Today’s Rearview Friday title today comes to you courtesy of my amazing cleverness at 3am while contemplating my inability to actually sleep while the baby is sleeping and thinking of blog titles to pass the time/lull me back to sleep. Ah-thank-you. As a tangent, I feel I should add that A Tale of Two Cities is my favourite Dickens tale and one of my all time favourite books. It captured my 16-year-old heart when it was assigned for a grade 11 Social Studies assignment. But this post is not about Dickens, or cities for that matter. It’s about 2 quilts and my first “grown up” knitting adventure.
As a Waldorf student, I learned to knit in Grade 1. I made a multi-coloured Gnome with a long body (we’re talking upwards of 18 inches) and a pointed hat, a triumph for any 6 year old. Not sure where that gnome got to after all these years, probably tending a fir tree in Alberta and smoking something fragrant on a mossy log … anyhoo, from there I knitted this and that as a kid and knew the basics — knit, purl, basic increase and decrease, I could knit a scarf or a mitt or a leg-warmer if pressed.
But by the time I was 30 and expecting my first son Rudi, it had been years since I’d knit. I had a long daily commute on the subway and thought that I’d really like to knit my baby a blanket. I discovered Knitty and Ravelry and the amazing online knitting world. There were multitudes of tutorials on YouTube to learn any stitches I didn’t know, so I waded in! I bought beautiful yellow washable wool at Romni Wools in Toronto [aside: a totally amazing wool store in Toronto, if you visit here and love wool you must go!]
I found a lovely pattern and even taught myself to cable! It came out beautifully. Then I took the washable part too literally and washed it in a machine. When I took it out, the centre bit of the machine had literally chewed my hard work up. It was so bad I laughed, learned a valuable lesson, and thought I’d keep it as a car-blankie and a reminder to be gentle on hand knits in the future.
Insanity or stubbornness prevailed and I decided to start again and whup the butt of that blanket project. I bought more wool, I did it again. I prevailed! Here’s the one that’s been bundled around both my wee boys. The blocking has been pulled beyond recognition so that it’s almost square from all the wrapping and stretching around tiny bodies. it’s been washed a number of times without incident — even in the washer on the most delicate of delicate cycles.
The pattern was free and easy to follow, even for a relatively green knitter. Find it at For the Love of Yarn. I followed the pattern exactly as given (with the noted corrections on Feb. 5, 2007).