It is official: I am obsessed with this hobby.
But after about 8 months of doing it, I definitely understand why, when I tell people I knit, so many respond with a wistful, "I tried knitting once."
Knitting is a hobby that you will drop very quickly if you don't have a support group to help you through the learning process and the inevitable knitting disasters you will face with just about every project. If it wasn't for my group of Chickenheads, who I meet with every Tuesday night, I can easily see myself as one of those women who "tried knitting once, but couldn't stick with it," and has that shameful bag of unused yarn and a few pairs of needles still in the package shoved in the back of a closet somewhere.
But, thanks to the support of the Chickenheads, I got over that very long, often painful learning hump and can now walk into a yarn shop without having a total nervous breakdown. Last week I even started my first, non-pathetically-easy knitting project on my very own without any help -- a beautiful merino-silk neck warmer in a wave pattern. I picked the right pattern to go with the yarn I had in my stash, already owned the necessary needles in my supply (a sign I am maturing in the hobby), and will be halfway completed with the project by next week's knitting night. I can't wait to show the group and know they will all ohh, and ahh and praise my progress - because that's what we all do for each other - even if it's just some lame ass scarf. When else do you get that kind of validation as a grownup?
I also know that knitting will quite possibly save me from losing my mind during my long surgery recovery. I plan on stocking up on yarn, patterns and projects to keep me busy most of the summer. I predict most of my friends and family will get knitted gifts for birthdays this year. So beware. (But no more baby blankets.)
And finally, my new-found knitting obsession has introduced me to some amazingly talented and hilarious women writers/knitting freaks who have shown me that knitting is not just a trendy hobby but, in fact, a physical representation of many of our inner neuroses and inexplicable desires to torture ourselves. Check out Stephanie Pearl McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot) if you haven't already. She is a goddess.
As promised, photographic proof of my new obsession. I keep forgetting to take pictures before I give them away, so these are all I have for now.
1. Hooded Baby Blanket with fleece lining knitted for Baby Quiet, born December 2008
3. Pics of my felted purse and first hat are posted here (scroll to the bottom of the post)
If you are at all tempted to learn, go for it. But I highly recommend the Buddy System.