Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I've taken up a new hobby or perhaps as some may view it, an obsession. A year ago I asked my loving family for a beginners knitting kit which included some yarn, needles, a video, and some instructions for completing a hat and scarf set. I had to rewind that video a gisilleon times never really capturing that aha moment when I would get this thing called casting on. I miserably tried and tried again, faithfully watching the dreaded smiley lady with the soft voice that was turning me into a homicidal maniac. Well, months of trying and getting just a bit ahead did not lead to my coveted hat and scarf. I did learn some things though, knitting requires, patience, care, deep concentration, and committment. It also helps if you are on a diet, for... you cannot eat and knit at the same time.

Fast forward to a year later......I have unraveled the same ball of yarn several times on my needle. It seems that I finally learned how to cast on but, while I knit I am adding stitches that should not be there. I attend a small knitting class at adult education - there were suppose to be a total of 6 classes but, due to low registration numbers there will only be five, the teachers says " I'm sure you are all OK with this, uh "NO". I need all the help I can get. There is something to be said
about a person to person lesson because some
how by some divine miracle I finally have my "Aha" moment and manage to finish my scarf with give and take a few mistakes that serve to remind me of all the pain in my neck and the growing pain of carpal tunnel . It is not as relaxing as you may think.

My friend Marie and I decide that we are not only ready to knit but to actually take on a knitting retreat with other female knitters. We sign up for a weekend of knitting at The Inn at Manchester.

We don't particularly want to hang out with these women all day, we just want to go to an hour of knitting here and there and then go for a walk, perhaps take on some shopping. Due to my, as my friend Janet calls it, the social work disease. I am sick of talking, listening and my social quota is filled rather quickly. Honestly, I can't stand listening to my own voice at times. I begged all my loved ones, for a weekend free of cell phone calls and once there, I turned off my phone. Ahh, what a joy not to have to use that darn thing.

Back at the lovely Inn, I am completely overwhelmed by the manic use of needles and yarns. These women were serious knitters and were whipping out entire outfits that
they are currently working on. At this revelation, I quickly announce that I really have no "knitting goals" and that I don't intend on ever making a bolero jacket with matching beret. They, being serious knitters are quite disappointed in me and my dear friend Marie steps in and announces "I'd like to learn how to cable" ahhh, the women smile, thrilled with her desire to learn. I shoot her a look that indicated pure betrayal. The women surround her and take her on as a knitter, a serious knitter. Her new found friend Julie who gave her a one on one tutorial, was enormously proud and helpful. Alas, while I am out on the porch by myself trying to count stitches for my baby blanket (and I am rather enjoying the warmth of the sun, rocking in my chair and being an outcast), Marie has that ever integral "Aha moment. She has now mastered the cable stitch.........

On Sunday morning, our last day at the Inn and last opportunity to ask those ever challenging knitting questions, I am left with a feeling that I should have jotted down some possible questions, but I was blank, nothing came to me as I watched the women finishing their sweaters socks and handbags. I wanted to say " hey I'm sorry, that I was not prepared with all the questions, but I was a little overwhelmed with the zealousness of the group and I became paralyzed." So cheerfully everyone beg
an to say their goodbye's and good lucks and they kindly looked at me wishing me well.

After this first time knitting experience I think I will be ready for my next knitting retreat and darn it, I will be prepared. I saw on one of the websites that there is one to there's one I'd like to go to.


Guilty Secret said...

Well you had a few aha moments and you can knit, right? :-D

Matty said...

Knitting is very therapeutic. My first knitting experience...I knitted an afghan in long strips that were later sewed together. Although it took me 3 years to complete it...I never did knit again. I'm thinking of taking up cross-stitch. It's wonderful that they have retreats now for knitters. That sounds wonderful. I hope you had time to relax and enjoy the sound of silence or should I say the sound of needles.

nonizamboni said...

Thanks for visiting my blog & your kind words. Especially because it gave me an opportunity to come by for a visit and enjoy your post about the knitting retreat! The beauty of knitting is you can do it whenever you darn well please--some get bitten a little harder I guess. Overall, sounds like you are happy with your progress and that's what matters. I have a friend also a social worker who just holes up with her needles or her bicycle when she's not at work because she talks so much each day.
Happy to meet you and please stop again.
Have a lovely weekend too!

Big Dave T said...

Men must just be missing the knitting gene because for the life of me that just doesn't sound like fun. I honestly can't think of any guy who enjoys knitting, chrocheting, sewing, etc. My grandmother used knit these "yarn cats" and my grandfather would hold the yarn while she knitted. I think that's the closest I would want to get to knitting myself too.

simply me said...

Hi everyone - I must say that my knitting is moving along...except that I usually do it at night and I find that I doze off LOL...
I do find it therapeutic and it helps me to relax, now that I kind of have the hang of it.
Dave, there were a few men at the retreat with their wives but they took of as soon as the knitting began. One male visitor took a keen interest in the size of my yarn ball and asked if he could touch it...weird. That was as close as he got - LOL.
stay well friends.

Betty said...

I can guarantee that knitting would be stressful for me too. Like Dave T, I am missing the knitting gene, so much so that I've never even tried. See? You're way ahead of me....


Veronica said...

Oh my god, Is that your pound of love???