I have been asked from time to time how I started knitting. What was it that made me want to knit? Was it the wool? The needles? The beautiful hand crafted items that I just couldn't do without? Did my Grandmother teach me on a cold winter day?
No. It was none of these. I've been knitting for 3 years now. I learned about 3 years ago last week. My sister-in-law, Stephanie (who is also my best friend) taught me. I knew nothing of yarn or needles or beautiful hand crafted items. My Grandmother crochets, so she couldn't teach me. Nope, it was my sister, my best friend. She saw a need and filled it.
August 23, 2003, my 8 month old daughter died very suddenly. It was not expected and threw us for quite a loop. As I am sure you can imagine, it was (and still is) very difficult. She was our first baby and was just such a happy little munchkin.
My very wise sister saw that I needed to fill my time. My arms literally ached to hold a baby. All I could do was cry and think about that awful day. So, she filled my hands with wool and beautiful bamboo needles. When she mentioned that she was going to teach me to knit, I laughed. I told her knitting was for "old" women (she is 9 years my senior, so I like to tease her). But, I decided to give it a go.
It didn't take long and I was hooked. I started on a hat. It was a very soft rowan yarn, that I still love to this day. However, it doesn't look like it does in the picture. There were some holes in the top, so I undid it, and decided that I wanted a ribbed cuff instead of rolled. So, I redid it.
Then, I knit a hat for Jeremy. It didn't turn out so good. I think my gauge was off (I didn't really understand gauge yet), and it didn't fit him right.
Shortly after I learned to knit, I learned I was pregnant. So, I knit diaper covers for my new baby and started a blanket. The blanket still isn't finished. But, someday I will finish it.
See the smiling girl on the left? She didn't always smile like that. She still doesn't smile like that all the time. But, knitting helped to bring that smile back to her face. When Emma died, I was suddenly without anything to do. I had no one to take care of, nothing to fill my time. Knitting allowed me to take something raw, and make something beautiful and functional out of it. It occupied my hands and my mind. I couldn't dwell on the day that Emma died. It helped me heal. Yes, knitting has helped to heal my broken heart. As I have had 2 more children since Emma died, I have grown as a knitter. I knit as I nurse my babies. I hope to pass on the love of wool and knitting to my children.
So, that is how I started to knit. To heal my heart. To give me something to do. To fill the long silent hours. Now I knit for my children. I knit for my friends. I knit for my family. I knit for myself.