Saturday, October 20, 2007

Origins -- how did this happen?

If my experience is any guide, you suppress knitting at your own peril! Sooner or later, she comes back in a fury, bringing her handmaidens: yarn buying, book collecting, and perhaps even spinning.

It's a seductive madness, isn't it? I began knitting as a child, first shown by my great grandmother, then buckling down with a book when a little older to really learn. I made hats for all my family, and, as a teenager, tackled a sweater for myself. It was a zip-front cardigan made in a variegated yarn in colors reminiscent of a tartan, moodily photographed on a gorgeous tam-o-shanter-wearing model. It appealed to my youthful romance for all things Scottish, and I tumbled hard for it. I made it, loved it, and wore it to ribbons. I moved on to a lovely Italian wool and a cabled sweater pattern, made it, loved it. I made up a sweater of my own to knit using the leftovers. I kept on knitting and loved pretty much everything I made. But it wasn't any grand obsession, just one of the things I enjoyed doing.

Later, jobs, house, chores competed for time. I felt I oughtn't to start any new knitting projects until the curtains for the guest room -- and any number of other important things -- were done. So I didn't. And so it went for years. It took a big, unexpected jolt a couple of years ago to put a stop to that thinking. We have to indulge in what makes us happy, even if it causes a few things to go undone.

I began another sweater, and never looked back. I wallow in books, magazines, and wool; I read blogs; I entice friends. Some day I'll get those curtains done.

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