Clack, clack, clack, go the knitting needles. I look down at my hands and I'm amazed. Last week, I didn't know how to knit. This week, I've made three scarves and half a baby blanket with the twin needles. I rub the uber soft yarn against my cheek and smile. Some mama, who maybe didn't expect a baby and maybe didn't want a baby, but who decided that life was worth giving to her child, she will bring that baby home from the hospital and wrap him up in this blanket I'm making. I don't guess she or any baby would care if the blanket was crocheted or knitted. She would just be glad someone cared enough to make a soft blanket for her child. But as I look at my stitches, I think. And I wonder.
About twelve years ago, I found my mom's crochet hook and some yarn. I stole them to my room and, with my grandma's crocheted blanket on my lap as a guide, figured out on my own how to make a string of stitches and join them together to make something beautiful. The beautiful part didn't come until several years later, after I'd gotten a few patterns and learned how to read them. By then, I'd gotten pretty good. I held my needle and yarn unlike anyone else, but it worked for me. (I think my partially healed most-likely broken wrist from school camp one year caused me to hold the yarn funny. But like I said, it worked for me.)

After getting married, I made blankets for my family and friends. To this day, I think I've crocheted about 50 blankets of varying sizes. Some for me. Some for my nieces (still need to make some for my nephews!). Some for people I don't even remember (baby shower gifts). Some for people I will never meet (pro-life clinic downtown). There is just something about watching a blanket come to life in my hands. The satisfaction of accomplishment is exhilarating. (Wow, you like those big words? Kinda lyrical, huh?)

A couple years ago, maybe two, I found a package of knitting needles at a yard sale. I thought to myself, I taught myself to crochet. I should teach myself to knit! So I bought them. Four different sizes; four different colors. I went home and pulled out some yarn. This was going to be exciting! I sat on the couch and ten minutes later, threw the whole mess across the room in a fit of frustration. Knitting was so much more difficult than crocheting! I think I would just stick with one needle. I think if I had learned how to knit before my stroke, it might have come a little easier. But my brain had a hard time now, the left side communicating with the right, and both sides communicating with my arms and hands. It felt like the nerves and vessels were stretching themselves out and tying themselves in knots in my brain. You know how Christmas lights do every year? You wind them so carefully in January and the next November they are a conglomerate mess. That was how I felt when trying to learn how to knit. So I gave up.

Until last week.

Last week, my husband espoused to me (again) the benefits of a stroke survivor learning new things. How it will strengthen my brain pathways and aid in the day to day thinking. Grr. Okay, so I went to my craft room (which, by the way, I love having. Every house I live in from now on needs to have a room I can dedicate to just my crafts) and I stood in the center and I slowly turned in a circle, racking my brain for something cheap that I already had that I didn't already know how to do. Three-fourths of the way into my turn, my eyes fell on the top left drawer in my smaller craft dresser. (I have two craft dressers, four craft bookshelves, and one of those big plastic drawer pull out things. Plus the desk my sewing machine is on. Plus the desk for my scrapbooking that's not even in this room. Like I said, I love my craft room.)

I knew what was in that drawer. Like a magnet I couldn't resist, I walked over to that drawer and opened it. There, right on top, lay that package of four different colors and sizes of needles. I pulled the smallest pair out and took a ball of pom pom yarn to my computer. I ran a swag bucks search for "how to knit". On a side note, it is amazing how many websites have articles with that title that do not teach you how to knit. Anyway, I found a video. Very poorly done. I don't think she had ever showed anyone how to do anything before. But the camera stayed zoomed in on her hands, so I just copied her actions. Rewind. Copy again. Repeat until I could do it without looking at her hands.

Then I knitted that first scarf. (I have a whole story about this one; I'll write it later.)
Then another one.
Then another one. Can you tell I like this pom pom yarn? It was on clearance. :-)
And now this blanket I'm currently working on. I don't know why I couldn't get it before. Maybe because there are two ways to knit, and one way is a lot easier than the other, and I tried to learn the more complicated one last time. Who knows. All I know is that if I had never had my stroke, I probably would still be knit-ignorant. Now that I know how to knit, I just have to convince my husband I need to get better at it before I learn something else new. My poor brain needs a break! I wish I could stick my knitting needles in there and untangle those knots.

One more thing. As I was learning how to operate one needle in each hand, I had to concentrate very hard. I wanted so badly to put both needles in one hand and chopstick that yarn. Kinda backward from this granny:

Didn't want to steal the pic, visit here for a laugh!



04/04/2013 5:20pm

That pom-pom yarn looks so soft! Glad you are helping others and reconnecting your brainwaves in the process. =)

04/04/2013 5:21pm

BTW, that comic is HILARIOUS! I saw that a few months ago and it never ceases to amuse. One of my all-time favorites!!!

04/04/2013 7:04pm

I, too, love your pom pom yarn!! The scarves are beautiful--great job! I remember knitting when I was a pre-teen--I have no idea how to knit now! Maybe someday you'll have to teach me!


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