Weight of the World

knit bagI decided a few weeks ago to give knitting another try. I had try to learn several years ago and gave up when it seemed to difficult. Crocheting is much easier for me. Once the pattern is learned it’s possible to go on autopilot almost.

Knitting is not like that. With knitting you have to pay attention all the time because if you miss a stitch or do the wrong stitch the whole pattern is screwed up. Crocheting is a lot more forgiving.

Then there’s the counting…

So why did I give it another try? That’s a very good question. It’s one I’ve been asking myself ever since I started because I’m still not sure I like to knit.

It took me longer to get comfortable with even the basics of knitting than pretty much anything I’ve ever done. I totally get why I quit before. Why in the world would I do something that I had to struggle with when there were much easier and more enjoyable crafts I could be doing?

And besides the real reason I never picked it up is because knitting was my mother’s craft of choice. Yep, one more thing that I’ve always avoided because of my mother. Never mind that once I master it I can make beautiful pieces of clothing…

So, I started again. I used some needles my mother-in-law gave me, borrowed a book from the library, and went to work. It wasn’t long before I was chewing on the tip of my tongue in concentration and swearing like a truck driver.

Oh, I wanted to quit. Even when I was finally comfortable with the basics I still screwed up the pattern and now I have a funny looking infinity scarf. I’m hoping my hair will hide most of the goofs next winter.

I moved on to a pattern for a bag. It was supposed to be large enough for the strap to go over my head and hang down past my hip. Well, my needles and yarn were smaller so the bag turned out smaller. I was okay with that because I was using it to learn and increase my comfort level.

The cool part about knitting, though, is that once you’re done you have something that is so much stronger than the yarn it took to make it. The yarn I’m using is more like thread. I picked it up years ago at a discount store, but never really had an idea of what I would use it for. I’ve tried a few things over the years, but it just wasn’t suited for crocheting.

When I first started knitting with it I was putting too much tension on it and ended up breaking the thread and had to start over. It was one of the many times I thought about quitting again. I many really, how many different kinds of crafts do I need to be able to do? But, no, I threw out the ruined part and started over being careful to keep enough slack in the yarn so it wouldn’t break.

I managed to get farther the next time, but still had to rip out my work when I missed too many stitches. It was at that point that I began to wonder how a purse or bag would hold up. It would have holes in it. A lot of them. Then there was the strap. How would it be strong enough to hold any weight?

I persevered, though. By this point it was more out of stubbornness than anything else. Knitting was not going to get the best of me. It wasn’t.

I am happy to report that the finished product turned out pretty good – see picture above – even if I do say so myself. I sewed a lining for it out of some material I had – taking care of those pesky holes – and now I have a pretty cute little bag. I’ve since moved on to another bag, this one in black chenille, and I’m going to do something different with the straps and lining. I’m pretty excited about how it will turn out.

But the big takeaway here, though, other than not quitting, is that by knitting you can take something that is easy to break and make it into something strong enough to carry quite a bit of weight. It allows you to evenly distribute the weight.

I have to think that a healthy relationship is a lot like a knitted bag. Both are woven carefully over time so that the weight of the world can more easily be bared.

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