Knitting alone or in a group of friends can be a wonderful way to relieve stress… and create gifts at the same time!
I’m what you would call a crafter. And for me, it goes beyond a hobby… it’s a borderline obsession.
My love affair with beads, yarn, fabric, glue and paper started in childhood and has only intensified with age. Most of the year I gravitate towards beading or sewing, with the occasional foray into card-making, drawing and painting.
But this time of year, I tend to gravitate towards knitting. There’s something about the cooler weather and dark nights that makes me want to pull out my balls of yarn (some of which have been sitting in a tub for years) and giant needles, curl up under a blanket, pop in a movie and knit away. The repetition is therapeutic, plus there is something rewarding about looking at a finished product, no matter how small, and realizing that you created it. And, knitting is a portable craft! You can carry it with you, pulling out your half-finished project while waiting for an appointment or watching a sporting event. If you’re lucky like me, you may even have friends who enjoy the craft as much as you do, giving you a perfect excuse to sit and chat while still being productive.
Now, I’m not an expert knitter by any means, even though I’ve been doing it for years. I don’t know how many projects I have started and not finished… or how many projects have been dismantled due to a missed stitch or incorrect size. My mom taught me how as a kid, casting on stitches for me and letting me work the rows for as long as I desired. I would sit next to her, slowly making a chunky scarf while she quickly worked double-point needles into mittens and Christmas stockings. Her items would turn out perfect, with each stitch being the same size, while my scarf (or whatever you wanted to call it) would vary in width, with some stitches tight and some loose.
Over the years, my skills increased, but I was still only able to do basic garter stitch scarves. Then in college, I decided to broaden my horizons. I discovered a yarn store near campus and bought some beginner knitting books. I spent hours in my dorm room, teaching myself how to purl, add second colors of yarn, read a knitting pattern and create texture in my pieces through different types of stitches. Finally, the doors were open to the real knitting world. I moved on from basic flat scarves, creating hats, bags, and blankets with cable knitting designs.
But it wasn’t until last year that I finally ventured into the style of knitting I remember my mom doing all those years ago: double-point needles. I started with great hesitation, unsure of how to hold the needles or keep my projects from getting twisted. My first project, a pair of socks, took me a week to complete, with me working on it every day. But after I finished that first pair, I felt like a master. So guess what everyone in my family got as a Christmas present!
Now I’m working on knitting some ruffle scarves and hats as presents for family members – they aren’t anything that takes too much thought or attention, but they’re fun and easy none the less. Maybe one of these years I’ll work up the nerve to try my hand a sweater… maybe.
Hi, I’m Kira. I joined Verity in early 2012 after a seven-year stint as a newspaper reporter. While I never thought my career path would veer off in this direction, I am loving my time at Verity. I recently moved from being a member services representative at the Alderwood Branch to being the marketing coordinator for the credit union.
I’m originally from Texas, but I have lived all over the country and the world, including Boston, Massachusetts, Anchorage, Alaska and Sydney, Australia. But in all my travels, the Pacific Northwest is the only place that has felt like home.
When not at work, I am usually home with playing with my son, husband, dog and three cats. During the rare times I don’t have a to-do list to plow through (and it’s not raining too hard), I can be found digging in the vegetable garden, training for a half-marathon, or grilling in the backyard.