Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Knitting The Italian Flag

I dabbled in knitting about 40 years ago.   But I found that, for me, crocheting was easier.  I could crochet much faster than I could knit.   I also found that it was easier to correct a mistake in a crochet piece than it was when I was attempting to knit something.

My mother-in-law taught me how to crochet and it became our shared interest.

I taught my mom how to crochet.  She crocheted many afghans.  If any of my siblings or their spouses saw one of her creations on the sofa of another sibling, we would tease her mercilessly.
"Oh, now we know who you like best", we would say.

I have also crocheted many, many afghans.   I'm sure everyone in my life has gotten an afghan from me at one time or another.   I also know that there are many puppies who have snuggled up in one.

On a trip to Florida about three years ago, Ross and I walked into what we thought was an antique shop.  Well, one side of the shop did indeed have antiques and collectibles, but the other side of the store was a yarn shop.  Most of the yarns were natural fibers.  Up until that moment, the only yarn I knew about was what I found in the big box craft stores.
As I wandered around the yarn part of the store, I think I touched and squished every skein in the place.  The colors and textures aroused my imagination.  Oh, the beautiful objects I could create.

I asked the owner of the store to help me pick a pattern that a beginner would be able to knit.   She not only helped me with the pattern, she also sat me down in one of the old rockers and gave me a refresher course in knitting.

Since then I have been hooked...well maybe that word should be reserved for crocheting.   Let's see since then I have been somewhat obsessed with knitting and especially with yarn.

One of the things that has helped me gain confidence in this skill is the internet.

Forty years ago, I taught myself how to knit by using beginner teach yourself to knit books.  These books had illustrated instructions.  Some of those pictures made absolutely no sense to me.

 Now, there are hundreds of tutorial videos available.  I am a member of a community of over a million  knitters and crocheters called Ravelry.  The Ravelers are the most generous group of people who are very willing to share their patterns along with their knowledge.

Knitting has helped me cope during some very difficult times and continues to provide a great deal of comfort for me.

I love to knit (and still at times crochet) for other people.

"What was that?"  "You want a hat, scarf, mittens, socks, sweater?"  "Oh...I don't know...Oh okay" I guess I will just have to visit my favorite shop in Mt. Holly, NJ Woolbearers and buy some yarn.  I mean if I have to I have to.

Last week I sent an e-mail to all of my children and their spouses asking them for gift suggestions.

My youngest son sent me a text today.   He wants me to make him an afghan with the colors of the Italian flag.

No sooner had I finished reading the text,  I had the Berrocco Vintage red, green and white yarn ordered the yarn from WEBS.  (They were offering free shipping).

So let's see, I just have to finish that scarf I have on the needles...oh and wait, there is the hat that I have to start, oh yes, and I can't forget, the mittens to go with the scarf and hat...

Okay, so, Jimmy just might get one half of the Italian flag for Christmas, and the rest of it sometime after Christmas.


  1. I love knitting :) I've tried crochet and it just doesn't make sense to me though I get it more now than I did when I first tried it years ago.

    I'm glad you discovered knitting :)

  2. WOW! An Italian flag afghan is a HUGE, but very cool project. I seriously don't know how people managed to acquire broad skill bases without the internet! I tell everyone I teach, when they get stuck on a pattern, to search their pattern abbreviations in Youtube! 9 times out of 10, there's a video tutorial! It's pretty awesome!