I don't think I've ever worked on a project for 9 months.

{Well, other than my pregnancies... the ultimate test of strength, patience, and creativity. Am I right?}

At the beginning of the year, I enrolled in a knitting class. The project? A 12-block patchwork blanket that would serve as an introduction to a variety of knitting techniques. We followed Michelle Hunter's book, Building Blocks.

Nine months later, I have the coziest, most beautiful blanket that I've ever owned.

What a fantastic experience!

More than just technique, here's what I've learned about knitting.
  1. There is no appropriate price that can be placed on a hand-knitted item. More than the materials (which aren't cheap!) there is a huge investment of time, skill, labor... I will never balk at a price tag again.

  1. A gift of something hand-knitted is an expression of love. Seriously. Thousands of stitches, constant attention to detail... More than a gift card or anything purchased "off the rack," it is something that is created intentionally, with thought and care... L.O.V.E.

  1. Knitting is soul-satisfying. It is therapeutic. It is challenging. It builds community. I'm convinced that if everyone knitted, we'd all be happier people.
Having said that, I will confess that everyone in my house is fighting over who gets to use the blanket. I've very carefully outlined the consequences of abusing it, too. 

We'll see how long that lasts.


Since picking up knitting last fall, I quickly realized that it is an activity that I can carry with me everywhere — in the car, on the plane, to the park, to the beach...

With my busy schedule, it's become the only creative outlet that I can take advantage of these days.

When my mother taught me the basics — knit and purl — less than a year ago, I never imagined that I could create a garment. It seemed an impossible task. But... I've done it!

First, the inspiration.

This is the Tiger Lily tank by Lion Brand Yarns, a free pattern.

Because most of the work is basic knitting, I thought it would be a good project to start with. I made several attempts to start the tank before actually committing. It begins with 180 cast-on stitches. I kept running out of yarn in my cast-on attempts so I quit out of sheer frustration.

The ladies in my knitting class talked me into picking it back up. These are just the kind of friends that I need... those that hold me accountable and won't let me give up.

It took me a few weeks to complete, but here it is!

I think it turned out exactly as intended. The straps are supposed to softly roll. The seams line up. The decorative details are spot on. Overall, I'm very pleased! The only change that I would make (in retrospect) would be to add an inch to the length.

The best part about completing this project is the confidence that I've gained for moving forward. I have a much clearer understanding of how garments take shape.

That's a very timely lesson as my knitting class is preparing to take on a top-down sweater. As slow as I am, maybe I'll have it ready to wear by next winter!