For an explanation of this alphabet theme, see my first NaBloPoMo post.
Many of the knitters and crocheters I know learned the craft from their mothers or grandmothers. I learned from someone's grandmother, but she wasn't mine. In fact, my own grandmother, watching me knit by the Christmas tree a few years ago, shook her head in wonder and said, "How do you do that?" Apparently she forgot that my mom actually has saved in a cedar chest at home no fewer than three baby outfits that my grandma once knit for me or one of my sisters. I wonder what I can expect to forget in another few decades. I'm hoping it's something particularly useless, like any and all memory of Who Let the Dogs Out. (Do not click that link. No. Seriously. Don't do it. I'm sorry I even tempted you like that.)
Where I did learn to knit was in a community ed class, from a pair of lively old ladies who couldn't decide who was in charge. Come to think of it, the way they bickered and consistently talked over one another reminded me quite a bit of my grandma and my great aunt (her twin sister), so maybe it's almost as if I learned from family after all.
I hadn't even particularly wanted to learn to knit. It was my friend Lisa's idea, but I agreed to go with her because oh hell, why not. What's strange is that I took to the sticks pretty much immediately, and I don't think Lisa ever finished her first scarf.
I'm not sure exactly why I do it... I like being able to knit home-made gifts for friends and family, but they aren't exactly time-efficient gifts, and not everyone appreciates a gift made of yarn anyway. Knitting is therapeutic, I suppose, but depending on the pattern, it can be tense and frustrating as well. Maybe what I like about it is that it manages to feed simultaneously two conflicting urges constantly battling in my head: my desire to sit around lazily and my guilt if I'm not doing anything productive. I have a hard time watching a movie now without knitting during it; I almost feel I'm wasting that time by not multi-tasking.
Another thing I like about knitting is that it's both creative and systematic. I think a big part of why I was never a great artist is that I'm always too stuck in my left brain. Knitting is an art that more or less requires order and structure; pay attention to the careful way the same two basic stitches are alternated, and suddenly after a few rows, something surprising and beautiful starts to appear.
I recently finished an afghan for a friend's wedding (you know--the wedding I called on your help for with the reading?), and I'm finally putting the finishing touches on a very belated baby gift I started ages ago as well.
This leaves me without a project--something I need to remedy rather soon. Since I started knitting, I've come to view works in progress much like I view books. Even if I'm not charging through a book quickly--even if it sits on my nightstand untouched for a full week at a time (cough--Calamity Physics-cough), I don't like to be in between books. The same goes for knitting: if I don't have something on the needles, I feel a little antsy somehow. Luckily, just like books, there are a hundred projects I have bookmarked to attempt. And as with books, I can't say which one will strike me next.