Reasons to knit

This is a big topic, but I have been thinking a lot about this lately.  As busy as I am, why do I feel that a day is lacking if I don’t get any time to knit?  Also, if I am only knitting to meet a deadline or fulfill a committment, it doesn’t seem to “count”.  At one point, I was getting tired and depressed, and my daughter pointed out that although I was knitting a lot, none of it was purely for fun.  So I made a resolution to always have some type of “personal knitting” on the needles. That was a few years ago, and just having that project available to work on has made all the difference in maintaining the sheer enjoyment that I get from the craft.

Now that “Annetarsia Knits” finally feels Done, and my teaching schedule doesn’t gear up for a few weeks, Bill and I have been making an effort to get off the grid a bit.  We can’t leave the office for very long, so a real vacation isn’t in the cards.  But we have been taking some long weekends.  This is one of them, and we are in Sunriver.  I have two knitting projects with me, and neither one of them is Annetarsia.  It isn’t that I don’t love to knit Annetarsia, but there isn’t an immediate challenge or purpose to knitting it, and I like to challenge myself, and/or have a purpose to my knitting.

So I am working in the Diagonal Ribbons vest that I started a few weeks ago.  I have almost finished the back.  It started at the corner at the bottom right, so you can see that I’m about 75% done, and it is finally looking like a square.  The stockinette stripes are knit with stainless steel, which is slow. The sock yarn is easier to work with, but those stripes are linen stitch, which is slow.  You get the picture, this is a slow knit!  But the result is a very cool fabric.

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I am also starting a new project.  I don’t know if you remember when I knit Chelsea’s shawl last year, which was a fundraiser for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation.  That post was here.  Dream in color has teamed with the foundation for another knitting project to honor Chelsea and raise funds for scholarships and to fight for legislation to protect young people from predators.  I relate to Chelsea as a knitter and a runner, and I relate to her family as a mother, so the foundation is something that I support with my whole heart.

Last year I got my kit for Chelsea’s shawl at For Yarn’s Sake, so when I was there last week I picked up a kit for this years project, Chelsea’s cowl.  The pattern used is the Rivington Cowl, which was donated by designer Kirsten Kapur for this fundraiser. Dream in Color supplies the yarn for the kit, and there are 2 colorways available.  I was drawn to the blue colorway, and chose that one.  But when I saw the one that Julia was knitting, in the brown colorway, I almost changed my mind, it was so pretty.  You really can’t go wrong.  Check out For Yarn’s Sake to order from their online store, if your LYS doesn’t have the kits.

To start the cowl, you have to cast on 252 sts.  Anyone else dread casting on a whole lot of sts?  This is how I did it, this time.  252 divides easily into groups of 25 sts.  So I cast on 25 sts, put a hash mark on a piece of paper, and repeated until I had 10 hash marks.  Then I cast on 2 extra sts and was done!  Also, I like long-tail cast on, but didn’t want to figure out yarn gauge for how much I needed.  So, I tied the blue and cream yarns together, and did the cast on with the cream on the bottom.  This made a pretty line right at the base of the garter stitch edging.  Cool, huh?

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By the way, “Annetarsia Knits” seems to be a hit.  I am getting such nice e-mails from folks on how much they like the book, and I’m so happy that the content is resonating with knitters.  And, THIS happened.

“Annetarsia Knits”  made the Oregonian!  This was a thrill for everyone who worked so hard on the book.  Don’t forget that we are having a party on Friday, Aug. 1, at Twisted. Join us after work – meet local people who participated in making the book, and enjoy refreshments by knitter/chef Deb Accuardi.

Have a great weekend, and try to knit something just because you want to!


  1. Cheryl Scallon

    To say “reasons to knit…is a big topic,” is quite an understatement. Ask any knitter why they knit and their responses vary from charitable causes, like Chelsea’s Light Foundation and Prayer Shawls for Fallen Soldiers, to giving a hand knit item for special occasions, to making the perfect fashion accessory for the upcoming season, or to simply pass on the timeless tradition of hand knitting to those who follow us.

    One response not often heard is “I knit for self care.” I too am very busy as a clinical psychologist in private practice and I echo Anne’s feelings “that a day is lacking if I don’t get any time to knit”. However, self care at the end of a busy day is exactly why we should knit. The benefits of the pattern’s mantra repeating over and over in our minds, the rhythmic movement of our needles and the soft fibers gently passing through our fingers, far exceeds the demands of production. Anne’s “resolution to always have some type of ‘personal knitting’ on the needles,” serves our often unmet need to relax and to knit for ourselves, for OUR self care. You see, knitting “for the fun of it,” allows us to take better care of ourselves. Therefore, what we knit is not only far more efficient on our production, but most importantly, it has a positive effective on both our physical and mental health.

    Today, begin to knit for YOU! Please share with us what you are knitting for “the fun of it,” as Anne calls it. As for me, I just finished a beautiful qiviut scarf for my dear friend, Joan. What are you relaxing with?

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