How Knitting Saved My Life, and A Knitted Christmas Ornament
Knitting really did rescue me!
As I prepare for my first knitting-related interview, to be broadcast on TheLastYearOfYourLife.com, I’m realizing that there is a cool story behind KnitFreedom, and I wanted to share it with my lovely readers.
I really believe in this business and as I try to succeed at teaching people to become Knitting Superstars over the Internet, it helps to remember why I started.
Learning to Knit
I learned to knit just after I graduated high school, using a book called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting and Crocheting. I read every single page, following every instruction and illustration, until I got to the end of the book.
I made every project, one by one, in the exact order described. I was a knitter and there was no looking back.
But then, about seven years after I learned to knit, I forgot I knew how to do it.
How could this have happened? The reason was that, unbeknownst to me, I developed a full-blown eating disorder.
My Journey Back to Knitting
Given my rigid upbringing, our obsessive thin-culture, and the stress of the general mid-twenties success-test, I’m not surprised. What was weird was that I didn’t even notice!
Dieting became my full-time hobby. I thought that weight loss was the thing by which one’s success was measured — the thing to talk about, think about, and plan about. (Lack of food will do this to anyone's brain — it’s scientifically proven.)
Luckily, my family was able to support me in going to an eating disorder clinic, where I slowly re-learned the habits of normal eating and normal socializing.
And there was the craft woman. She brought scrapbooking projects, collage crafts, and other stuff I couldn’t care less about, and I paid her no mind. Then one day she brought knitting needles and yarn. It was an epiphany.
As she was showing all the girls how to cast on for a felted purse, I was thinking, "Why is she showing them the knitted cast-on? The long-tail cast-on is so much faster!" and then - "Wait, I know how to knit! How could I have forgotten?"
Becoming a Teacher
I also started helping the other girls — picking up their dropped stitches, reminding them how to cast on, encouraging them. And all these behaviors came so naturally to me. I loved it!
Soon after that, I "graduated" from the clinic and returned home to Bozeman, able to eat normally but lacking a job or purpose in life.
What I WAS doing was knitting like crazy and spending so much time at my LYS, Stix, that the employees started recognizing my voice on the phone!
I learned Magic Loop from Beverly Galeskas’ little pamphlet, before any of the employees took any notice of this awesome technique.
By the time they offered me a job, my phone number was already written on the employee contact list!
For the next year, I lived and breathed yarn. I helped students learn to knit and to fix their own mistakes.
I started re-writing people’s patterns that they brought in, saying, "Why would they have you do it this way? This is so hard and confusing! Why don’t you just… take a seat while I re-write this for you…"
My passions for knitting, helping people, and making stuff better had started to bloom. The rest is history.
Knit Your Own Christmas Ornament
Now: A fast holiday ornament project you can do in the round (on Magic Loop of course) with a little leftover yarn.
This isn’t my pattern, but it’s a great one that lets you practice lace and Magic Loop at the same time — let’s see how good your skills are.
This knitted Christmas ornament cover pattern is by Judy Sumner and is a free download.
Other Good News
I’ll be appearing on Salt Lake City’s KUTV 2News This Morning next Thursday! I’ll be teaching the anchors how to knit. Updated: watch the interview here.
Related Post: Live Your Dream — A Celebration of How Far We’ve All Come
Resources: If someone needs help - Avalon Hills Eating Disorder Treatment Center
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