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Love Your Blog Challenge: Gratitude

Love Your Blog Challenge: Gratitude

I spent so many years knitting in a bubble.

I taught myself to knit from a library book. I bought a lot of yarn for a lot of years from soulless big box stores. I was not part of a knitting group. I didn’t read knitting blogs. I didn’t listen to knitting podcasts. I had a good friend who knit, and she showed me the concept of colorwork in a few minutes, but that was about it.

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Now I’m a geographically isolated knitter again. I’ve mentioned before that where I live, there aren’t any local yarn shops, and I don’t really have any knitting friends. But I have you. I have the lovely people who read and comment on this blog. I have Ravelry and groups there and podcasters who make me feel like part of a club. I’m so grateful to feel like I’m part of some knitting tribes.

But you know what? I’m grateful for that initial lonely knitting time, too.

It blew my mind to realize that some people are scared of certain things. Some won’t knit a sock, or do colorwork, or attempt something as huge as a sweater. Because of teaching myself, and because of having to figure things out myself, it never occurred to me to be scared of anything. Sure, I still haven’t steeked yet, but that’s more because I just haven’t found a pattern I can’t resist knitting yet, not because of intimidation.

The lack of fear had some interesting results. I designed a couple sweaters for my husband that had some predictably disastrous outcomes. Lesson: don’t design sleeve caps if you’ve never knit or seen one before. I moved a stranded colorwork motif from a mitten pattern to socks and discovered that they were really difficult to put over my heel. Lesson: stranded colorwork isn’t stretchy.

But I also taught myself to knit socks. I spent an entire weekend on the couch turning ONE HEEL. I turned it and ripped it over and over and over again. The instructions for the left-leaning decrease were slip 1, knit 1, psso – and I somehow thought that psso already included a slip 1, knit 1… so I was doing slip 1, knit 1, slip 1, knit 1, psso. Yeah, turns out your stitch counts don’t work if you do that. But I eventually figured it out. And turning that heel was such a huge victory that even today, 10 years later, when I’ve done it a million times, turning a heel still feels like a victory.

So here’s my gratitude list. I’m grateful for knitting. I’m grateful I have a creative outlet that allows me to feel like I’m being productive, even when being a slug on the couch. Knitting also makes me a more patient person – who cares if you have to wait when you’re getting some knitting time?

I’m grateful for my knitting tribes, in all forms.

I’m grateful for my high-school friend Jeni of The Blog Maven, who set up this site for me.

I’m grateful to the bloggers and podcasters who have directed people to this site or have talked about my patterns, most notably A Playful Day, NH Knits, Prairie Girls Knit and Spin, and In a Sknit.

I’m grateful that the list of patterns and techniques and yarn never ends. I love a complicated project, and I always say it’s my plan for staving off Alzheimers.

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I’m grateful for Ravelry, for creating a community, a place to sell my fledgling designs, and a huge time suck. 🙂

I’m grateful for local yarn shops, like Genuine Purl, Looped Yarn Works, and the Knitting Boutique, that have been refuges for me in times of great stress.

I’m grateful for my family, for never questioning the time or money or sanity I spend on this hobby and for always wearing my creations with pride (or because they were too little to protest yet).

Simple Cable Socks: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-cable-socks
Simple Cable Socks: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-cable-socks

I’m grateful to have the means to purchase the materials for the projects I want to make, when I want to make them.

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And I want to share the love. Because I’m grateful for YOU. For the next two weeks, I’m offering 50% off any of my patterns. Just use the code GRATITUDE in the checkout through May 11.

My five most recent designs - some still in progress
My five most recent designs – some still in progress

Thanks, my friends. You and this string and these sticks keep me sane.

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