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My 10-Year Knitaversary!!!

Today I celebrate TEN YEARS of knitting.  A whole decade!!!  And since I am a sentimental fool to the core, I have to reminisce a little.

Knitting came into my life on December 18, 2004, for a very silly reason.  At the time, I had just moved in with my boyfriend, and we were both very recently unemployed.  While we hunted for jobs, we also spent every spare moment together.  It was a fun time, and when we weren't job-seeking, we took walks to the library or grocery store, played tons of Scrabble and other board games, experimented with new recipes, did a TON of baking, went dancing, fixed up the cute little house we lived in at the time, etc.  We had grown accustomed to doing everything together.

That weekend in December, though, my boyfriend's longtime best friend was getting married, and my BF was to be the best man.  It was a weekend filled with wedding activities for the wedding party, and so we spent our first weekend apart.  I distinctly remember after he left on Saturday morning walking around our tiny little house thinking, "what the heck am I going to do?"  Since cooking and baking was such a hobby for me at the time, I picked up one of my favorite cookbooks and sat down on the couch.  I figured I might as well look for something to do in the kitchen.

The book was "The Garden of Vegan" by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard.
In the back part of this book, I came across a little section on knitting.  Yes, KNITTING, in a cookbook!  It was about throwing a crafty party, and knitting was so popular at that time, it was featured as a fun thing to do with guests.  I don't know why the idea struck me as so enticing at the moment (sheer, intense boredom, perhaps?), but I just HAD to try it!

A little background info on my crafting life:  I had never done any knitting or crochet before.  I have always loved yarn, strangely; even as a young girl I loved to buy yarn.  I just never knew what to do with it.  I would make pom-poms and puff balls and large braided sections of yarn, but aside from that, I had never really learned what the heck you do with a skein of yarn.

I come from a very crafty family, though.  My grandmother was a knitter (though she passed away long before I could see her do it), and my youngest brother taught himself to knit and crochet at a very young age.  My siblings and I teased him mercilessly for it, which I find amusing now..... talk about KARMA!!!!!  ;)

Still, I had always thought I would sew.  I took a sewing class in high school, and always wanted to be able to make handsewn bags, hats, costumes, and clothes.  As it turns out, my seamstress skills are severely lacking, as is my patience with the craft.  I do still sew from time to time, but I would by no means classify myself as a seamstress!

There was just something about the idea of knitting, and FINALLY learning what to do with yarn, though, that was super attractive to me.

On that fateful weekend in December of 2004, I hopped in my car and drove straight to Barnes & Noble.  I decided I was going to teach myself how to knit, and obviously a book on the subject would be helpful.  I found Debbie Stoller's "Stitch n' Bitch" and was SO excited!  I had gone in expecting to find some dull, colorless, boring knitting manual from the early 1920s.  Instead, I found Debbie's hip, fun, colorful manual that made knitting exciting, fascinating, and.... dare I say it.... super cool!  I was hooked from page one!
I went home, read the first few chapters, and then headed to Wal-Mart (the only store in my town at that time that would have any craft supplies).  I was completely clueless, but that didn't stop me from buying an abundance of cheap acrylic yarn, every set of needles they had on sale, scissors, stitch markers, and an ugly $10 bag with a big blue "J" on the front to serve as my knitting bag.

That night I went home, poured myself a glass of wine, and sat down to practice my first stitches.  The first thing I made was a simple square in garter stitch.  It was floppy and had a bunch of YOs in it (not that I had any clue what those were at the time, or how they were made, haha!).  I was SO proud of it!

Over the next few weeks, I continued to practice, and my first "big" project was a scarf for the boyfriend.  I chose a Red Heart yarn (at this point in time I didn't even know other yarn existed, nor was I aware that there were even WHOLE SHOPS dedicated JUST to selling yarn.... I had a lot of fun in store for me!).  The yarn was black with beige flecks and seemed manly to me.  I cast on 20 stitches, and started knitting.

Here is a picture of the finished product.  Again, I obviously had a TON of accidental YOs in there, because while one end of the scarf starts out at 20 stitches, the final stitch count was at least twice that!  Despite the discrepancies and the general ugliness of the overall project, boyfriend wore it proudly.  He even endured a whole lot of teasing at the hands of his brothers, but that did not deter him!  (This may have been when I knew he was a keeper!)  ;)
Oh, and one more little detail that makes me laugh so hard.... I had no idea how to "finish" a project.  I cast off, and then tied the end into (what I thought was) a sturdy little knot, and trimmed the end as close to the knot as I dared.  You can still see that tiny bit of yarn peeking out at the edge of the left side of the project.... hehehe!  So cute!!!

And that was how I BEGAN this journey.  Its important to note here that my devotion to knitting was wholly unexpected.  I am totally the type of person who picks up a hobby, purchases every available hobby-related item, and then after a month gets tired of it and hauls it all away to Goodwill.  I have done this with many hobbies over the years including drawing (charcoals), ice skating, racquetball, scrapbooking, violin, bowling... you name it, I have probably been there and bought the proverbial t-shirt.  So it still mystifies me what it is about knitting that has kept my interest after a decade, and indeed only captivated me even more.

I have a few ideas.  I love how much it calms me.  I'm a highly anxious person, and knitting is one of the very few things that helps me to achieve a more peaceful state of mind.  I love how challenging it is, no matter how long you've been knitting (at least it has been for me so far).  There is always something new to learn, and always something to improve upon (especially for me, haha!).

Really there are millions of reasons.... I love every aspect of this hobby, and I love how it has kind of taken over my life; in a good way!  ;)  I started out with a few balls of Red Heart yarn and some cheap aluminum needles.... and ten years later, I have boxes of yarn stored all over the house, an endless supply of needles, stitch markers, accessories, and don't even get me started on the project bags (which is a whole other addiction in and of itself!).

Finally, to celebrate 10 years of crafting awesomeness, I will post a few pictures of some of my most favorite things that I have made over this past decade.  Enjoy, and happy knitaversary to me!

Mrs. Weasley's Bag of Stitch Witchery; cast on in 2007, finished in 2010:

Hexbreaker:  This was the first shawl I ever made, just after the birth of my third child in the autumn of 2010:

While I was pregnant with my first child in 2006, I made him a Christmas stocking.  Over the course of the next few years, I made one for each member of the family.  Each time a new baby was born, I made a new stocking!  Here's the one I made for myself.  These stockings taught me fair isle!

This was my first log cabin blanket.  I made it as a Christmas present for my Dad in 2006/2007.  He still has it!

Haha; this was my first attempt at making a baby blanket.  I was barely two years into knitting at this point and was eagerly awaiting the birth of our first child.  I cast on a million stitches for this thing, having no clue and not using a pattern!  It ended up measuring 6' x 3'.... but as you can see, it is loved!

And that is just a sampling!  I look forward to another decade of enjoying this wonderful craft and all of the joy it brings to my life!  :)

P. S.:  I forgot to mention that the boyfriend featured in the above story is indeed my husband now!  A wedding, ten years, and four kids later.... he is still having to endure wearing all of the crazy things I knit for him!  HAHA!


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Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don't miss any episodes!

Also check out the Ravelry group for all the latest KCALs, Fandom Alongs, Giveaways, and delightful conversation!

Other places to find me online at Ravelry, Ello, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, Periscope, Peach, etc. as @veganjilly ; find me on Facebook at  The Knitting Broomstick Facebook Page



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