Thursday, February 08, 2007

One down, one to go

Ta-da! I finished one mitten, not without stress, as you know! I think the flip-top has a slightly fishy shape but my Darling Daughter doesn’t seem to mind.

(That's my hand modeling the mitten.)

The good news is that with all your helpful hints about how to stay on track with circular needles, I have almost finished the SECOND mitten. Look at this baby!

I only had to restart the flip-top once and that was after just a few stitches because I almost instantly recognized I was going the wrong way. A big thanks to everyone on this blog for keeping me on the straight and narrow! I appreciated not only the practical advice but the moral support: I felt I was never knitting alone.

Which brings me to the concept of community in knitting. Even though it would appear to be rather an individual craft, it seems to bring folks together in wonderful ways. Many of you talked about the pleasure of your Local Yarn Store not just for purchasing yarn but for inspiration and assistance.

I’m not an especially outgoing person and yet in my LYS, I find myself addressing total strangers when they’re buying cool yarn. I ask them what the yarn is called and what they’re making with it. Oddly enough, I run into people from my own very little town there (although the store is located in a much larger neighboring town). In some cases, I’ve heard their names but never actually met them face-to-face. Everyone seems to be friendlier when they’re hanging out in a yarn store.

In addition, knitters are very generous to others with time, expertise, and materials. My LYS most recently recruited knitters to make squares for blankets for those who can’t afford to buy them. I’ve also seen all sorts of such projects on knitting blogs: socks, baby blankets, mittens, and more.

That got me to speculating about why knitters are this way. What do you think? Why does the craft of knitting create such a strong sense of community?


Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Nancy!! How cool are those mitts? (Are you feeling a pull toward socks yet?) (Sorry! I couldn't resist.)

Isn't it exciting when it suddenly clicks and another knitting mystery reveals its secrets?

When I first came back to knitting a few years ago I poked around various lists and was astonished by the amount of information and help being freely shared among virtual strangers. The generosity of knitters is downright amazing. I like to think of it as a link to generations of knitters past -- and maybe a line thrown into the future.

Whatever it is, I love it.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Jamie Denton said...

Nancy!! I'm soo freaking impressed!! Can you share where you found the pattern again? That is one awesome mitting.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Jamie Denton said...

Oops, I meant one awesome MITTEN. Or maybe I just invented a new word for knitting mittens - mitting.

11:34 PM  
Blogger georg said...

Good job Nancy! You may yet make socks! ;)

Those who know and love the joy of creating are less likely to want to destroy. And entering a LYS is like saying, oh- you knit too? We have some common ground, you and I, and we can get on fine.

Knitting folks also tend to be more chatty. We can talk while knitting.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous theresa s. said...

It's a shared passion and there's no competition. We can inspire and instruct each other freely.

Plus, you know, most of us have to go out into the real world and deal with non-knitters all bloody day long. Going into the LYS is a bit of a relief after that. Other knitters "get" it.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

You guys make me happy. I'm always smiling as I read RTY.

Thanks for all your compliments on my mittings (I like your new word, Jamie; it fits). You're making me blush.

Sorry, Barbara, I will never, never, ever knit socks. However, now I understand their fascination.

I love all your theories about why knitters are so nice to each other. They make a lot of sense to me.

Jamie, I have to go look at my knitting pattern and see where I found it because of course I can't remember. I know it was free. And I have to warn you, there was one mathematical impossibility in it. However, I will point it out when I post the website. Stay tuned.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Gorgeous color, Nancy. And the finished mitting is really pretty.

Mitting ... a new word, invented by Jamie Denton right here at RTY. Cool beans!

10:53 PM  
Blogger kshotz said...

Gorgeous mitts!!! And you're right, knitters are great people!

9:33 AM  

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