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Crafter's Corner

When did I start knitting? As long ago as I can remember, I guess. My mom taught me to knit and sew when I was very young. I don’t remember my first knitted piece, but I recall that in my teens I made a blue scarf, angora gloves, pink pullover, all very popular back then. I think I still have the patterns. We never throw them out, do we?

I always knit using a pattern. I’m not good at improvising. I can remember a few disasters when I tried to make it up and found out all too quickly that it was a total waste of my time, so I never even try anymore. All that wasted time could have been used finishing the unfinished. I envy those who can knit like Kaffe Fassett or even try.

The biggest volume of knitting I ever did was when I commuted for 30 years by GO train to my job everyday in Toronto. I worked for a growing and young studio back in the 80’s and some of the crew were starting families, so I decided to knit for the new babies. I loved making the baby outfits because they were small and quick to finish. I was constantly searching for more unusual up to date and complicated patterns. The more complicated the better. I was on a roll and couldn’t stop. There must have been a baby boom happening because all of a sudden, I couldn’t keep up with the growing number of babies. I wished I could knit faster.

I often found myself knitting passionately for months, sometimes years, and then all of a sudden, mid project, I would just stop. It usually didn’t last for too long, but months at least. Then, just as suddenly, I’d pick up the unfinished project and totally forget where I had left off. Well, it was such a challenge trying to figure out how to start again, that I finally decided to keep notes before interrupting myself like that. As a result, I could quickly continue once I was finally in the mood. There are so many notebooks and bits of paper with calculations and check marks scattered around now. Did I really think that I could decipher them again after a couple or so years?

And of course we all have at least 10 unfinished projects on the go. I’m no different. I always find something new at the yarn shop or online to try. It’s one way to keep from getting bored, for sure.

Most recently, just this past year for Canada 150, I asked Betty-Anne if she would mind if I got a few knitters and crocheters together to make the 7″ x 9″ panels for the “Let’s Blanket Canada” project, in red and white, for the sesquicentennial. She thought it would be a good idea, so whenever I got the chance I asked whomever I was talking to, if they knew how to knit or crochet. Before I knew it, there were over 190 enthusiastic volunteer sets of needles and hooks making red and white panels which Anne assembled into over 60 blankets to be donated to 3 charities through the yarn shop this past year. I was so overwhelmed with the response we had. I don’t know how to thank them all for their incredible contribution toward making it such a success.

Over the years I’ve found lovely crochet patterns that I’d like to try, but I never did learn. I still have time, though, and maybe that’s what I can busy myself with, in the coming years.