December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)
Just after I moved to New York, I hunted out the closest knitting shop. Now, I admit, I’m a bit of a knitting shop snob. Perhaps it’s because I learned to knit in Princeton, New Jersey. The knit shop in Princeton had gorgeous, organic, overpriced yarn. I used to swing by the knit shop just to feel all the textures and let my eyes feast on the colors. It fed my soul just to gaze at the yarn. In Princeton I knit endless scarves of different patterns, and took a basic class through which I knit my first and only sweater, which I still treasure with pride.
When I moved to New Hampshire I stopped knitting for awhile until a small, funky knit shop opened up and snagged at my imagination. There I learned to knit mittens and socks, hats and baby sweaters and booties. I learned to crochet (and promptly forgot.) I loved to knit. Knitting appeals to my multiple senses; and it remains one of the few things that I make that feels… well… practical. Besides dinner.
So when I moved to New York I went scouting around for a knit shop. There is, in fact, a small knit shop in my local town. When I dropped by the store about as big as a walk-in closet, the women kept on knitting and chatting. They sold individual patterns (no books – another aesthetically appetizing way I used to spend my time, perusing beautiful pages of patterns), and there was lots of acrylic yarn. Fine for some, but not my cup of tea… So I hunted further. I found a shop in a town over. It takes a bit of effort to get there, which is probably good for my pocketbook, since I really need to be committed to go. The yarn was beautiful albeit expensive. And I was, once again, hooked on my favorite drug of choice. (There are worse things, right?!)
A few months after I found the shop I bought 3 skeins of the most beautiful blue yarn, Koigu, and began knitting a pair of cable socks. Perfect for cozying up by the fire. And here I am, two years later, still working on those same, damn socks. I guess that being a working mother of toddlers with a clergy schedule doesn’t lend itself as much as I’d like, to knitting. But when I picked them up again last month, I felt in love with them all over again. I love the color of them, which reminds me of those perfect blue skies in the summer, or of that blue blue Caribbean water. The yarn is soft and cozy, and I finally understand the pattern enough to knit without thinking too hard. Soon they will be finished, maybe I’ll wear them on Christmas morning, while I watch my kids rip into their presents. I’ll post a picture when they’re done… But even now, with my unfinished socks, I love the feeling I have in making something with my own creative senses and sensibilities. There’s something both luxurious about it and simple at the same time. Which is why I love to knit…
What about you? Have you made anything lately?