Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Learning an Old Craft

Anyone who knows me knows that I like to knit. I'm not really good at it either. When I was younger and was learning, I could only make the standard, full of holes scarf, using just one basic stitch back and forth. Over time, I learned another stitch, then another, and made scarves that weren't full of holes (unless I planned them that way), with basic patterns in them.

I was given a knitted dishcloth one year, and loved it. My former m-i-l told me they were really simple to make, but to use cotton yarn. I did buy some, and the right sized needles, and began making my own dishcloths. I usually manage every year to make enough of these things that I can share with friends and family. They are truly easy to make, and I can make one up in the matter of a few hours while watching television.

A few months back, I got involved with a charity that provides knitted items to homeless folks to help them keep warm during our harsh winter. The charity provides free knitting classes, knitting needles, yarn and support to those who wish to learn to knit, or expand their knowledge. In exchange, they ask that you make something for the charity to sell or give away.

I've been to a few classes, and have been learning to read a pattern. I've also learned a few new stitches. But mostly I've learned confidence in myself when it comes to knitting. I'm pretty much self-taught, working my way through mistakes when I've made them. I never tried more difficult patterms before because I lacked the knowledge. The ladies in this group have been more than willing to teach me how to do things I've never tried before with my knitting. I am most grateful to know these extremely wonderful women.

In the next year, I'm hoping to expand our knitting classes into another part of our city, and be the leader of a new class group. In the south end of the city where I live, I see lots of women knitting in public, and have overheard others stating they wish they knew how to knit. In an era where there seems to be a newfound respect for the frugality of quality hand-made items, I think this may be a nice fit. A knitting class could provide some camaraderie for women (and maybe some men too) from all walks of life, all ages, all skill levels.

I like taking a look at the knitting projects that others are working on, and watching a project grow to completion. Seeing the pride of self from someone who has tackled a knitting project, and finished the job is truly an amazing sight.

Do you knit? Crochet? Cross-stitch? Quilt? Are you interested in any sort of the old crafts?

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