I took up knitting when I lived in New Hampshire. When “winter is coming” it’s time to stock up on yarn and plan projects to keep us busy for the long cold season.
The New England area is known for crafters and self-sufficient types. Some people are lucky enough to live on farms where they raise sheep and create their own yarn and roving to sell.
I attended local craft fairs, took the Wool Arts Tour, and visited interesting yarn shops where lots local goods, and beautiful, unique yarns, were sold.
Because I hadn’t tried knitting since I was a kid, a neighbor talked me into taking knitting lessons with her. We went to an old farm house which was owned by an older woman named Ann. Her yarn shop was set up in two rooms of her house. One held lots of stacked extra yarn and the other was decorated for the consumer, with a cash register and hand-knit garments, intended to give us ideas.
Ann was like the grandmother I needed at the time. Someone who had been knitting all her life and now would pass along that knowledge. Why don’t we appreciate our Nanas more when they are around?
Thanks to Ann, I learned about local wool and discover what “roving” was. I made a couple of hats, but never got into making socks. Lots of people make socks, but they still seem too difficult for me. And don’t socks get holes in them too quickly? I don’t want to make something that is going to just wear out.
Anyway, knitting became a favorite hobby. I mostly did simply stitches, and I learned a lot by trial and error.
Who Needs Wool in Florida?
In New Hampshire hats, scarves and mittens are needed for many months of the year. I made tons of scarves, because they were the easiest. My attempt at mittens failed, but a couple of my hats came out pretty good. I even made one for my daughter in the colors and style she liked.
Now I live in Florida where no one ever wears wool scarves and mittens. Seldom do you see anyone with gloves on, except on the really cold mornings. Because it tends to be so hot here, the thought of having a bunch of wool in my lap, while knitting anything, isn’t ideal.
However, I do enjoy knitting, so I’ve been making cotton items, such as dishcloths and dish towels. These work well as trial pattern pieces and when I make mistakes, it doesn’t matter. These types of items are good for beginners to practice new stitches.
I love all the hand-painted yarn options. Where I live now, there isn’t a nice yarn store in sight (or in decent driving distance), so I order my yarn online. Buying good yarn is the way to go. None of that cheap Walmart yarn for me. I love the beautiful colors and quality of hand-dyed and home-spun yarn.
Yes, I am a bit of a yarn snob. Currently I am searching for favorite yarns to use.
Because it’s difficult to keep all my favorite yarns and patterns and knitting tutorials together, I decided to create this section of my Hydrangea blog just for that, but this is a gardening blog and I hated getting the two intertwined.