It all started out innocently enough...two and a half years ago I was living in the suburbs (gasp!) outside of Minneapolis with my sister and her fiance. I had been lulled into leaving my precious city to head out of town with my boyfriend and sister by the promises of reduced rent and an on-site fitness center. If I had been able to think clearly I could have told them that social isolation and an hour and a half commute into downtown Minneapolis every day for work just wasn't worth it.
To make matters even worse, my boyfriend split after 3 months leaving me socially isolated in the suburbs, having to leave at 6:30 AM to get to my job by 8:00, and depressed. I worked full-time and was taking night classes towards my 3rd degree 4 days a week. Most nights I wouldn't get home until 10:00 at night. But I needed to be completely exhausted before I fell asleep so I got a subscription to Netflix. Pretty soon I discovered that watching an episode or two of '24' before I went to bed still wasn't enough to keep my mind off other things.
I needed something to do with my hands to keep me occupied. And here's the kicker: I lived across the street from the cutest little yarn store you've ever seen! Except I didn't know it was a yarn store. How clueless was I? It's called Yarn Cafe and I just thought that was a really strange name for a restaurant. Finally, my curiosity overcame me and I decided to drop in and see what it was all about.
Wow. I walked in the door and was completely thrown. This place wasn't like those icky acrylic yarn sections at the local chain craft store. This place was overflowing with needles and books and comfy places to sit. And the yarn...it was everywhere and it was so pretty! I had to have some. I had to have some right now.
Turns out knitting for a newbie is a lot more complicated than I thought. I mean, I thought I would just get a pair of needles and some yarn. Who knew that needles came in so many different sizes and types? And yarn? All yarn is not made the same. Luckily, there was a very sweet and helpful woman working there. She helped me select my Stitch 'n' Bitch book, a pair of size 8 Addi Turbos, and a giant skein of Plymouth yarn. I went home and cast on for my very first project right away.
I learned a few things while making my giant pillow:
1) You must pay attention to which side of the needle your yarn is on, or you will end up with holes in your knitting. Only later did I learn that those are called yarn overs.
2) Multi-colored yarn can have a tendency to pool. I was very disappointed when I made this discovery.
3) You can't make a 2' x 2' cushion out of one skein of yarn.
4) I was hooked. Must. Knit. More. Stuff!