Monday, July 6, 2009

I Know How to Knit! (Sort of)

A friend of a friend at work gave me my first knitting lesson today during lunch. I learned how to cast on and how to knit both the knit and purl stitch. Not bad for the first day. I'll be practicing this for a while, and then I'll take the next step, which supposedly includes learning to read patterns, binding off, increases and decreases. I'm not sure what all that means, but hopefully I'm a quick study. Here's the first attempt on my own.

So far, I'm really enjoying myself. I do have a couple goals I hope to reach once I've fully learned how to knit. First, I'd love to be able to knit a sweater to donate towards Guideposts Knit for Kids sweater project. I've wanted to do this for the longest time, but obviously not knowing how to knit was proving a real damper on my plans. The objective of this great endeavor is to collect handmade sweaters in children sizes 2-10 which are then donated to needy children all over the world. Knit for Kids celebrated its 10th anniversary back in 2006, and today they've reached the amazing milestone of 500,000 sweaters.

Secondly, I really want to knit something for each of my two knuckleheads (nephews) so that they know it was made by me, especially for them, with love. I'm getting a little ahead of myself, especially given that today is my first day knitting, but I already have a project in mind that I'd love to knit for them. My dream is to knit them a "beard head"-like hat, since doesn't make their hats in children's sizes. Unfortunately, this might be a pipe dream since I don't have a pattern and I wouldn't have the first clue where to start without one. Given that fact, another potential project is this cool dragon scarf from Morehouse Farm Merino.

Now as if the mere pleasure of knitting and learning something new wasn't enough, I also found a great BBC News article entitled "Knitting 'can delay' memory loss" that gave me yet another reason to take on this new hobby. The article reported on a US study performed at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota which found that "those who had during middle age been busy reading, playing games or engaging in craft hobbies like patchworking or knitting were found to have a 40% reduced risk of memory impairment." I'll have to remember this article every time I want to plant myself in front of the TV for movie marathons. Knitting should help me do that.