Four years ago I began knitting, and oh, how my life has changed:
I know how to knit now, and can characterize myself as a knitter.
I have more (and more exciting) hats now than before (although none of them have the earflaps I like, since my one attempt yielded a baby-sized hat. I should really try again, since I know better now that when you're compensating for changing the specified yarn weight you sort of mathematically do the opposite of what you thought you were doing ... and knit a swatch, of course).
I have more (and more exciting) vests now than before.
I have a much nicer Christmas stocking, as do a niece and nephew.
I've met wonderful people who have become friends or friendly acquaintances. I've even met wonderful people who have since died, and wouldn't that have been a shame to never have met them, now that I know I wouldn't have the chance again?
I have a hobby that's infinitely interesting and variable, and don't have to worry about being bored again, ever. Ever.
Because it bears repeating, I'm never bored anymore. Not at the airport, not on the airplane, not in line at the grocery store (yes, my bag's always with me, yes, I'll pull out the easy scarf project to kill time while waiting), not at the doctor's waiting room, not at my Mom's for dinner, not at work for a meeting, not during Broadway Chorus rehearsals when we're spending a lot of time on the tenor part. Never.
Tacoma doesn't seem that far away, anymore (I've been attending the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival there, in February, but sadly this is the last year ... I'll have to find another event to replace it as I love it so much), and it's been fun getting to know this small city.
I know how to crochet now, and can characterize myself as a crocheter, even if I'm only ever going to crochet Sophie's Universe. I would never in a million years have started crocheting if I hadn't started knitting first, as it was at my most local yarn shop (Three Bags Full) that I saw Sophie's in progress and fell in love.
I own more boxes than before, which is not necessarily a good thing (unless you're a box manufacturer), but it certainly counts as a change.
On vacation, I know what my souvenirs will be: l0cal yarn from a local yarn shop. Done and dusted!
I have a late night ritual: make tea (pace around home while boiling water, steeping tea, get steps in, read book while walking), add sweetener, put dog kibble in bowl, announce brightly "Ashley Go Downstairs," go down with the dog, enter garage, put down the kibble, set down the tea, turn on the TV, cue up an Australian Competitive Reality TV program, and pick up whichever nearby project speaks to me the most.
On that note, I'm really appreciating the attached garage, as it has morphed from place-to-store-stuff into Ashley's Amazing and Super-Fantastic Crafts Room, complete with Sewing Station, Knitting Desk, Reference Bookcases, Area Rug, TV on TV Stand, small fabric covered chest of drawers, doggie bed, etc., etc.
And, of course, I'm much more au courant with Australian Competitive Reality TV programs than before.
I have discovered Ravelry, and it's wonderful. It has the single best search functionality I've seen on any website, ever (I cringe when I have to use Amazon's, for instance). If only to know that such search function perfection could be achievable, it would have been worth knitting just for that.
Just all the extra knowledge that comes from knitting--I love learning new things--but it's not just learning how to do cables, or how to make a stretchy cast-on--it's knowledge about the place of knitting in history, the social function of knitting in the past, and various cultures' approach to it.
When watching Broadway shows, I notice the knit items. When watching films, I notice the knit items. Weirdly, while watching TV programs, I don't actually notice the knit items unless they've had attention called to them, which is basically never.
Speaking of TV, I find myself longing for TV about knitting, and it's just not there. 1,000 channels, and not one of them is TFC? For shame! (I'm thinking TFC for "The Fiber Channel" to make it a bit more inclusive than just about knitting).
I listen to podcasts now. I'd tried before, but never got into the habit ... but once I learned there were podcasts about knitting, all that changed. Now when I go for a walk (to get my steps in--15,000 a day at least or I'm in big trouble) my headphones are on and a podcast is playing (unless it's my last walk of the day, when I switch to Audible and an audiobook).
I have more (and more exciting) dishcloths than before, and so does everybody I celebrate Christmas with.
If I go on vacation without my knitting (it happened once--well, I had my knitting, but not the right yarn) I panic, especially if I'm somewhere that doesn't have a handy local yarn shop (I'm looking at you, Las Vegas!)
I bake and decorate (badly) cakes. This is because of knitting? Why yes. I joined Craftsy, and later Craftsy Unlimited (now called Bluprint, confusing much?) in order to learn more knitting techniques, and couldn't help but notice their baking classes ... And, because of all the reality TV watching I do while knitting, I fell in love with the Great British Bake Off and got inspired. So two ways that knitting nudged me into baking.
I've joined a guild, despite not being an artisan in medieval Europe. It's called the West Coast Knitters Guild. For a mere $30 a year I get to miss meetings (they're on Tuesday nights, that's when The Broadway Chorus meets) but I also get to save 10% off of purchases at most local yarn shops, so (given what I spend) this is the Deal of the Century.
I have a stress reliever, not just a boredom reducer. My father had a lengthy terminal illness this year, and being able to sit with him and knit quietly really helped me cope with this difficult period.
I have a go-to restaurant and restaurant meal, which I would never really have embraced (it seems sports bar-ish) except that's it's virtually adjacent to my local yarn shop. It's Chaise, and the servers have learned my usual (but check that I want it, because I've been known to vary), and they will brew a pot of decaf coffee for me, and give free refills. Life is good!
I have a slightly humorous knitting blog, and even printed out business cards for it, something I haven't managed to do in almost 20 years of running a theatre company.
Overheard on CBC
"I've been aging and dying in my bathtub" - Ruth E. Carter
(Turns out she's a costume designer, and these are treatments for fabrics--but I thought it was hilarious to hear these terms back-to-back like that. Neither she nor the host seemed to notice that out of context it has quite another meaning!)
Off the Needles
I promised pictures of the latest hat, and here it is, the Coppe hat. I particularly like the top.
And I'm fond of the way the pattern creates a wave effect, which goes well with the colouration. There's a mistak that's hard to see (those are the best kind) in that I did an extra round of purl sort of middle-ish, and compensated by dropping a round of knit. I think it's fine. It was fun to knit!
On the Needles
Turn a Square (Hat) by Jared Flood, about 4 1/2 inches into it.
Sophie's Universe crochet project (Part 11: Round 82)
GGN Norwegian Ski Sweater (still adding the steek stiches while knitting from eventual armhole to neck, I'm about 90% done with the final chart of the torso piece--but there are still arms to be knit!)
Persian Dreams Blanket (row 34 of the fourth hexagon)
The second Double-Knit Vice Versa Scarf, about 3/4 of the way through