Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lonely Tree Shawl

I still remember the first time I went to the Stitches West Knitter's convention. I had been knitting for about a year and I proudly wore my stockinette stitch scarf that curled like a mofo! My friend and I walked around like deer in headlights, equal parts mesmerized and terrified. At one point she grabbed me and pointed to a lady saying "WHAT is she doing?". Turns out she was just knitting a pair of socks on teeny tiny double points and we had Never. Seen.THAT. Before !

Flash forward 10 years. I just booked my class for Stitches West this year on Steeking! WHAT?! I'm paying someone to teach me how to cut up my knitting. Yes, yes I am and I am nerdily excited about it. The same friend who went with me to my first Stitches will fly out from CO to go with me again this time. This will make 3 years in a row, and hopefully is cementing a regular tradition. One of the big differences these last few years is that we've both been wearing hand knit sweaters, NICE hand knit sweaters with cables and lace and other fiddly techniques we've learned over the years. We've also worn our hand knit socks! Thanks to that lady who put the seed in our brains 10 years ago!

I'm reminded of this feeling of newness a lot lately. When I can knit and talk at the same time without making mistakes, or more importantly that I can FEEL  myself making mistakes even when I'm not looking at my knitting. But lately it was the lace charts that brought me to the realization, the true slap in the face realization , that I'm not a new knitter any more. I have experience and knowledge that makes every new project do-able. Case in point - The Lonely Tree shawl:

10 years ago I would have looked at this pattern and sighed thinking how lovely it was before putting it down and walking away. The charts alone, would have made me RUN. Mind you, these charts were pretty simple and easy to follow, but 'BB the new knitter' would have talked herself out of it in a heartbeat!

She wouldn't have had faith that her fingers could make these stitches, these loops of yarn turn into these amazing leaves. One mistake or need to TINK would have sent her to another project. I know it seems a simple thing, and maybe a silly thing to people who don't knit, but this project empowered me. I now know I can knit anything I want to. It doesn't mean there will never be another stockinette stitch project in my life, it just means, I finally have faith in my abilities to tackle the complex and will be doing it more often! 

Steeking, here I come!

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