— Bob Dylan
This is NOT Grandma’s Knitting Anymore!!!
Knitting is my passion. It is embedded into my heart, my body, my mind, my soul. I eat, sleep, and dream knitting.
As a child, I would go to the dime store with my Grandmother and instead of making a bee line for the dolly section, like most little girls do, I always went to the yarn section. I was captivated by the array of colors that danced before my eyes and I loved to touch and feel the soft fibers. When my Grandmother asked me what I would do if I had a ball of yarn, my reply was “I don’t know” but I would like to have one…..or two…… All of this was going on way before I even knew how to knit.
I didn’t get my passion for knitting from my Grandmother or my Mother. As I was growing older I was aware that my German nanny was playing with colorful pointy needles, 4 at the same time and on these colorful pointy needles was my beloved yarn! “Teach me how to do that,” I begged! “I want to do that, too!” “Not until you are 9 years old,” was her reply to me. I remember how crushed I was because 9 years old seemed an eternity and forever away!!! So I would just have to be content, for now, to go to the dime store with my Grandmother.
The night before my 9th birthday, I couldn’t sleep!! I had been checking off the days on the kitchen calendar and reminding my nanny that MY DAY was approaching. I wanted to give her plenty of warning……..
At my 9th Birthday party, in my pretty lacey birthday dress and patent leather shiny black shoes, my nanny slipped me a small package and told me to open it after my party. Her eyes were bright and held a mischievous mystery. I could hardly stand it!!!
Well, you can probably guess what was in her little package to me. After the party, I opened the package to find my very own set of pointy, shiny needles in red!!! 4 of them!!! And underneath my very own needles was my very own yarn!! It was cream in color! WOW!!!!! I remember this scenario like it was yesterday!
For you see, my nanny was very smart indeed! She was baiting me and instilling in me a burning fire. She was testing me to see if I really wanted to learn to knit, that it wasn’t just one of those childish whims but a real burning desire to learn and to create! And create, I did!!!!
My very first project, believe it or not, and this is going to make some of my associate knitting instructors and shop owners squirm a bit, was a pair of cream colored mittens with a cable down the front on my own set of needles! Yes, I learned how to knit in the round on 4 double points! I remember, too, that my nanny gave me a safety pin to help me create this cable! I worked very hard and by that Christmas, my Grandmother opened her present to find those lovely cabled mittens I had created for her. I remembered she cried……..
After those mittens there was no stopping me!! I knitted slippers with cute pom poms. I knitted hats, mittens, and scarves! These items are essential when you live and grow up in the Minnesota winters!! I also was taking skating lessons and MY skates HAD to have beautiful, vibrant colored poms!!! No store bought poms for me!! While all my girlfriends were sewing, I was knitting!!
I told you this story to help ease into this next bomb I am going to drop……….
I DON’T understand it when the seasons change, from fall/winter to spring/summer, and I hear knitters say,”I don’t knit during the spring/summer months!” WHAT!!!!! HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT!!! This drives me absolutely crazy!!!!
Their excuses are, ….”but my kids are home for the summer,”….” but I taxi my kids to sports,” ….”but I’m out in the yard gardening,” etc., etc., blah, blah, blah!!!!! My answer to them and this: “Well, what do you do at night to unwind? What do you do, while on the sidelines at your kids sport event? What do you do while relaxing poolside? What do you do while you are waiting in the dentist office during your kids dental visits? Or catch yourself waiting in the car?” I could go on and on…….
With all this said, it suddenly dawned on me one day, that knitters and people who would love to learn how to knit, have a misconception of time! All these people believe that you MUST HAVE large blocks of time to knit! Oh, contraire……..NOT SO!!!!!!
You will be amazed at what you can accomplish stealing 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there. Before you know it you have created a hand knit item.
Keep a small project bag in your car or in your purse. Then you will never be caught idly waiting. Keep those hands busy and your mind working.
As for your husband, boyfriend, friends, family members, who are in your life and who question your obsession, simply tell them this……..”KNITTING HELPS TO CALM THE 10,000 VOICES IN MY HEAD THAT TELL ME TO KILL YOU!”
What’s On My Needles?
Let the Holiday knitting begin! Socks on 2 circs, made out of Zauberball Crazy and Stitch Red by Schoppel. No “second sock syndrome” for me!
What’s in My Kitchen?
Roasted Curried Butternut Squash Soup! (by D. Harker)
2 Butternut Squash
1 Acorn Squash
1 ea. Variety of fall squash, except spaghetti squash
1 large chopped onion
Kosher salt to taste
Cooking Sherry to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Curry powder to taste
Fresh nutmeg ground
Half and Half
2 cups Chicken stock or desired consistency
1 lb. Sweet Italian ground sausage
Slice squash lengthwise, scoop out squash remains and seeds. Place face down on a foil lined cookie sheet or baking sheet with sides. Fill with an 1/2 – 1 inch of water and place in a 450 degree pre-heated oven for 50 – 60 minutes or until fork tender.
In a skillet sweat the chopped onions in butter. Set aside. Brown sausage and add to the onions and butter mixture in a stock pot.
When squash is finished roasting and has cooled for easy handling, scoop squash out and add to stock pot. Add the remaining ingredients to taste. Use a hand mixer or food processor to blend together.
Pour into bowl, top with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Great as an entree with a salad and hot bread, or in a cup as an appetizer.