I've been crocheting in one form or another for the majority of my life. I started crocheting LONG chains when I was in 3rd grade. In 5th grade, a school friend taught me to single crochet and I made blankets for my little stuffed animals. My mom was a left handed crocheter so although she was great at crochet, she couldn't teach me, her right handed daughter, how to crochet. Years after I mastered the single crochet, my mom's friend in Utah named Sally, taught me how to make granny squares. Once I learned the double crochet and had something to do with it, I began to crochet in earnest. I can't tell you how many afghans I crocheted and gave away. Each year when we visited Sally's family in Utah, Sally would teach me a new stitch and I'd begin a new wave of afghans. It wasn't until years later again, that I found myself not wanting to wait another year before I learned something new. So I taught myself to read patterns. That was something Mom could help me do. I knew the stitches so with her help, I learned to decipher patterns, and a whole new world opened up for me. After I got tired of doing nothing but afghans and dishcloths, I decided to take a risk and crochet a sweater. I found a pattern I liked and started. The pattern was a crochet stitch that LOOKED like a cable knit. Here are pictures of my sweaters in that pattern. They both won blue ribbons at state fair the years I entered them. I was pretty proud.
I completed my third crocheted sweater this past summer and entered it in this year's state fair. It was a much simpler pattern and again, it was made from acrylic yarn, and it only won a 3rd place ribbon. But I still placed! :) I'm very proud of that sweater. It has a long and involved story of me trying to throw it away and Mom saving it from the trash can. It took me 6 years to finish it but it's done and now that the weather is cool, I'm going to be able to wear "our" sweater. Mom used to tell me that the sweater belonged to her even if I kept it because she'd saved it from the trash can so many times. :) I miss my mom! Sharing these stories of her helps though.
Here's my problem. I'm lousy at knitting. I KNOW I just started it and I'm probably expecting too much too soon, but I look at what I can crochet, and then I look at my pathetic attempts at knitting and I get all discouraged that I'll never master it before I die. My goal is to someday knit a sweater made entirely of my own handspun and hand dyed yarn and then I'll enter it in the fair. I have a LONG way to go before I'm there. My spinning will have to improve as will my knitting, but that's my goal. I'm slowly but surely steering my skills toward that end but it gets discouraging sometimes to think how far I have yet to go before I'll have any real skill at knitting. My lazy side asks if I'm really going to ever be able to produce a quality garment knitting or if I'm deluding myself. The ambitious side of me asks the lazy side (politely of course) to shut up and sit down. I can learn anything I put my mind to and then it's just a matter of practice to master the skill. But is that really true?
Right now work is providing some serious challenges (some of them to my mental health!!!) and I have found very little time to sit and knit. If I knit in a group or while trying to talk, it's a sure way of guaranteeing that I'm going to make a BIG mistake that I'm unable to correct. So I have to knit when I'm at peace and undisturbed and not distracted. I can crochet while eating dinner, watching TV and playing with the birds all at the same time practically. *sigh* Will knitting ever be that easy for me??? I certainly hope so. In the mean time, I'm going to make it a practice to try and make at least a half hour a day available for knitting. I'll let you know how that works out. :) Speaking of knitting, now that I'm finished blogging it might be just the time to put a row or two on my scarf....