My First Finished Object!

Some of you may recall that I started knitting again around Memorial Day. A couple of months later, after starting many projects, I can finally present my first ever Finished Object (as they are called in the knitting world – FO for short).

It’s a gift for someone very special. Teehee. I hope she likes it!

The shawl is Ishbel, and it’s actually the most popular pattern on Ravelry. I can see why – it’s relatively simple, quick (that is, if you don’t dawdle for weeks like I did), and the outcome is just so pretty. You should have seen me on Wednesday night, after binding off, when I could finally hold up the full width of the shawl in front me. I was freaking. Out. At 12 o’clock at night. My cat was very curious about my strange behavior. But man,  I’m really proud of making something so pretty with my own hands. I totally understand now why so many people are obsessed with knitting, and homemade crafts in general.

On the horizon: many more knitted gifts, plus my own wedding shawl. It’s orange. I really like it so far. Eep!

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The Perfect Hobby

I’m knitting again.

It’s a little out of control, actually. I can’t concentrate at work because all I want to do is knit. I’ve already spent too much money on yarn and new needles. I keep drooling over new patterns on Ravelry. I’ve been losing sleep.

This little hobby actually began in 2003, when I was fresh out of school working as an AmeriCorps member at the Literacy Council. My busy schedule didn’t stop me from seeking out new and exciting hobbies, activities I could freely pursue since I was officially an Adult. Taking classes at the gym. Drawing. Baking. Photography. Scrapbooking. And, yes. Knitting. Only a few of those interests have stuck with me (can you guess which ones?). Let’s face it – I am the queen of becoming obsessed with things only to forget about them a few months later. I still do that.

Sadly, knitting was one of the hobbies that fell by the wayside. I always told myself that I would go back to it – I’d pick up the needles every once in a while, especially in the wintertime (when knitting indoors under blankets just sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?). But it never stuck. A trunk full of colorful acrylic yarn continued to taunt me in my living room, begging to see sunlight.

Seven years later, I’ve fallen in love again. But this time it feels different. I think knitting and I are reunited for good. The relationship feels so much more solid now. Here’s why:

  • I’ve upgraded to gorgeous, natural yarns, carefully selected from my local shop. I will never underestimate the value of good yarn ever again.
  • I’m finally knitting things that are not scarves. There is nothing wrong with scarves, mind you. But they can be so boring! Right now I’m working on three projects – two (secret) gifts and a shawl for myself. They’re all basic patterns, but I don’t mind because I’m a still a novice. And they are NOT SCARVES!
  • Lace. Lace! I’m diving headfirst into that scary, scary universe. I even took a class last weekend, which taught me that lace charts are not as frightening as they seem. Two of my current projects involve lace. I may not be able to knit these in front of So You Think You Can Dance, but I love the challenge when I’m working in less distraction-filled environments.
  • Knitting as a social activity? Yes, please! I have a couple of smart friends who are long-time expert knitters – who better to consult when I have questions, or, more realistically, make mistakes that I just cannot figure out how to fix? A group of us knitted for a few hours at Teaism the other night, and having friendly troubleshooters on hand was super invaluable. (Thanks, Amanda and Jen!)
  • The most important reason of all? Knitting is the perfect leisure activity for me. I have only just come to terms with the fact that I am an introverted homebody who is happiest and most comfortable at home. Yeah, I like teaching group exercise classes, and spending time outside, and going to new restaurants with friends. But I really, really enjoy being home – especially knitting at home. I can’t think of anything else that allows me to get as comfortable as possible, work with my hands, listen to music or podcasts at the same time, and use my brain. See? Perfect. For me, anyway.

Thomas already begged me not to make him anything (“I don’t like knitted things.” Okay, weirdo. Not even hats? Or gloves? Scarves?), but I probably won’t listen to him, as usual. And the rest of you aren’t off the hook, either.