A knitting affair

I’ve been having an affair with knitting.

It’s all started when I got a copy of “All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin,” by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. The book is a collection of essays about knitting, mothering, living in an old house with two closets and a big stash (knitters have stashes too) and wondering if the mail man thinks you’re depressed because you work from home and are constantly answering the door unkempt with a half-knit sock in your hand.

Can you see why I can relate? OK, so I’m not a mom, and I do actually have to put together an outfit and leave the house for my day job. But on the weekends I go braless, live in flannel pajama pants and T-shirts covered with tiny threads and spend every available moment at the sewing machine. While I have more than two closets, I do have a very small house and there is a constant competition between sewing space and living space. Often the two intersect more than my husband would like.

Pearl-McPhee has quite a talent for finding the humor in knitting and life in general. Her essays always put a smile on my face as I read one or two before bed. I’m not done with the book yet, but I absolutely recommend the book to you all. And if you’re not convinced that you want to read about knitting, check out her blog first.

Now back to the affair. I learned how to knit as a young girl. My grandma taught me one summer, but I just knew one stitch and I always had to search YouTube videos to figure out how to cast on. Once I started to quilt, my knitting needles and yard were packed away and stored in the attic. So I guess you could compare knitting to a nice guy I grew up with and had a brief relationship with in college, but never really took that seriously.

Thanks to this book and a massive collection of free patterns on Ravelry.com (which is kind of like reconnecting with an ex-boyfriend on Facebook) I’ve been spending more time working on a pink and brown scarf than with my sewing machine. I think the sewing machine is starting to get jealous.

But I can bring my knitting with me anywhere (I brought it to the movies last week) and the sewing machine just wants to stay in the house all the time. And there really is something sexy about learning new skills, like knitting in the round so I can make a pair of socks, as opposed to refining my quilting which can be a little boring at times now that I’ve mastered the basics and don’t have to figure out how to sew myself out of a mistake that often.

In the end though, while I enjoy knitting, quilting is my true love and I don’t know what I’d do without it. It think we’re going to be together for the long haul.

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