Last month marked a 3 year anniversary between me and my knitting obsession. I originally learned to knit while in grad school for Library Science as a way to control stress. Now that I'm out of school and have a real grown-up job as a librarian, I still use it for this purpose and consider it a form of meditation.
I honestly don't know what I did with my time before I taught myself to knit. Although in many ways, I'm still very much a beginner, I have been think a lot about how much I've learned during the past three years. The pictures, I hope, illustrate some sort of growth. Taken right outside our front door, these two scarves retain their own unique place in my knitting history. The grey, white, and tan scarf was one of my very first projects, knit in December '02. It's a garter-stitched pattern using cheap acrylic yarn--no frills. I didn't even know how to purl at the time of it's creation (though that skill came with my next project).
The lace scarf, created in the Fall of '05 was also a first for me: this is the very first project knit from wool I had spun and dyed myself. The wool comes from Bart the sheep, who lives in the pasture shown in the background. Before spinning, I dyed the wool with Kool-Aid and, amazingly enough, got all of these subtle earthy tones, rather than the neon greens and yellows one would expect from Kool-Aid. If you want to know more about knitting with this substance, there are many sites available online. The Fall '02 issue of Knitty.com discusses it nicely (although I didn't follow this exact method). If you do decide to try out Kool-Aid dying, remember, Kool-Aid makes a great and simple-to-use dye, but it is disgusting, non-the-less. It is best not to ingest it, in any form. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT breath in when opening the packages. I speak from experience. The dust is deadly, and you will smell fabricated grape fragrance wherever you go for days. Same rules apply to contact with skin.
The lace shawl is an alteration of a pattern from VOGUEknitting Fall '05 issue. Lace is still difficult for me as it entails remaining mindful all of the time, and my attention span leaves something to be desired. Hence, many rows had to be ripped out and redone. But it was worth the headaches. Although I have a long way to go until I can say with assurance that I'm an expert knitter, I feel like my progression over the past three years at least shows that I've started on the path.