Friday, November 17, 2006

Tag, I'm It!

Hey, no one tagged me! I'm tagging myself - and that's okay. (Though I hear if you do it too much, you'll go blind.)

1. How and when did you learn how to knit/crochet? Who taught you?
I am almost certain my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was young. I wasn't particularly good at it, but I've always had an interest in handcrafts. I cross-stitched and painted for a while, and I've tried a lot of things.

Knitting, though.....oh boy. First of all, I'm not particularly trendy, okay? I pick up trends once in a while, when they appeal to me, and I follow fashion somewhat. But I don't get into things just because they're "in". I had no earthly IDEA that knitting was becoming so hot. (I have this fear that people will think I'm a bandwagonner, and I'm totally not.) In Florida, knitting is still not particularly hot. Because Florida IS particularly hot, so knitting seems insane. Anyway....

About maybe three-ish years ago, I bought the book Knitting for Dummies. I didn't even glance at it - just went to Michael's to pick up yarn and knitting needles. That was ALL I KNEW about knitting. That I needed yarn and pointy sticks. I picked out some Lion Heart acrylic (one pink, one grey) and some needles (one 8, one 10). I remember standing in front of the needles wondering which ones I'd need. (No clue about ball bands and suggested gauge.) I recall thinking there was no way anyone used that many needles. (Heh.) I also remember looking at the ball band, at what I now know is a gauge diagram, and thinking, "Are you shitting me??? This ENTIRE THING OF YARN will only knit up a 4 by 4 inch square? DAMN this must be an expensive hobby."

I went by my Dummies book, and I knit and knit. Tightly. Horribly tightly. Knitting was a NIGHTMARE. Scratchy yarn, aching hands, and these needles - UGH!! (Susan Bates aluminum Which is why when I taught Jessi to knit, I bought her some nice light bamboo straights and had her pick out a pleasant soft wool yarn.) So went my first attempt. I think I tried picking it up again a few times within the next year, never getting more into it than that time.

Then I stumbled onto my friend Kathleen's blog. I had worked with her for all of one week before she moved to Germany. In the maybe two weeks that we became friends, though, I ADORED her. (Still do!) She's still in Germany, and I got curious about her one day and Googled for her - found her blog - she KNITS now? I knew her sister and mom did, but .... knitting?? Kathleen??? Well, hell, knitting must be pretty badass then. And I saw her socks, and sweaters, and awesome stuff she was cranking out, and all that yarn in all those colors.....I went to a yarn shop this time, and got a better book, and some better yarn....well, sort of. (Remember when you were new, and novelty yarns were AWESOME? Eck. I got over that in a hurry.) I bought oodles of yarn...oodles of one or two skeins of yarn, only later realizing that it would probably take a lot of yarn to knit something substantial.

And the rest, as they say....

2. How has this craft impacted your life?
Oh. My. God.

Poor Travis. Travis fell in love with a woman who set foot outside occasionally. A woman who rode a dirtbike. A woman who could hold a dinner conversation without tugging a ball of yarn from her purse. And I have to say, he's handled the change with grace and dignity. (The Xbox 360 helped, I think.) I don't stick to many hobbies, but I do have a tendency to go headlong into them. But when I dedicated an entire room to the craft, drove across state lines to find better yarns, learned to spin my own know, I really started to think this could be for real. I'm in love.

I keep getting in trouble at work (I'm not allowed to knit here....let me tell you how that burns me....) and I think about knitting at the MOST inopportune times. (The MOST.) Pretty much constantly. During meetings, I'm designing charts. I have my Bloglines link on my cell so I can keep up with my knit blogs even when I'm not near a computer. And I haven't TOUCHED my dirtbike in a year.

3. Pick at least one person to talk about who you have met through the knit-world and why you are thankful to have met them.
Well, there have been all the LYS shop owners who have influenced and shaped my wallet tremendously. I've cyber-met a lot of people, through Secret Pals and exchanges and just through blogging. There's Necia, who demonstrates that it IS possible to knit and craft and wife and mom and work and all that and still be cool. There's Rosi, who does the same thing - but without spinning - we'll forgive her for now, it's only a matter of time before Necia breaks her down. Random sidenote - I think Rosi kind of looks a bit like Jaeda from this season's Top Model...when Jaeda had hair and was girly and pretty and didn't look scary and butch. Not to encourage Jaeda - 'cause DAMN that girl could bitch about some hair - but really, Tyra, why would you do that to her? Sorry, what was I saying? Oh, right. There was Rene, who hasn't blogged in FOREVER but who was kind of my first reader who didn't know me in the real world - and who got me stuck on these damned Eleanora socks. And Yarn Harlot, who taught me that it's okay to make knitting be funny. (Thank God - I can't enjoy anything I can't make funny. Or at least try.)

There's all my swap pals, who have all been so generous and wonderful. There's all my favorite enablers, who encourage me to buy stuff and try new things. There's all the bloggers who read and leave me comments, and who I read and leave comments for.

I don't know, it's just a GREAT community, isn't it? Everyone helps each other out, and encourages each other, and makes each other laugh....I love it. I've mentioned that I also do did a lot of theatre. The community there is amazing, and you make wonderful friends...but hanging out there over you is that vague threat from a lot of them, the feeling that they love you...but they will crawl over your lifeless body to get to what they want. (Okay, maybe not THAT vicious, but you get the idea.) I have NEVER ONCE felt like a knitter was hating on me. I love that.

Man, you guys just rock.