Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Knitting Makes Me Angry

By Amy Baranski
My 1st self-directed knitting project. What is is?

Last night, I decided to teach myself how to knit. I had one lesson from nine-year-old Levi, earlier this month. It was a difficult lesson. This time I turned to YouTube instructional videos. I knitted the entire ball of yarn I had, it amounted to 29 inches long once knitted (ten stitches a row).

I am not good at knitting. Nor do I think I particularly like it. It hurts my left hand--the location of a childhood sports injury. I find that knitting makes me angry. While I was knitting last night, I stopped and threw the knitting needles on the ground yelling "I hate knitting."

Melissa saw me do it.

I want to believe I can knit. I want to think I will knit and maybe crochet heirloom quality Christmas ornaments like my grandmother. Or that my little nephew, who will be born in November, will get a beautifully-knit baby blanket from me. But my hands are all thumbs. There's no getting around it: my knitting is ugly.

Nonetheless I am determined to knit.

Happy stitches.
Knit isn't a particularly pretty word. If it weren't for the conclusive "t" at the end the word would sound like a nag. It reminds me of some fat-faced kid whining "neener-neener-neener," over and over again. An untrained parrot.

Yet somehow it's fascinating that a long string wound up by the rhythm of one's hands can take such form: an arm, a toe, a sweater, a sock. Even if it is ugly, it's handmade. There should be satisfaction in that.

Knitting requires counting, a tedious task that may have disastrous consequences if not done. I know this. Did you look at the pictures yet?
Angry stitches.

Then there's Knitta, leg warmers on a postal box or bike rack. These graffiti artists love to knit. It must make them happy. I don't think I could ever be so happy as to knit around the city.

It's a skill that one should have--the making of one's own clothes. I suppose if I'm stranded alone with a bunch of sheep, some sheers, and sticks I could whittle needles and try to spin yarn from wool and knit. You know, it's probably the first thing I'd think of. What else would I do?


Saints and Spinners said...

As a child, I remember dreading when my mom brought out her knitting. She always got so teary and upset with her projects. I begged her to stop knitting, and once asked, "Why do you knit? Why?" She replied, "Because it RELAXES me."

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy,
You need to get a lesson from Melissa's dad's wife Becky. She is a rockstar in this department and I am sure she is a great teacher...shame she lives far away.

Melissa Baumgart and Amy Baranski said...

Saints and Spinners - me thinks your Mom and I are soul sisters.

I checked out your Etsy site. <3 <3

Beautiful work! -Amy

Melissa Baumgart and Amy Baranski said...


Does this mean I get to go to the Jersey shore next year?!?! I hope so.

Speaking of the shore, if there were a way to knit Snookie's pouf I might actually start to enjoy knitting.