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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Knitted Thoughts

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

Would you like to share a project that you have made from our yarns or our patterns?   Hundreds of thousands of people who care about your favorite craft will see your work.  Any submissions, particularly original ones are welcome, as long as the project was made from Lion Brand Yarn. 

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Knitted Thoughts
Created By: Deborah Stankevich

Knitted Thoughts

By Deborah M. Stankevich

I am a knitter. Yes, that’s what I said. I am a knitter. How I relish the feel of the needles in my hands and the yarn wrapped around my fingers. Colors that are bold or subtle; yarn that is blended or pure, soft or coarse, smooth or nubby; each strand, with its own qualities, will be twisted, crossed, or woven into a pattern of novelty and creativity. What better way to spend my time then looking through pattern books imagining what that project would really look like as I worked the magic of needles and yarn. Scarves, hats, gloves, sweaters, toys – the projects are endless, limited only by my own creativity.

So how did I become a knitter – a knitter of yarn – a weaver of dreams. Let me take you back to a simpler time – 1950s, Buffalo, New York.

My mom was a very interesting woman. She was a Buffalo girl born to parents who were born in “the old country.” I always wondered what that really meant. “The Old Country.” For me, “The Old Country” became synonymous with tradition. Sounds like Fiddler on the Roof! “Tradition!”

But tradition it was. My earliest recollection of yarn and needles goes back to when I was really young. All the women in my family were very creative when it came to needle and thread. My aunts were crocheters and knitters as long as I can remember. Dollies, afgans, and a variety of other knitted projects were always in tow no matter who we visited or where we traveled. I’m sure my mother knitted and crocheted long before I was ever a glimmer in anyone’s eye, but as a youngster, I only became aware of the craft and wanted to know how to do this when I was about six or seven. I know I took her skill for granted. I would watch as she gingerly handled skeins of yarn, running the strands carefully between her fingers deciding if it could be used to create the item she had selected.

I would hang around just to see what she was doing. “Sit here,” she would say. I would climb up onto the couch and watch in awe as she swiftly wrapped the yarn around the needle and slipped it off to create “a stitch.” She was fast. Up, around, over, and through. Her fingers would fly… Up, around, over and through… creating knits and purls, rows and blocks of the most beautiful designs I had ever seen.

“Teach me to do this, please,” I would beg.

Mom would smile and say, “Here. Take these needles and hold them like this.”

I would mimic the best I could, awkwardly trying to hold two needles and carefully wrapping the yarn around the needle to create a loop. Have you ever created a slip knot? Visualize wrapping yarn around your fingers, crossing the strands, and pulling the yarn on top through the loop underneath. This can be quite a feat for a six-year-old kid. Tenacious as I was, casting on became an event. But with practice - lots of practice - it became easier and easier. Soon casting on was not enough. I wanted to do something more with this new found skill.

“What’s next? Show me more. I want to do what you’re doing,” I would whine.

“This is how you knit,” she would say patiently. As she showed me an example, I would try to copy her. “Put the needle up into the first stitch,” she would instruct. (Up) “Then wrap the yarn around the needle.” (Around) “Slip the stitch over the needle” (Over) “and pull through (Through).” Up, around, over and through. She made it look so easy.

I must have said these words over and over to myself, hundreds and hundreds of times, as I practiced making the knit stitch. Eventually I learned to purl, and soon I was looking for a simple pattern so I could really make something with these stitches.

“Here. Let me show you how to make slippers,” my mom said. I could not believe it. I was ready, really ready, to make something. Using two strands of yarn and size 8 needles, I created my first pair of slippers. They hardly looked great, but I could wear them. The second pair looked better, and my dad was the proud owner of new slippers. With each pair, I got better and better until everyone in my family had slippers, whether they needed them or not!

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