Posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:24 am

My poor lucky baby sister.

She used to posses a closet full of handknit sweaters: the collection of half a lifetime having both a mom and a sister who knit gifts and turned over sweaters that fit her better or whose thrill had waned. Then last spring, a house fire destroyed everything she owned including, and most sadly, all the handmade things. It's been a year of recovery, re-evaluation, and the development of a new set of priorities. Among which, she has decided to learn to knit. I mean, she named her son Rowan, for knit's sake!

Yesterday, I drove up to Maine with some stash starters: a bunch of Noro, a sweater's worth of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair in Blueberry (like me, she's a wool girl), and several patterns suitable for where she is in her learning. She's managed a scarf so far, and knit listlessly on an afghan square or two, but I knew that she was ready for something cute and simple that would tolerate a little clumsy. I showed her a hat or some fingerless gloves knit flat and seamed, but she chose a garter stitch triangle. It took her about a dozen rows before all of a sudden the lightbulb went off and she understood what she was doing with the stitch markers and the yarn overs, and it was pretty simple from there. She was making such lovely stitches by the time I left. As it turns out, she's a much better knitter than she thinks she is.

I'm hoping as she knits along she'll feel brave enough to throw in some stripes of stockinette or a row of yo k2tog combination that I showed her, but I told her it was all good: shifting stitch tension, wonky edges, all the gracelessness of early knitting just adds to the charm of the yarn.

She's completely motivated by some things she's seen: Kristin Nicholas sweaters and Seacolors yarn. She got completely besotted with the Kureyon, and she hasn't even seen Silk Garden yet. I think she has the raw material for real dedication. It's a little early to sign her up for Ravelry, but soon come. I'm so excited for her.