Before we delve into the exceptionally interesting knitting I'm working on right now (2 scarves--could it get more boring?), I want to take you back to the very beginning of my knitting journey.
My husband is not, frankly, the world's best listener. But I must have repeated myself enough times that around Christmas, he actually picked up on the hint that I would like a "learn to knit" kit to be sitting, neatly wrapped, under the tree for me come Christmas morning. And he also must have managed to pass the word on to Santa. Because on that magical day, I did indeed find a knitting kit under the tree (I feel this would be a much funnier anecdote if I had found, for example, a "learn to grow your own slugs" kit or something similar under the tree, and then had to exchange it myself for something less revolting, but I want to give credit where credit is due, and since this marks one of the few times in life that I think my husband actually heard words come out of my mouth and then remembered them at a later point in time, I want to recognize his accomplishment--positive reinforcement).
Unfortunately, he seemed to have purchased the world's most useless "learn-to-knit" kit, as I quickly found out when I attempted to glean some knowledge of knitting from it several days later.
The knitting kit and I did not get on well; we disagreed over the fundamental elements that should compose a "learn-to-knit" kit.
I, for example, believed the knitting kit should include yarn. The knitting kit, on the other hand, proudly boasted 2 balls of completely useless pink and blue fluff masquerading as usable material. Unwound, they looked like the world's skinniest feather boas.
I thought it would be helpful if my first pair of needles were visible to the naked eye, but the kit insisted that I could learn to knit using needles that looked like dry spaghetti.
I also thought the kit should contain easy-to-understand, step-by-step illustrated instructions--something written as if I'd never heard of knitting or seen wool before in my life; the kit, however, forced upon me a glossy tome that breezed through even the most complicated techniques with a few quick snippets and then moved on to page after page of patterns for items far too complicated for anyone but the most experienced knitter to tackle.
And while I never expected the knitting kit to give me the requisite materials for a specific project, I thought, if it was going to go that route, it should provide materials for something relatively simple, like a scarf. Or a dish rag. The kit, however, tried to force me to knit not one but two tiny, fluffy tote bags, one with an odd bird hewn out of wood sewed to the front. What was it thinking? And what would one put in this miniature tote bag--the other miniature tote bag? I can think of nothing else that would fit.
After mangling part of one of the balls of fluff into something resembling a bird's nest--I'm pretty sure that doesn't count as knitting; it also didn't really look especially different than its original form, which I thought was a bad sign--I gave up. The kit and I were simply never going to get along, we had to break up. But I wouldn't abandon the knitting dream--no!
I checked Knitting for Dummies and Stitch 'N Bitch out of the library and picked up a pair of normal sized needles and a usable skein of yarn from the craft store. I was on my way.
While I have no idea what ultimate fate the two balls of fluff met--I suspect a cat-napping, but who knows?--I did, in fact, keep the book. Now that I actually have a vague clue what I'm doing, it's brief instructions and diagrams are helpful as a reminder; it also has a few patterns I hope to try as I become more skilled--and braver.