My 7-year-old fingers fumble with the chunky beginner needles. I concentrate on picking up the loops, managing to get some to the other needle. Still not quite grasping the concept, I hold up my untidy, holey set of rows proudly to my grandmother, ecstatic to be creating the same things she does.
It has been 11 years since my grandmother taught me how to knit, and I am proud to announce I have stepped up my game ever so slightly since then. Knitting is something I have always enjoyed. It is my stress reliever and one of my many creative outlets. Though life often gets in the way, I try to knit year round. My favorite time of the year to knit, however, is the holidays. The cold weather, warm drinks, and spirit of giving inspires me to create cozy things for others and sometimes myself.
It was not until high school when I began to try more complex patterns, stitches and techniques. I extended my expertise from pot holders and scarves to hats, mittens and blankets. Through trial and error and hours of practice, I have been able to develop my skills far enough to knit hats, sweaters and mittens without the use of a pattern.
There are many things I love about knitting, but what brings me the most joy is giving to others. Over the years, I have knitted countless items for countless people. Nothing feels better than seeing someone wear something you’ve made specifically for them. As a freshman, I made a scarf to give anonymously to a senior whom I admired, wanting to share my thankfulness and appreciation without the attention or awkward interactions. To this day, I don’t think she knows it was me.
When I was a sophomore, I took it upon myself to give back to the flute section after a particularly rough season. The frigid rehearsals sparked the idea of personalized headbands (this was pre-hat era) for my eight fellow flutes. No headband was the same color or pattern–needless to say, I spent a lot of time knitting during classes. I don’t think my fingers have ever hurt that much. The excessive knitting lead to an unusable right hand which I had to keep wrapped for a week.
Sadly, I was a little too bogged-down with homework, standardized tests and more homework to knit anything my junior year. However, this year I discovered a simplistic yet beautiful hat pattern that would be perfect for one of my close friends. And to keep with the hat trend, I completely made up a hat pattern for a Secret Santa. I could not find a pattern that embodied her big personality, so I took it upon myself to make a hat that would be her.
There are many things I have learned that I cherish, but knitting is definitely near the top. It stands as a connection I have with my grandmother, and something I can eventually pass on to my children or grandchildren.