I think that as knitters there is a time when we can first remember our introduction to the craft. Mine was in the form of a hand made teddy bear. My grandmother lovingly craft him for me so I would have company during a visit to the hospital. It had a big white belly and a pink head and legs. It was all garter stitch and at the time I really didn’t understand that it was knit, just handmade for me by my grandmother. I loved my bear, (whom I named Pinky – I was four,) and he kept me company in my bed.
Fast forward a few years, and my mom very briefly took up knitting while at work. She made me two sweaters that I remember. (There may have been three.) I do remember having to trek to the closest city to find a LewisCraft and picking out my yarn. I chose a slubby multicoloured acrylic yarn that must have been an absolute nightmare for a novice knitter to use. But she finished the sweater and I loved it.
A few years later while in high-school, I was at a friend’s house with a group of girls, and a girl named Tanya, pulled out a sweater and started knitting. I have no idea what colour or pattern she was using, but I was amazed and intrigued. It was first time the thought, “I could do that,” crept into my head. By that point, my tiny little town had acquired a tiny little craft store and in the front corner there was one little display of a few patterns, needles, and some basic acrylic yarns. Having no idea what I was doing, I bought some yarn, needles, and a pattern for a zodiac inspired sweater. I took it all home, tossed it and myself on my bed, and attempted to learn to knit. Well, that didn’t go so well, and after about a week, it all got stuffed into my closet and forgotten about. To this day, I have no knowledge of what happened to any of it. (I think that might be for the best, as my tastes have certainly improved since I was a teenager. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.)
And that was it. I didn’t think about knitting again. I didn’t feel like my life was lacking by not having knitting in it. I still thought about my Pinky from time to time, but never in the sense of wanting to learn how to make one for myself. Until about seven years ago. That’s when I met my knitting guru and everything changed. (We bonded immediately due to the fact that we share a name with the same spelling.) I realized very quickly that she knew how to knit. Now I realize that she is a Knitter, not just a person who knits. After watching her for a long time over the coarse of a number of visits, I very timidly asked her to teach me to knit. In no time, were in a local craft supply store and I purchased a pair of metal needles and a ball of burgundy acrylic yarn to knit with. She patiently taught me how to cast on and how to do the knit stitch. She also very patiently dealt with the numerous questions that I had and the wailing and whiny about the whole process. My first finished object was a garter knit square. It took me forever and I think I spent half the time hating the whole process, but I am an insanely stubborn women and was determined to finish what I started. I clearly remember saying to my Husband that “I have no idea why people enjoy this or how they ever finished anything!” But, I stuck with it mostly due to my guru not letting me back away. Next there was purling, and cabling, and really good books and pretty patterns and trips to yarn shops. At some point, without even noticing, I started to like knitting. Somehow, from those first moments of disbelief that this was something I would ever be good at or enjoy I was a Knitter! It was an amazing moment for me.
Now, I wonder what the hell I did before I picked up the needles. I knit a lot. I’ve helped teach friends, and at least a few dozen children. I have a very spoiled Husband who receives many knitted items from me and proudly has worn all of them. I have a stash that is taking up way to much space in the apartment that we live in. There is a spinning wheel with my latest spinning project waiting to be finished and two baskets of knitting projects sitting under my coffee table. I have favourite designers and will buy anything dyed by IndigoDragonFly over almost anything else. I do volunteer work for Knitty.com. I’ve tried my hand a designing once, but realized I wasn’t quite there yet. Maybe in the future. For now, I am happy to knit and spin and surround myself with beautiful wool and yarn and needles. I am proud to say that I am A Knitter!