When do you really, really love knitting? MDK readers share their favorite aha moments.
LESLEY Even after close to a hundred pairs of socks, I still get that aha moment when I turn the heel! Such joy!
SUE J My favorite aha moment is one that happened after knitting, not during. It was the first time I wore hand knit socks in the snow, just a few weeks ago. I’m from Perth, Australia, where handknits are a fashion statement, not a necessity! My aha moment was when I was tramping round in the snow (it’s a thing of wonder and amazement to Aussies! My friends here in NC put it down to being a crazy Aussie thing.) wearing galoshes and my first pair of handknit socks. My toes didn’t feel like they were going to snap off at any second! It was a moment of sheer delight at being in the snow and wearing something I had made myself that was not only useful, but pretty much a necessity, not an accessory.
JOAN Starting, ending and sometimes the in between.
AMY I seem to have the same aha moment over and over. It goes like this: I can’t believe I’ve been knitting for thirty years and I just learned (magic loop, this cool cast on, American style knitting, etc etc). I’m constantly amazed by how much there is to know. I will never tire of this craft.
MARY My favorite aha? Washing denim yarn.
GAIL The magic of lace.
SUZZANNE A recent aha moment for me was applying the button band on a toddler’s V-neck cardigan sweater. All that rolled edge on the fronts transformed into a neat and tidy sweater by picking up stitches every 4 out of 5 rows (a guess) and it worked!
AK For me, Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Baby Surprise Jacket. You talk about a mess. It looks like an amoeba. Then suddenly it’s a sweater. Magic!
BARBARA I had the exact same experience in the before and after process of blocking a beautiful lace capelet; a Di Gilpin pattern, yarn by Jade Sapphire. It was a real challenge for me and the transformation (and relief) were memorable.
QUINN Blocking lace is a marvel. Another very satisfying transformation—with bonus comedic value—is knitting some deliberately massive and ungainly garment, then felting it to a state of cozy usefulness. Just one more example of fibery magic. (For a quick experiment, I recommend slippers. The before-felting items are floppy clown feet! The after-felting items are soooo snug and cozy.)
THECRAZYSHEEPLADY Blocking is always an aha moment. Or at least an ahhh moment.
PATTI Anytime I try something new—socks, mittens, lace, Stopover sweater—and it actually turns out beautifully, that is when I have that feeling! I try to challenge myself to try something new each year and knitting certainly offers many skills to perfect.
KAREN After all of the socks I’ve knit, I still get a cheap thrill out of turning a heel. It’s like a first kiss, every time.
GLYNIS My favorite moment is when I try on the completed garment and it fits and looks great. It doesn’t always happen, needless to say, but it just did—when I put on the Stopover I’ve just finished. Yay!
AIMEE Blocking is amazing. Definitely one of my favorite knitting aha moments!
REV. EMILY My aha moments recently have included seeing how nicely the tubular cast on looks and using Techknitter’s hint for avoiding color blips in ribbing (do the first row after a color change in stockinette)—little tricks that make the knitting look so much tidier.
PDXKNITTERATI/MICHELE Blocking lace, for sure. It’s magic! Looking for that magic on my current knitting, which looks like it can’t possibly be big enough. Also: Heel turns, 3-needle bind off, and making three tubes into one while BANGINGOUTASWEATER!
CATHY I am consistently amazed by two things: 1. Turning a heel. You knit a corner! Whodathunk? 2. Following directions in a pattern and it just works. Sometimes you just have to have faith and follow the directions. It’s crazy. Then a lot of times, there’s a little nugget of a new trick in the instructions.
LAURA The alchemy of felting. It is always thrilling to see what happens!
JANA There are so many great moments in knitting, I don’t think I can pick. Since I’ve made more socks than lace, I’ll go with that. I love the accomplishment of knitting socks that fit and are useful and so comfortable. I’m happy that everyone I’ve given handknit socks to has asked for another pair. I’m amazed at the warmth of the natural wool fiber—my husband has expressed this sentiment at least 15 times this winter.
TONIVANB I always feel great when I try a technique or knit something that, when I first began knitting, was completely unthinkable: cables, socks, a sweater, using charts.
ROBIN SMITH I love the moment when a pattern becomes second nature and I knit without thinking. That’s usually followed by the scary moment when I realize I needed to pay attention a little more carefully, of course. I am an expert frogger.
ELLEN Blocking lace for sure. You take this god awful ball of wet yarn and it comes out supple and beautiful.
DIANE My aha moments come through the meditative aspect of knitting. The first thought for me of an aha moment is tough for me to explain. It’s when my mind is “lost” in the knitting and suddenly I am aware of the rhythm, the little miracle, of pattern and hands moving together. I also love that moment at knitting group when someone says that it’s almost time to stop, because it is always a surprise, a kind of shock, that it’s time to go (always feels as if I just got there). The aha here is the realization that somehow time stood still for a little while, for a little while I have been lost in the pleasure of sharing (knitting, and life, and stories), that I could actually “just be,” just stay in the present moment. Amazing!