I love to knit. I mention this a lot when I write comments on blogs because, as I said previously, I love to knit. Some people drown their sorrows in alcohol or use drugs to make them forget. I grab a ball of yarn, a couple of needles, and make a sweater. It keeps me sane. I even have a bumper sticker that says, “I Knit So Others Will Live”. I'm not kidding either.
The Bible mentions knitting. In Psalm 139, verse 13, it says: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. “ Even the unluckiest man in history, Job, mentions knitting in Chapter 10, verses 10-11: “Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews?
However, even with the mentions in the Bible, which I had to look up, the person that first got me interested in knitting was definitely Madame Defarge in A Tale Of Two Cities. That should have been my first clue that knitting is not for the sane. Madame Defarge was big on knitting. In fact she happily knitted through the entire French Revolution. Granted she was knitting the names of revolutionaries that she wanted killed but still! I can’t imagine how evil she would have been if she hadn’t known how to knit. By the way if anyone knows where she got her patterns, I’m interested.
Speaking of patterns, a lot of people think all you have to do is pick up some yarn, some knitting needles, sit and knit for about six months and voila! You have a sweater that no sane person would ever be caught dead in. I don’t mean to insult anyone but you are a moron if you believe this. Knitting has become the ‘in’ thing to do. Julia Roberts knits. So does Tim Daly from Wings, Cameron Diaz, Dakota Fanning, and Winona Ryder just to name a few. Of course when things become popular companies jump on the bandwagon and invent newer and better ways to do something others have been doing for centuries without the latest gadgets. In the past people picked up two sticks and some wool and then started knitting. According to a couple of knitting websites, a new knitter now needs a couple of pair of knitting needles, scissors, row counters, a gauge calibrator, point protectors, a notebook, pencil, yarn,ball winder, a subscription to at least six knitting magazines, and a gun. Okay, I added the gun in only because at some critical point in a pattern, someone will distract you and make you drop a stitch. I hate to drop a stitch. Put a gun on the table next to you and trust me, no one is going to bother you while you’re knitting. They'll also appreciate your work a lot more. What they don’t tell you is that knitting needles come in about fifty different sizes. It doesn’t matter what size needles you have either because you will never have the correct needle size for a pattern. If you do, you’ll lose one of the needles and no matter how hard you curse, fling stuff around in your knitting bag, or interrogate small children and husbands, you’ll never find it. It’s gone to that big lost and never-found in the sky. I personally have about fifty needles there. Most of them are a size six. Once you find the correct knitting needles you have to figure out if you need two needles, circular needles, or double pointed needles. I’m proud to say I have personally knitted using five double pointed needles all at the same time. I want that put on my headstone too. Some companies now have interchangeable needles that can cost hundreds of dollars. I’ve never paid more than four dollars for a pair of knitting needles. These are the same people that say you should have an electric ball winder. I don’t have one of those either. Now the fun part starts! It’s time to buy your yarn. In the old days, about ten years ago, you went to the yarn store, asked for some blue yarn, figured out how many skeins you needed, and then paid the cashier. Things are a little different now. I read a comment on a pattern website where a woman said she had sheared her own sheep, took it to a carding factory so it could be combed and carded, spun the yarn, and then dyed the yarn with her own specially made dyes. I keep it a little simpler. I put the key in the ignition of my car, back out of my driveway, and then go to Walmart where all of this has already been done for me at the low price of two ninety-seven per skein. It even comes with a paper wrapper that has a pattern on the back. Recently I decided to make some wool socks for my family. Unfortunately Walmart doesn’t carry wool so I ventured to my local yarn store. There were at least two hundred skeins of wool yarn. All of them were in different weights with different prices. A couple of them cost over twenty dollars for four ounces. I quickly eliminated those. Instead, after much delibriation, I picked up some skeins that I thought were the best for what I wanted to make. They were yellow and blue, which are my two favorite colors, and they cost under five dollars a skein. Now for the pattern! Of course none of the patterns said to use yellow or blue yarn. Instead they said things like:
Use only yarn that has been sheared from a yak that faces the north side of the Himalaya Mountains, no more than five hours per day, and west the rest of the day. This yarn should only be sheared on the sheep shearers thirtieth birthday at noon after he's eaten a piece of chocolate cake with the good icing (not whipped) and blue candles. For best results his birthday should fall on a Wednesday.
I thought about this for a while and decided to use the yellow yarn.
So now I’m happily knitting my socks on five double pointed needles. I’m hoping these will be great Christmas presents for my daughters. If one of them starts to mention I could have just bought some socks at the store for a whole lot less, I hope they remember I have a special knitting tool and it’s loaded.