Knitting finally calls me back with its siren song

by | Jul 16, 2009 | Julie | 10 comments

Our library had a “learn to knit” program last week, and Henry got it into his head that he wanted to go. Though it is possible that I made it sound extra enticing. It’s been years since I’ve knit, and it used to be a daily occurrence (I even made up a pattern once and got to be in a book). Why did I stop? Kids and life encroach on time, I suppose. Anyway, so we went to the library program, which was packed with people (hurray!), which meant we were pretty much on our own while the knitting teachers ran from person to person, instructing. The boys each picked out yarn and got a pair of needles (which they got to keep!), and then I helped them cast on, and started them knitting. They didn’t get it right away (and Eli, being only 3, didn’t really get it at all, though I think he’s close, honestly). Henry will get it with practice. What did happen, though, is that, as I was showing them how to knit, my body kicked into some sense memory meditation thing, and it was like eating a cookie my grandmother made or something. It became difficult for me to give Henry his knitting back.

One thing I did immediately realize is that another reason I stopped knitting is that, when children aren’t acting like dogs, they’re acting like cats. Zuzu kept batting at the yarn and trying to remove the needles from the knitting. I threw her a ball with a bell in it so I could keep knitting (kidding).

We got two knitting books out of the library that day: Kids Learn to Knit and Knitting New Scarves. At home, I started standing in the corner when I was supposed to be cleaning, leafing through Knitting New Scarves (like it was Twilight or something! Sheesh!) and fantasizing about what I was going to make. I decided on one with holes that you then knit in a contrasting color, and took myself out to the shed, where all my knitting things were waiting, to see what size double-pointed needles I had (knowing full well I’ve got most every size). In the shed I found an unfinished sweater, two started scarves, an almost-done pair of socks, and the beginnings of a dishcloth. And so I have forbidden myself to buy any new yarn until I finish those projects. I packed one of the scarves and the sweater into my beautiful Knitter’s Review tote (thanks, Clara!), and brought them into the house, where they are being worked on post-kid-bedtime.

One thing I love about knitting is that it offers tangible results in this world I live in, this parenting world where I may not be able to measure success for ten or twenty years. It’s nice to be back to it.


  1. Anne

    Aww, that’s great! I’m thrilled to read you’ve found your way back to knitting. I hope to when I’ve got the time (and when Sam demands less attention), although, sadly, between packing away my knitting needles and today, all our local yarn shops have shut down (except one in Westport, which is not exactly local to me).

  2. Julie

    Oh! That IS sad! I’m glad all of ours are still in existence, though I do worry about them. I’d better finish up my works in progress so that I have a reason to go buy more yarn from them again.

  3. Elizabeth

    Yay! I loved seeing your patterns (and all of the people who made cat toys from them) on Ravelry.

    I didn’t knit for close to a year sometime back because I was stuck on a project. Finally, I realized that it’s okay if I don’t finish everything that I start. I set it aside and started a new project and I have been on fire ever since. Maybe what you need is a brand-new project to get you excited about knitting again. Then, you can go back later and finish those projects from 2003. You need a fun, new scarf for 2009. Yes, I am advocating going to the LYS and spending money on new yarn!

  4. Julie

    Good advice, Elizabeth, except that I’m actually pretty excited about these old projects, and have been knitting steadily on them since their rediscovery. I’m pretty curious to finish this sweater and see what it looks like. Will the style even make sense in 2009, on my post-baby-bod? Though I have to say that I have yet to knit a flattering adult sweater. So I don’t have high hopes. I think I have to make a cardigan next.

  5. Robyn

    Oh, it’s a slippery slope, isn’t it? Just beginning, and already hooked. And thanks to you, I see what’s in store for me. Can’t quit now and save myself, can I? I’ve only got 2 sets of needles and a stash that can rattle in a paper bag, but I hear the ominous swell of pied pipers piping.

  6. Elizabeth

    You need to do a top-down raglan that you can try on and adjust as you knit. Do I have the perfect cardigan pattern for you…

    Are you on Ravelry yet? Go sign up now! 🙂

  7. Julie

    I did a top-down raglan once, and it was super-fun to knit, but I did it in a bulky yarn and it was the equivalent of putting on a fat suit. I think I need bust darts and waist shaping (or a cardigan?). Ok! Ok! Will check out Ravelry!

  8. SereneBabe

    You might enjoy my friend’s blog: Not all knitting (crochet, lately), but, she’s a great writer and mom over in the UK.

    I realize there are about a gadgillion sites you can see, but, still. 🙂

  9. Shannon

    Welcome back into the knit-fold! 🙂

  10. Julie

    Thanks, Shannon!!


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