Why I Learned How to Knit

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Hi Neighbours,

I wanted to tell you all about why I started to knit. It’s not for the reason you’re thinking. I know in the past couple of years knitting has been trending, it has become indicative of the Do It Yourself and Etsy lifestyle. You can make things yourself and you can sell your one-of-a-kind handcrafted goods too. It’s really “hipster” as well, but I don’t like stereotyping.

Anyways, a couple of years ago I decided I wanted to learn how to knit. My mom knits. We have had hand knitted and crocheted blankets my entire life. And I definitely took them for granted. We never had to buy a throw. There were always mounds of blankets hanging out in various areas of our living room. I was probably the only one though, who constantly had a blanket on throughout all twelve months of the year. I run cold. My mom knitted very often and my aunt Trudy (my mom’s sister) knits somewhat compulsively haha.

One day I thought, if I don’t learn how to knit, these blankets I have at home, some worn out more than others, will be all I have left for the rest of my life. Assuming I inherit all of the blankets. I’m not sure of exactly when this thought occurred to me, but I am sure of the feelings it brought up when it did. I was sad. I thought “if I were to have a family of my own they would not know the same warmth and comfort I felt when I sat in my home wrapped in a hand knit blanket”. .

I know at one time, much earlier in my life, my mom tried to teach me how to knit. She has little patience and a younger me had a very short attention span. It was hopeless haha! So I asked if she would teach me and it went very well the second time around. I have way better concentration these days. First I learned how to read a pattern, then how to cast on and off etc. She taught me continental knitting, which is the way they knit in Germany. My mom is from Germany, speaks German and knits German. I didn’t realize that different cultures and places had different ways of knitting. It is faster than knitting the English way. You can read about the different ways of knitting here and the history of knitting here. It is pretty interesting I must say. It is definitely a cultural practice and there are historical reasons as to why some places no longer use continental knitting.

I am not part German myself by blood, due to my adoption, but I consider it as much a part of me, if not more so, than my Brazilian background. I have been very happy to be able to carry on this tradition of knitting. In fact I have already knit one blanket. I’m slow finishing projects, but I do finish them. Here’s my first project.

why i learned to knit. Ikea strandmon wing back chair. sarah skry. Hamilton, GTA, Toronto, and Niagara

I made the blanket wide enough to fold in two and long enough to cover my feet. This basket weave was a fairly simple pattern.

why i learned to knit. sarah skry. Hamilton, GTA, Toronto, and Niagara

why i learned to knit. sarah skry. Hamilton, GTA, Toronto, and Niagara

I also did a scarf that didn’t take very long at all because it was just purely knitting and purling. It’s an infinity scarf and I quite like it. I got this wool from Michael’s. The other wool  I used for the blankets is from this place in Listowel, Ontario. My aunt Trudy and my mom like to go to this place because every summer they have a sale. Like I said my aunt Trudy knits a lot. She’ll go to this sale and buy several garbage bags full of wool and use it all before the end of the year. It looks like she could have robbed a wool factory. My mom had to give her some of her own wool this year to tide her over until the sale in Listowel was on. She knits lots of baby blankets and things and donates them which I think is a very nice thing to do. She enjoys knitting and it occupies her time, so it’s more the knitting for her that she enjoys than the actual product. Not so different from that saying about life, you know the one, “it’s the journey and not the outcome” something to that effect.

This is Charlie, my other cat, who is helping me model my knitting.

why i learned to knit. sarah skry. Hamilton, GTA, Toronto, and Niagara

why i learned to knit. sarah skry. Hamilton, GTA, Toronto, and Niagara

I started going with them to this sale and have enjoyed it very much even though I haven’t always come away with wool. This year sadly I will be missing out because I have to work. C’est la vie. I think that is partly why I’m writing this post. Also because I haven’t been knitting and it has helped me in the past with nerves and anxiety so I’d very much like to pick it up and finish my second blanket again. It’s been so long since I was working on it last.

I’m now working on a slightly more complicated pattern. I think it is good as a second project though as it covers several different kinds of stitches and it teaches me better to see the difference between stitches so I can more easily identify where I left off. As a confession, I did start this blanket a little over a year ago and this is the second time I have started this blanket. I had left the first blanket for so long, and I had made a mistake. I was away at school when I started it and couldn’t figure out how to fix it until I went home where I could ask my mom. When I finally remembered to bring it to her I couldn’t remember what went wrong or where I was. Ultimately I had to start all over.

why i learned to knit. sarah skry. Hamilton, GTA, Toronto, and Niagara

This is where I keep the knitting I am currently working on with the extra balls of wool inside. I got the basket from Ten Thousand Villages. I really like the basket and it’s super handy and colourful. The only downside is that I had it in a very sunny room at one point and it bleached it so it is much more faded now.

why i learned to knit. sarah skry. Hamilton, GTA, Toronto, and Niagara

My new goal is to first finish this blanket, and second to learn how to fix my own knitting mistakes. I’ll let you know how I get on with that. And maybe crochet. We’ll see!

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5 thoughts on “Why I Learned How to Knit

  1. Wilma Snippe says:

    Sarah, check out this website:
    thebluebrick.ca

    I met Shireen at the Jazz festival this summer. She creates the most incredible coloured yarns and knitted items. Tell her the water lady from Niagara on the Lake sent you- we got along so well!

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