Knitting: My Pattern for Joy

January 24, 2014



I am a knitter...sort of. Actually, it would probably be more accurate to just say that I knit.  Stating that I am a knitter connotes some sort of proficiency and that is really not that case.

At all.

Several years ago, my kids took a summer knitting class. While they were in session, the owner of the shop taught me the absolute basics, so when my kids messed up at home, between lessons, I could help them. Well, needless to say, the kids tolerated the class, but I got hooked.

That was my summer of knitting. I knit by the pool, at the beach, between holes at miniature golf.

I was an addict.

Unfortunately, it was a short lived hobby, as I really didn't have the time for lessons and I could only knit and badly purl in a straight line. Plus, I am allergic to wool, even knitting with it makes me sneeze and, really, how many cotton scarves does one person need?


Recently, however, I find myself mesmerized by yarn again. The motion is meditative and I really enjoy the creative process. There are so many pretty patterns on Pinterest that I would love to try, that this year, I am challenging myself to step up my skills.

Right now, I am making a simple garter stitch lap blanket for my mom.  I didn't use a pattern, or circular needles (I wouldn't even know where to start), I'm just kind of winging it!


It's coming along slowly, as I've been squeezing it in, a few stitches here and there, but I am really enjoying the moments I have been spending on it.  I find that I can't wait to pick it up, because when I do, I put everything else down; my chores, my worries, my work are all forced to take a backseat and that is a very good thing.

So I have decided that starting today, I am making knitting time a priority.

Too often, I tell myself that it's impossible to find time in my hustle, bustle world to really focus on something that's sole purpose is to bring me joy. I feel guilty about indulging, but the older I get, the more I realize that those moments of quiet contentment are essential for both body and soul.

If my doctor told me that I needed exercise I would certainly find the time, why should improving my mental health be any less imperative?

I certainly don't need another scarf and my mom definitely does not need a lap blanket in that hot, stuffy nursing home, but the creation of these items and act of giving them away will bring a little serenity and joy into my day and sometimes that alone is more than enough.

What brings you joy?

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32 comments:

  1. Hi and wow Kim, everything you have made looks so nice and I love the first scarf so pretty with the little sequins on it! It's great that your kids took the knitting class and that you learned the basics from the owner of the shop. It is great to take the time to sit and discipline yourself with knitting and to challenge yourself. I love crocheting and I find it easier for me but I am too challenging myself to knit more. It's too bad that you are allergic to the wool. I can't use any yarn with angora in it, that makes me sneeze. Yarn today is so nice and it comes in such beautiful colors! Happy knitting, Julie

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    1. Thanks Julie! That sequined scarf is my favorite! I have recently started to look at crochet patterns. I always thought that crocheting was harder than knitting? I honestly don't know anyone who crochets. My mom may have when I was younger, I remember seeing the hooks around the house, but I don't ever remember seeing her use them! :) I'll have to ask her on my next visit! :) Thanks for the comment Julie...and now I can start paying more attention to your yarn work...looking at it to make it, instead of just admire it!

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  2. I am not a knitter but I have seen patterns for knit dishcloths and my mom has received some as gifts from a coworker and then seem to be very nice. It might be a suggestion for small projects that could probably be done in a cotton. I did a quick pinterest search and this link has a pattern that looks like the one my mom received. Good luck with your knitting. My mom and sister and niece are knitters and my daughters are budding knitters. I really should give it a try. Lorri

    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/grandmas-favorite-dish-cloth

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    1. Lorri, thanks so much! I have heard of Ravelry, but haven't ever poked around. I think I am going to start by taking a peek at your suggested pattern! I think you should give it a try! You are surrounded by instructors! Plus you guys could all put together a fun knitting group! :)

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  3. I have often thought that I would learn to knit and crochet "someday". At my age I think I better hurry up! I love that you are doing that just for yourself. I feel that way sewing. xo Diana

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    1. I love to sew, too, Diana! I am not the greatest seamstress though! I am really not proficient at any one thing! I know just enough about a few things to get by! Haha! So if you come by for a visit, just don't look too close at my seams or my stitches! :)

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  4. I so enjoyed reading this blog post! I am a knitter, but there's always more to learn however proficient at knitting you are, so I think you're fine call yourself a knitter too. I like that about knitting. Crochet is not harder than knitting, just different. YouTube is fabulous for learning both crafts! You'll always get help on the ravelry forums too.
    Wendy x

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Wendy! I am excited to learn more and I guess the best way to do that is to just dive right in!

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  5. How great that you've taken up knitting again, Kim. What you showed us here is beautiful. I love the sequined scarf a lot. The raspberry and blue yarns are so pretty, and your stitches are so even. I tried knitting once and I'm afraid I just don't have the patience. Sure do admire the craft, though. Hope you continue to enjoy it. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. I don't really have the patience either, Nancy. I am not generally a "sit down" kind of girl. I like things I can create quickly...and on my feet! ;) I do enjoy the process though, so I am going to give it my best shot!

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    2. Hi, Kim nice post! I absolutely love knitting, I need to have always something to knit, calms me so much. Don't stop knitting! Love your first scarf, the yarn is really pretty.
      Have a wonderful week!
      Hugs from Portugal,

      Ana Love Craft
      www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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    3. Thanks Ana! I just popped over to your blog...lovely projects, I may have to pop back by for some knitting tips!

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  6. It is wonderful to spend time doing something you just enjoy for the simple act of doing it. Years back I had a drafting table and I did my own drafting - when I did that it was just me and that pencil in my hand getting lost in the absolute specifics of the drawing - everything needing to be perfect - I really enjoyed that - it did bring me joy. Striving for perfection - just me and my pencil.
    Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

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    1. Patty, it is lovely to have an interest that consumes you and brings pleasure. I used to draw years ago and felt the same way about it. I often think about picking up that pencil again, but there are so many things vying for space in my life right now. I am trying to balance finding time for me against spending every minute that I can with my kids, as I know that they grow up so fast! Knitting is something I can do in their presence or in the parking lot waiting, during the endless carpooling! :)

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  7. Kim, I like your energy and your persistence, especially since you are such a busy lady, to take the time to create in yet another way! The fact that these projects are also potential presents, just makes the effort even more rewarding. I tried knitting when I first got married and moved to Crete. I wasn't very good at it, and although I did manage to make a whole sweater for my husband, it was so stretched out by the time I finished it, having no real identifiable shape! Needless to say, we resorted to buying all our sweaters after that!

    Looking forward to your new creations!

    Poppy

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    1. I like to keep busy, Poppy, that's for sure! I am one of those people who has a fast metabolism, always on the go! I think it's hereditary! A sweater was quite an ambitious project! I haven't made it past anything straight yet, all items with curves, or any shape for that matter, are completely beyond me! ;)

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  8. I think creativity dwells in all of us! It inspires us, relaxes us and brings out our individuality:) It makes me happy when I create something new :) I am so glad that you took up knitting again! I used to do a lot of crochet until I developed tendonitis! I tried my hand in knitting but could never master the stitches... I still have those knitting needles in my attic somewhere! I love your scarf with the little sequins....pretty colors! All the best with your mom's lap blanket! Have a great week! hugs, Poppy

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    1. Thanks Poppy, I am actually staring at my mom's blanket right now....and typing away, instead! ;) It's hard for me to master the stitches, too! I am a simple knit and purl girl right now, but yes, it is relaxing and makes me happy!

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  9. Oh I use to knit for fun all the time. Seems like work got in the way, now I need to pick it up again if I can remember. So fun. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

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    1. Yes, finding the time has been difficult, Marty, especially since I am such a novice; it's not a mindless activity yet! I bet if you picked up those needles again, it would come right back to you! :)

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  10. Hi, Kim! I love to read. It's my end of the day, relaxing, winding down quite time. I try to always find time to squeeze a little into my day.

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    1. Reading is an awesome, relaxing and joyful habit. I miss it, Sonya! Since I have started blogging, I find myself reading so much during the day, that I am just not as interested in the evening...that's where knitting comes in! ;)

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  11. I've just started knitting and I love it! I like what you say about the movements- they can be so relaxing sometimes. :)

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    1. It is a very fun hobby, Lisa and yes, I am still enjoying the relaxing movements! Hope you keep at it, too! Thanks for popping by! :)

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  12. I would love to learn how to knit. I do enjoy crochet and taught myself the basics of Tunisian crochet this winter. My sister's church has a prayer shawl ministry and another to donate little caps to the babies at the hospital. It's very soothing, isn't it?

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    1. It is so soothing, Lydia. Crocheting looks so complicated to me, but the patterns are all so pretty. I'm amazed that you taught yourself. I guess the grass is always greener! :)

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  13. I love to knit too, and I agree that it's good for us on so many levels! :)

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    1. Definitely, Jody! I just wish I were better at it...practice makes perfect I guess! :)

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  14. I love to knit and usually knit a little every day - either that or crochet. I do both. The color blue of the lap blanket is really pretty! Blue is my favorite color. What yarn are you using?

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    1. Blue is my mom's favorite color, too, Kimberlee! The yarn was a sale purchase at Michael's. Lion Brand, Vanna's Choice in colonial blue. Nothing fancy, that's for sure! ;)

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  15. It is the process not the proficiency...which comes later ( I don't knit but I sew / quilt and have not made one masterpiece nor perfect thing yet, and probably never will ...but many times it is enjoyable and rewarding so I know what you mean ! : )

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, Deb and agree 100%. It's all about the journey, not the destination!

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