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.)
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: