A few years ago I decided I wanted to (re)learn how to knit. When I was a child my mom taught me the basics and believe my granddaughter has a little scarf that I made for one of my dolls at the time. I distinctly remember struggling my way through the test required to earn my Brownie knitting badge and I’m not sure if I even managed to earn the badge. In time, what little I had learned fell by the wayside and I was firmly entrenched in the non-knitter status.
My interest in the craft was piqued in recent years as I read about a simpler life and envisioned a life of homesteading, raising chickens and goats, and gardening. My dream of having a farm was not to be but nevertheless I am continuing to incorporate into my life basic, simple, things I hold dear–knitting being one of them.
As I mentioned, I decided to take up knitting a few years ago. I even wrote about it here, here, and here. With the help of a books, YouTube, and various websites, I struck out on my quest to become a knitter. I quickly learned that this was not a skill I was going to become proficient in overnight and as I learned the basics of knitting and purling, as I knit a few rows and then unravelled them to start over again, I clung to my belief that this was a skill that I needed to have in my life.
Here’s what I learned almost immediately.
- I don’t like the feel of aluminum or plastic needles; bamboo needles only for me please.
- Knitting with acrylic or other non-natural yarn made me feel nauseous; I can’t explain it but that’s what I experienced. For now I knit with only 100% cotton yarn.
So, with my Takumi bamboo needles of various sizes and styles and Lily Sugar ‘n Cream yarn I set off to become relatively proficient at knitting. I struggled my way through a couple of coffee cup sleeves that we still use when we get a cup of steaming hot Tim Hortons coffee, as well as a couple of not-so-pretty dish clothes. I found it comforting to sit by the fire on a wet and dreary Sunday afternoon with my knitting projects but as I was still working, and busy with other things, my knitting time was limited.
This year as the gardening season began to wind down and the weather started turning cooler I started thinking about knitting again. I remembered a post on one of my favourite blogs, Down to Earth, that featured a waffle-weave cloth and decided to give it a go with some leftover yarn. (The original pattern came from a site called Homespun Living.)
I was pleased with how the first cloth turned out and debated whether I should try another pattern for my next one. Instead, I decided to stick with the waffle weave cloth to try to hone my knitting skills. I’ve made nine cloths since the season turned and I have become a knitting advocate. This is a craft that is portable and can be done anywhere, it produces something that is aesthetically pleasing and useful in the home, and it is soothing for the soul.
I’ve found that my knitting time is optimum for helping me to relax, mull over ideas, and pray for loved ones. I can sit down with a glass of water and knit a few rows, and say a few prayers, in between other projects around the house; I can settle in to my favourite spot by the window with a cup of tea and let the click-click of the needles take my mind where it wanders. The waffle weave pattern is simple enough that I can even chat with Gerry while I complete a few rows. We’ve been faced with a family crisis in recent months and it’s been especially good for me to have my knitting to help me calm my mind and provide opportunity to pray for the situation.
I’m not sure how many dish cloths I really need but I’ll keep making them for the time being. A few may make their way into Christmas stockings too. Beyond that, I expect I’ll eventually have to branch out and make something other that simple dish cloths but for the time being knitting these waffle weave cloths is serving multiple purposes in my life.