When I was wearing my Fall in a Ball shawl a few weeks ago, someone at work came up to me to ask if I had made it. I said yes, I had, and she inquired how long I had been knitting to make something so beautiful like that (how nice!). I told her 10 years (how did that happen?!) because that’s about how long I have been “actively” knitting, but on reflection I realized I’ve actually been knitting for 12.
Back in very late 2002, two high school friends of mine came to visit me at university and told me they had learned to knit. From their description, it sounded like fun, and I certainly could not resist the temptation of being able to make my own Harry Potter scarf. Not long after they returned to their university, I was at Meijer, buying some horrible acrylic yarn and a set of needles and scooting myself over to visit my parents so my mom could teach me what to do.
That scarf was a slooooow process. Every time I made a mistake, I had to wait until the next time I saw my parents so that my mom could fix it and put me on the right track.
I finally finished it though, and it looked pretty good for a beginner project.
I put knitting on the back burner for a while until I graduated from college. When I learned my cousin was pregnant, my mom helped me source some quality yarn (that was my first time with the good stuff!), and I made a really simple baby blanket. I also learned to crochet well enough to make the Blue Blanket. And then I never stopped.
Those first two years of “real” knitting were mostly done solitarily. I would knit in my apartment at night after dinner. Then, after moving to England and getting married, I knit in my apartment during the day because all of my friends and my husband were employed (and I wasn’t for the first couple of months). I made things that were important to me, like our Christmas stockings, and started working on charity blankets. But I still considered it kind of a silly diversion (I know!).
When we moved back to the U.S. and I was able to visit my favorite yarn shops, I got a bit more serious about it. But when a true LYS opened up less than 10 minutes from my house, I was pumped! I attended the very first Friday night open studio, and I have pretty much never left.
And it is here, at my LYS, where I have made dear friends. I had no idea that knitting would introduce me to new people, and help me create my own little sub-community of like-minded people. (Now, when I say like-minded, I mean in regards to knitting and that we are all really nice and funny and awesome. Not that we all agree on everything. That wouldn’t be much fun.) I had no idea knitting could be so social!
And in my little community, I met Heather. She worked at the shop for a long time. And she did lots of really great things there and made it an even better place to be. When I found out she would no longer be working there, I felt like she needed a really great send-off gift.
Because I’d been watching carefully, and had seen her give thoughtful little gifts to people, appreciated her keeping my favorite coffee in stock at the shop, and doing awesomely fantastic things like throwing me a knitted baby shower. And she is one of a handful of people I actually trust to help me decide on colors for a knitting project.
I entertained the idea of making her a fingering weight project because I had a skein of sock yarn that felt like good Heather colors. But I couldn’t find a pattern that felt like Heather.
I finally had an epiphany. Why have a favorites list on Ravelry if no one is going to use it?! So I went through her favorites and landed upon Insulate!. We both love Doctor Who. I had the perfect green and cream yarns for it. And Heather loves green! Done, done and done!
So I started knitting feverishly and finished this great little hat. Based on feedback on some of the Ravelry projects I read, I lengthened the ribbing, though I honestly can’t remember my mods exactly (I will try to figure it out for the Ravelry project page soon).
It made it a big long to be a true beanie, but I like it better that way and think it looks perfect the way Heather wears it. It looks like it was made for her… haha (oh dear).
I know she loves it, and I’m so happy. Thanks for all the things you do, Heather!