. That was pretty much my thinking! Maybe the step is to find a yarn store... but I'm also going to see if my library has that book. Thanks Emily!


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