Thursday, June 22, 2006


What you've been waiting for

...but first, a disclaimer.

The only person I knit for is myself. But before you go thinking I'm a selfish bee-yatch, let's unpack that statement. I do knit gifts for the people in my life, and I do so with joy and love. And even though I'm mainly a solitary knitter, I do enjoy the company of other women in knitting circles. However, this is where the whole business gets sticky for me. If I knit a top or pair of socks for myself, I invariably hear about how I'm "good to myself." I have only a couple of things to say to that. 1) Why shouldn't I be? and 2) How else am I going to have something that is exactly what I want, and which was made just for me?

The other thing that hangs me up about knitting with others--at least, the ones who know more about the way I knit than I would like--is being subjected to scrutiny and criticism. I am a Shetland-style knitter, meaning that when I work with straight needles, I support the right-hand needle against my body. It is the most comfortable way for me, and the way in which I can work fastest. When I'm in a group, my knitting style draws comments and laughter. Not so bad, but tiresome when it happens over and over again. Also, I've always been a person who learns volumes more from her mistakes than from anything else. Making garments that fit properly was a learning curve for me, which means that I have made some ill-fitting items. I've since learned how not to do that, but there are still some who must impart their sage, and completely unsolicited, wisdom every time I admit to making something for myself.

I now know where the phrase "stick to your own knitting" came from.

So I knit to satisfy myself, to challenge myself, to express myself, and because I have to. At the risk of sounding Curmudgeonly, my knitting is about me, and anyone who doesn't like it should shut her mouth already.

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