I’ve come to a huge realization this week. I don’t fit into to both of the passions of my life. I’ve reached the proverbial fork in the road.
My two passions are knitting and sewing. I love making things with my hands. ( I also love helping things to grow, but that’s so seasonal……… )
So back to my two passions. I learned to knit when I was around 8 years old. I think I learned to sew a little later from my mom. But my real learning came when we had a family move into our Northern Illinois neighborhood. The wife was a “retired” Home Ec Teacher (remember those?). She was raising three young children while her husband was flying airplanes. He was gone frequently overnight, and she needed a babysitter from time to time. I traded babysitter services for lessons in putting in zippers, learning flat fell seams, etc. I was in love. Sewing became my life – along with a few scarves and mittens thrown in.
I sewed suits, shorts, mini-skirts, and I even sewed my own prom dress. I designed and made my wedding dress. I made friends’ wedding dresses. I made bridesmaid’s dresses, flower girl dresses, and I even had a little alteration business. But, I continued to knit…..it was my relaxation……..
Time passed and I was no longer making baby clothes or bridesmaid dresses. I became an empty nester working from home over 10 years ago, and I had no one to sew for. I decide that quilting could fill that void. Now, I learned some quilting basics along the way – even made a few quilts for the kids’ beds. So, I decided that if I wanted to keep my machine busy this might be the answer. I went “whole hog” – all the bells and whistles. My husband got on board, mostly because he could build stuff to contain all the “necessary” items. I continued to knit. My husband got sweaters. Everyone got socks. I even made myself a sweater. Heck, my boss got socks for Christmas one year. The following year he got an alpaca scarf.
I went to Quilting retreats. I started to realize that I really didn’t fit in with the quilting crowd. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but I’m not real competitive, and I’m not a girlie-girl. I’m kind of a “live, and let live person”. And to go to those retreats, I had to pack a whole list of items, my sewing machine, and a bunch of stuff “just in case”. By the time I arrived and carted my stuff in, I was exhausted. I always forgot something. And then there was the head shaking……”she really didn’t read the list, did she?” they would whisper. NO, I have a full time job and my stuff is scattered all over my SEWING room. I’m a seamstress………
I went on Sock Retreat. To go to a knitting event, you bring some sticks and a couple balls of yarn. No extension cord required. Everyone sits in the same place. Sometimes, it’s quiet and you simply hear the gentle clicking of the needles. And retreaters cheer you on as you complete your item. If you knit slowly that’s ok – you’re savoring the yarn. If you knit quickly, that’s ok, it’s your style. Both are OK. I mean really OK. Waiting for an oil change? I can pull out a sock and turn the heel. And people always ask, “what are you knitting?”. It’s a great conversation starter. My husband says ‘road trip’, and I think ‘sleeve’. I love the smell of wool. It brings me a sense of contentment. I’m an earthy kind of person. I don’t own any nail polish. Make-up for me is mascara, and only for special occasions. Dressing up? Add a little blush. And sheep? It’s always been a dream to have a sheep farm. In my “next life”, I’m living in Vermont on said Sheep Farm. I dream of it every time I pass the “Lucky Dog Farm” in Addison County…….
So no offense to you quilters, but I think I belong with the knitting crowd…….