My name is Mary. I am a fanatic knitter, librarian, lover of books (even before I became a librarian), cat whisperer (well, not really, but I do talk to my cat and she usually does what I want her to do – within reason), swimmer, and haphazard gardener. I have been knitting since I was roughly 19 years of age.
Learning to Knit
I remember I had just completed my first semester at college. I was home for winter break and experiencing my first real winter. My mom had just bought and moved into a house outside the south entrance to Yosemite National Park in a tiny little town (roughly a mile in length) called Fish Camp. Located at the 5,000 foot elevation, the snow would come down steady and fast. I remember one afternoon when it started at dusk (snow storms seemed to always come at dusk) and by the time we got up the next morning four feet of snow had fallen. The setting was just perfect for taking up the craft of knitting.
My first project was a red afghan done in basket weave squares that measured 4” x 4” square. My mom taught me to knit. She got me going with the basic knit and purl stitches and how to read a pattern. She would knit too. We would often knit in the evening while watching television, a fire in the fireplace, a dog at our feet and two cats, one in a lap and the other in front of the fire. My afghan was knit on large (size 13) needles. The afghan worked up quickly and I loved that blanket. With that first project I was hooked, and now I usually make time every day to find time to do some knitting.
The Zen of Knitting
I find knitting to be very cathartic, peaceful, and it definitely takes the edge off any stress I may be experiencing. Plus, I get wearable objects that get lots of compliments. A win-win combination, if you ask me! In fact, knitting has been found to have mental health benefits. In an article published by the New York Times earlier this year, knitting was found to reduce blood pressure and also help with stress. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/25/the-health-benefits-of-knitting/?_r=0 I’m also one of those knitters who take my knitting with me to lots of places. I like to knit on socks when I’m in meetings. There is very little thought involved in knitting socks except when you are working the heel. Going around and around on double-pointed needles is very soothing to me. Other than that, you just have to be aware of your length. They are the perfect take along project.
Currently, I have the prerequisite socks in progress.
I am also working on the Ashburn scarf, seen here. And here. . . my Ashburn, in progress.