When I first met Kate, we sat and talked about how we both started knitting and our subsequent forays into the knitting world. I told her the story of the first thing I had made for anyone, a horribly ugly scarf for my dad. Here is the story: (reposted from my blog, www.knitternaut.com):
I’ve been knitting since I was a kid, but like many people I got back into it as an adult. My mom taught me once upon a time, and I laboriously worked at it. When I saw other people knitting I thought I was doing it all strange and backwards, but it turned out that I was just knitting English style in a sea of Continental knitters. After learning that my style was indeed legitimate, I felt a lot better about it and now embrace my yarn throwing technique.
When I was younger I never really finished all that much, though I did do a lot of strange small yarn-lumps that I claimed were mittens for my dolls. The odd Christmas I would get it together enough to complete a project, and my dad would be saddled with another of my misshapen, dropped-stitch creation that I proudly hoped he would wear to work.
One year, I made was a striped light-and-dark blue scarf for my dad. I think I got the yarn from Safeway, and it definitely wasn’t the same at one end as it was on the other. I don’t think it was even long enough to be more than a yoke around his neck, and just tucked into his collar. My dad worked in a mine, and it actually kept him serviceably warm, so he wore it to work every day.
One day in November, just as my dad was having his lunch in the loader he was working in, he noticed one of the other guys on shift sitting in the snow, just down from the road. My dad wondered what he was up to - the guy was a notorious prankster, but this seemed a bit odd. The guy waved to him, and then waved again and again. Finally, my dad got out of the truck and climbed down the embankment next to the road to see what was wrong.
The guy had taken a wrong step, fallen down the embankment and broken his leg. He’d been sitting there for hours in the cold, waiting for someone to come by and spot him. By now, he was getting pretty cold and needed medical attention. My dad took off for help, but not before taking my scarf off and wrapping it around his head and neck to keep him warm.
I used to see this fellow now and again as I was growing up, and he would always tell me how warm that scarf was, and that it saved his life. It was ugly, but my dad wore it until it fell apart years later. My knitting has improved in the intervening time, and I’m branching bravely away from scarves and into sweaters, colourwork, and even my own designs, the best thing I will probably ever make was that ratty little scarf.
Perhaps you’ve been there too – sometimes the ugliest, strangest, quickest things we make are the unexpected successes. So with that in mind, we here at the Twist blog are looking for YOUR stories about the things you have knitted that have led interesting lives, had adventures, and inspired funny, quirky and unique stories or what knitting has done for you or someone you know.
We're looking forward to hearing all the stories you have to share, and to many more fun issues with the Twist crew.