This is a picture of the sweater I made my brother Lou over 30 years ago. Lou still wears this sweater every Chritmas and tells me about it. I don't often make sweaters because I feel it may only last 2 or 3 years before the person tires of it and that's a lot of work for a short lifecycle. Lou was the perfect person to gift it to since I had a feeling he would keep it forever. I used a beautiful Pingouin wool yarn, the exact name I can't remember and I don't know if it's even available for sale anymore. It's held up beautifully over the years and the classic cable pattern has stood the test of time - this picture was taken about a year ago.
I learned to knit when I was 7. My mom was a very gifted seamstress and she tried to teach me how to sew, but I wasn't interested at all. She decided to teach me how to knit even though she wasn't a knitter. It was the perfect craft for me since it combined making things and counting (I was a huge math fan). Unfortunately, for years I needed my mom to cast on and cast off for me. I knit a lot of small, poorly constructed items, but I was proud of each and every one.
Over the years, I picked up my needles and worked on several projects and dropped them when I got too busy. About 15 years ago I realized that knitting was really important to me when my life got busy and stressful. It was my form of meditation and it did wonders to help me manage my anxiety and stress. The busier life gets, the more I knit.
I like to knit because it's relaxing, it provides a creative outlet, it's fun to touch the beautiful yarns and it's portable. I knit everywhere! At home, in the car, on trains, on planes, on the side of a soccer field, in bleachers at the pool and in coffee shops when waiting for a friend. Not many hobbies offer that. I knit in a wide variety of materials including twine, ribbon and silver wire. I usually get an idea to make something and I can be very focused on making it happen even if I don't have a pattern.
The items I like to work on are home goods, felted items, hats, baby hats, baby sweaters (because they're oh so cute!), backpacks, baskets, jewelry, Christmas ornaments and throws (the bigger and more complicated the better). I love just casting on a new yarn and seeing where it takes me. I rip out a lot of half made projects. To me starting over again is not a failure, it's just part of the process.
This is the first and last blog post about me and how I got to this point with knitting. All future blogs will give you some techniques, ideas and links to my favorite yarn suppliers.
My blog is called "Stitches Off Your Needles" and it comes from a ski instructor who told me years ago that I knew the techniques required to ski, but that I needed "miles under my skis". I've used that saying several times over the years and decided to adapt it to knitting since it really captures the time and dedication that is needed to master any new skill, including knitting.
Thanks for reading and please reach out to me if you have any ideas.