An Anniversary of Sorts

Two years ago this month I taught myself to knit. Okay, that’s not exactly true…

When I was maybe 7, my mom taught me to knit. Or at least someone taught me to knit and I’d like to think it was my mom. All I remember is trying to knit a horrendous pink something out of an old pink easter basket. I have nightmares just thinking about it.

I didn’t like knitting. I would start with 20 stitches. Then have 22 only to go down to 18 and so on. It was frustrating and I was a busy 7 year-old with things to do, people to see. Worlds to conquer.

So I filed knitting under ‘S’ for stupid and went on my way. Until, that is, I went on my very first plane trip two years ago. (Yes, I was 28. Yes, it’s somewhat sad my first time on a plane was when I was 28. Sometimes life is sad.)

Two years ago in late August, the Husband and I went on our first “big” vacation across the Atlantic to Ireland.

We actually spent 11 days in that beautiful country. But the day that matters here was day 4. Our trip to Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands.

That day, we decided to rent bikes and ride from one end of the island to the old Celtic fort on the other side — Dun Aonghasa.

The ride out was beautiful and scenic and Dun Aonghasa was phenomenal. Imagine old ruins on the edge of a 300ft cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Now imagine someone building that thousands of years ago. Now add winds strong enough to blow you over. That was what it was like.


As our days in Ireland dictated, if the morning was beatiful, the afternoon would be rainy and vice versa. So after we had lunch, we walked into a light, but steady drizzle.

We were ready for cold. Not rain. So we biked back to the shops to hang around in nice dry weather and wait for the next boat.

Most knitters know that from the Aran Islands come Aran sweaters. Since we were wet and cold to the bone, we decided to buy some nice, warm, wool sweaters. Except, they were expensive. The cheapest, coarsest wool sweater was $75 (US) and had no shape. The beautiful, soft sweaters? Over $200. We’re cheap so we couldn’t bring ourselves to buy the ones we liked and couldn’t dream of spending $75 on something we wouldn’t enjoy. I thought to myself, as I lovingly fondled every sweater in that store, “These prices are ridiculous! I could totally make this myself.”

I went home and a few weeks later picked up a teach yourself knitting book. I was hooked almost immediately. I don’t know when I finally picked up the book and how soon after I began teaching myself (and having the Husband look at the drawings to make sure I was doing it correctly) so I just say September is my anniversary.

I love this thing called knitting and wish I did it sooner. I never had a passion in life. Nothing ever struck me as something I needed to do or wanted to do every day for the rest of my life. Nothing was ever the end-all be-all until I found knitting. And I’m thankful I have something that I can bring me such joy and fullfillment. Other than the Husband of course. And I’m not saying that just because he reads this. I swear!


5 thoughts on “An Anniversary of Sorts

  1. What a beautiful story you shared today. Well written and very touching. Oh man, I remember so well those frustrations as a child knitter of the ever increasing stitches (where were they coming from???) or the disappearing ones, plus all the tangled yarn.

    My husband and I plan to make a bicycling trip in Ireland, and your story was very nice to read and to look forward to our trip.

    What you said about knitting as your passion – that’s so well communicated and lovingly put forth.

    Best wishes,

  2. When you go to Ireland I highly recommend checking out the Cliffs of Mohore and Innishmore. The Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery and Sligo Abbey in and near Sligo were so interesting. And if you can swing it, the Giant’s Causway in the north is a site to behold.

    Of course, Dublin is nice too.

  3. sounds and looks like you had a fantastic trip! it’s so rewarding to have finally found “your calling”. i, too, re-found knitting late in life. your pictures are fantastic! i am now adding ireland to the “places i have to visit before i die” list.

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