How Knitting Changed My Life by Christy Laukaitis
Christy and I met on Instagram and became fast friends. She's purchased a few of my bags and yarn and has even introduced her friend Kathy to them. She's also joined in for Virtual Knit Night which I haven't done for awhile but there's one in the planning stages. (Check out my Instagram) I asked Christy to tell her story of how knitting has changed her life because I wanted to get the perspective of someone who didn't have a knitting or yarn related business. Christy is just a knitter. Someone who just wants to make pretty things with string. Here is Christy's story.
Hello my name is Christy. I would call myself an average knitter. Katherine asked me if I would write up a piece about how knitting changed my life. In order to understand that a little better we have to visit my childhood memories and see how I looked at the world while being creative. So here is how I remember my journey of becoming a knitter:
I have always been around creativity my whole life. My mom did everything from painting, cross stitch to quilting, just to name a few that stick out. My Grandmother did needlepoint, knitting, crocheting and even making porcelain dolls. These are just the ones that I remember. Everything they did always turned out beautifully. My mom and Grandma showed me a lot of crafts. Cross stitch, painting, sewing, quilting, needlepoint and even crochet. I remember sitting on grandma's couch watching her knit on a baby blanket. It was fascinating to me. That is the only thing I remember her knitting. She had this fan and feather pattern that had fringe on the ends. I was never shown how to knit. Mom and Grandma showed me how to crochet. They both thought it would be too hard for me and that crochet would be easier for me to pick up. I knew how to make a big chain, but I could never get to where I had to put my hook going back on the next row. I got frustrated and gave up. When I was little, I would try making things and they would not turn out perfect or take forever to make. That is when I would throw in the towel. Even though I had my mom tell me that I would have to practice, I didn’t want to listen.
The only project I remember that I knew I would be done with in a couple of hours were hot pads. It was this plastic square loom and you weaved in and out pieces of cotton fabric loops. I made tons of those things and loved making them.
In my early thirties, I found the world of scrapbooking and card making. I wasn’t much into scrapbooking. Even though I loved taking pictures it took forever to make a scrapbook. But when I found out I could make cards, I was off. I found my hobby! My cards turned out beautifully, everyone loved them and I would be able to be done with one in no time. I loved making cards. I would spend hours in my craft room making cards and ignoring my husband. My card making hobby lasted for a few years. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that I was not able to visit with my husband and it was not portable.
In 2012, everything changed for me. I would see my co-worker Kathy knitting and asked if she would make me stuff. She kept telling me that she would show me how and I would give her the “deer in headlights" look and tell her that I could never do that. Things got really stressful for me that year. My mother was fighting ovarian cancer on top of her MS. I lost my father in 2006 and neither one of us worked through our loss. We were trying to stay strong for each other. This is the year that my world had came crashing down around me and there was nothing I could do.
I thought knitting would help me get through everything. I heard that it was great with stress. I was visiting my mom and grandparents on one occasion and I told my Grandma that I was interested in learning how to knit.
She bought me the yarn and gave me a copy of her fan and feather blanket pattern that she made for everyone’s baby. She got me started and then I kept messing up on it and she didn’t have the patience to show me how to fix it. No fault of hers, her dementia was starting to get bad and she suggested to have someone else help me. My friend Kathy stepped in and really showed me what I was doing wrong. I was still frustrated because everything was going wrong with this blanket. I did finish the blanket and gave it to a dear friend for her baby shower.
I was about ready to give up on this whole knitting thing. The fan and feather pattern and me are still not friends. My friend Kathy suggested that I knit dishcloths and learn new patterns that way so it would not be to overwhelming. I knitted dishcloths for a good year and half. I was to scared to try anything else with the whole incident with the fan and feather.
I joined the Facebook group Knitting for Newbies and it all kind of took off from there. The group had different level projects for knitters and a lot of help! I seemed to have gotten my self confidence in knitting for the first time. I was always excited when I finished a project and it looked good!! It looked like someone else made it!!!
I started getting into podcasts shortly after that. I still meet up with Kathy every week. Knitting has changed my life in so many ways. I see the confidence I have never had before. I can look at a patterns and tell myself that I can do it! I have made so many knitting friends over the years. I finished my Zadie sweater last year! I NEVER would have thought that I could actually knit a sweater. I did it as a KAL with the Grocery Girls. I have started branching out on my knitting style. I am now knitting Portuguese style. I absolutely love knitting this way. I am faster and I am also able to knit for longer. I have been thinking about starting a podcast or even coming up with a pattern design. I feel like the possibilities are endless. I am so blessed to have found this community.
I'd like to thank Christy for writing this post and allowing me to share her story with you. And if you'd like to read the other posts in this series you can find the here.
Until next time...
Carry a little joy wherever you go.