Hobby Week–Knitting

Ten years ago I begged my friend Nancy to show me how to knit. I learned the very basics and started knitting this hideous thing:

It’s a bandage for people with leprosy. Not joking. Our church sent them to lepers in very poor parts of the world. Making leprosy bandages seemed so noble, at the same time being kind of cute and quaint. I had all these visions of people looking at me as I stoically knit bandage after bandage (“Isn’t she just amazing? So selfless.” They would sigh.)

I know what you’re thinking:

1) Jennie, you’re an idiot.

2) There are still lepers?

3) Why don’t they just use gauze bandages?

Who knows. But I decided that I would selflessly knit bandages like some sort of Civil War heroine. But the bandages are knit from string, not yarn. And they are plain white which is not only hard to look at for hours on end, but boring. In short, I have spent the last ten years knitting that one bandage. And not doing a very good job of it, I might add. Earlier this year my bandage was finally long enough to send to Church Headquarters. Wouldn’t you know it, they have stopped accepting leprosy bandages! All that artistry for naught! The Church must have finally figured out that it would be cheaper to just ship over some antibiotics and cure the people. (So if anybody needs a shoddy piece of knitted string about 3 inches wide and 4 feet long, let me know!)

I have always meant to get better at knitting but it never really gelled with my schedule. (You know, taking care of babies is such a time suck!) But now I have several hours of free time and a neighbor who is a knitting wizard. Once school started I wrangled my neighbor into showing me the ropes. She has been more than patient with my knitting 911 emergency calls. I’m a real dunce at knitting and I have to watch refresher videos on You Tube a lot, but I must say that I love to knit. Love it!

Unlike sewing, knitting is all about the process for me. I’m not so much interested in the final product as I am the zen of knitting. I have been bringing my knitting with me everywhere, which means I suffer a lot of eye rolling from my husband. (You know that bag I sewed? The one I just posted about? That’s for my knitting.)

I have made tons of little square swatches of knitting, but this scarf was my first real project. I’m dying to wear it but it needs to get down below 85ΒΊ sometime. I love the autumn colors.


I have now graduated to socks. They are a strange affair, knit on many kneedles from the top down. But knitting socks makes me feel very grown-up and accomplished. I have always had this dreadful fear that one day I will need to make socks for my family. Now I can! Not that I would ever waste such labor on my children who consider all socks to be disposable. But I could. That’s the important thing.


This yarn is dyed in such a way that it stripes itself. Pretty nifty.)

I adore how old-school knitting is. People tend to give me a quizzical look when, for example, I’m sitting in the sandwich shop knitting while I wait for my order. I suppose I could be playing Angry Birds on my iphone or updating my Twitter (“sitting in the sandwich shop waiting for my muffuletta!”) But it’s wonderful to have something to show for all my sitting around.

Knitting is a cheap hobby, unlike sewing or quilting (The cheapest Bernina sewing machine is $1000! Not that you have to buy a Bernina.) To start knitting you need . . . knitting needles and yarn. If you’ve shelled out the big bucks for paper crafts and scrapbooking in the past, knitting will be a nice break (now you know why all the grandmas like it. It’s cheap!) Of course you can get carried away and sink a lot of money on fancy yarn as well.

Oooh la la! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

| Filed under Good Things, Making Stuff

17 thoughts on “Hobby Week–Knitting

  1. Love the scarf! I'm afraid my first attempt would look more like the bandage for lepers draped around my neck. πŸ™‚ Nonetheless, I shall knit one day! Mark my words….

  2. Ok, I learned to knit once and I reall liked it. And I learned to crochet once and i really liked it. But here's my big issue: I have never yet found a yarn to knit or croche with that didn't make me itch!

  3. Wow! Love the scarf, and I love that yellow background. Where are you in that pic? You are so beautiful.

  4. What is this @#%^$* with the Photobucket? I clicked on the icon and was taken to some site to register. And I couldn't find the pictures you mentioned anyway.

    PULEEZE go back to putting the pictures right smack in your blog. It's much more fun that way.

  5. Great job, Jennie! Your scarf is fantastic. It looks so pretty on you too. Congratulations on adding a skill to your long list of artistic things you can do. You are so talented!

  6. I can't see the pictures. I have always wanted to learn to knit. I have been crocheting a baby blanket and have gotten the same odd looks when I pull it out while I'm waiting. Except from the older women who want to know what I'm making and are happy there are 30+-year-old women who still do it.

  7. I am sensing some gorgeous Noro yarn in that scarf-is it? I LOVE knitting with Noro. GORGEOUS-just like you!

    I am a sock knitter too, and love to take it with me and get stared at. It looks so complicated with all of those needles, I think we scare people.

    Have you ever wondered, as you are knitting your socks, how in the world they ever knit enough socks to keep all of those soldiers supplied during WWII? I have a stash of pictures that shows women knitting away. They must have been much faster than me.

    And I agree, it isn't so much about the finished product, but the zen state you enter when the needles and yarn are in hand….

  8. The scarf yarn is Noro Silk Garden and the pattern is free on Ravelry.com (it's called the Slacker Scarf. It's super easy.)

    The sock yarn is From Deborah Norville (wasn't she a newscaster or something?) and I got it at Hobby Lobby. The pattern is the one that came with the yarn.

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