Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Knit and purl

by Jenni

I’m not taking any classes this month. As a part-time student paying as I go, I have to watch what’s offered and when I can take it. Nothing fit my needs during J-Term so I have taken a break. Because it would be boring for me to tell you that I just work all the time (which I mostly don’t), I thought I’d give you an insight into one of my big break activities: knitting.

I started knitting many years ago. I’m not a fantastic knitter, but I’m not bad. My specialty is mittens and felted items (felted is where you knit something really big out of wool and then force it to shrink. Felting hides a lot of mistakes). Over the last two years I have been stretching my wings and trying more complicated patterns. Right now I am making a prayer scarf for a friend (I don’t have enough of a specific yarn for a prayer shawl. The pattern easily adjusts).

My mom started knitting at the same time as I did (though she had being doing croch

et work for a long time). My mom had a natural affinity for the yarn arts. She was knitting intricate shawls, afghans and her own specialty, socks. My mom created a beautiful shawl and submitted it to the Minnesota State Fair (it didn’t do

well enough to place but it was good enough to display… a big deal). She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the early summer of 2009 and died last February.

My inheritance from my mom was her yarn, knitting supplies and unfinished projects. Some of the projects I handed out to her two best friends to finish (a couple pair of socks and an afghan) but some of her projects have been special for me to finish. A hat for my youngest nephew (it turned out great) and hats for my daughters (they loved them). Before she died, my mom had each grandchild pick out an afghan pattern and yarn for a special blanket from her. She finished three, but only began work on the final two. Those are two projects I could not pass to anyone else. This weekend I pulled out one blanket (the easier pattern). It’s a little intimidating (that is a lot of knitting and pattern following…and wow, that is a lot of yarn…see the picture), but I think these both will be beautiful when they’re finished. I would have never attempted more complicated patterns without this project and for that I am grateful. Thanks, mom.


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