Learn to knit/crochet

One of my stranger bucket list items is to learn to knit/crochet. There is something fundamental, down to earth, back to the basics kind of thing about knitting and crocheting.

I know a lot of people associate knitting with little old ladies in their rocking chairs and its hard to explain to my friends and family why I put this on a list with things like white water rafting, but I think I am seeking an activity where I learn to create something, you know, get my creative juices flowing.

I think there must be something elemental about knitting that is drawing me to it. Something about the peace and solitude, the rhythmical feel of the needle in your hands working back and forth on the soft yarn.

I also think I owe this to my loving and ever understanding husband. After the recent round of adventures including climbing a Colorado 14er, jumping out of an airplane, learning to wake surf and wake board he looked at me and asked, “What’s next?”

Deciding I owed it to him to slow it down a bit I offered, “learning to knit” that made him smile.

I also think my husband was completely correct when he suggested it was a way for me to connect with my grandmothers who are all long gone and the almost magical way they had of making something special out of nothing.

My grandma Francis is the one that really comes to mind. My memories of her are filled with warm thoughts, the smell of bread baking, or the hum of the sewing machine as she sewed doll dresses for my Barbie’s.

Grandma Francis lived on a farm in the Midwest all her married life. They did not have a lot of money; in fact, they did not ever have indoor plumbing and only got a telephone when I was an early teenager. They got water from the well out front and they went to town to do laundry and make calls from the payphone.

Grandma Francis did not seem to even notice these things were missing in her life. She never complained and never even seemed to want for anything. She was completely content with her world and she spent her life loving the family she and grandpa created.

As I think about it almost all the memories I have of her are examples of how she created magical things out of nothing. She could take yeast, sugar, flour and a few other ingredients, mix them up and put them in a beat up old oven and bake it and out would come the most amazing cinnamon rolls you ever tasted.

The more I reflect on the lessons she taught me I think it was one of the most valuable lessons I ever learned. Take what you have in life and make it special.

I picked up a couple of knitting needles, a crochet needle, and some yarn at a thrift shop a couple of weeks ago and last week I stopped at the library and checked out a Knitting for Dummies book with the intention of teaching myself how to knit/crochet.

The past couple of days I have devoted a few hours to reading my Knitting for Dummies book and I must really be a dummy because this stuff is not making any sense! I get the general premise of the whole thing but I was having a hard time breaking the code and understanding what to do and how to do it so I switched to plan B.

Late last week I started asking everyone I know if they knit or crochet. Lots of no’s and a few yeses later I found two friends who crochet.  Ah ha!   Boldly I asked for a lesson. Much to my amazement I received two enthusiastic yeses!

My first lesson was a humbling experience.  Crocheting is not easy to pick up.  After about three hours of awkward stitching I had about three small rows of uneven stitches to show for my efforts.  Determined, if nothing I am stubborn,

I took my yarn and needle with me to the various after school activities and sat and practiced for the next several days. Slowly the needle started to feel more familiar.

A few more lessons from another friend and I noticed my stitches were becoming more consistent and I was getting a little faster.

By the end of the week I had a 10-inch dishcloth in my hands.  Something I had created with nothing more than a bit of yarn and a stubborn streak of determination.  It felt good.  Grandma would be proud.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list”.

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