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Frugal Living
by Donna Flood
Knitting


If you can't knit you are missing a whole world you have never experienced. It is like a beautiful art without an end. You will never learn it all, depending on your own intelligence and your wish to meet the challenge of a new, newer, newest project from simply scrubber cotton wash clothes to the most elegant piece. You can use colored bobbins to work a museum piece of artwork for a wall hanging or a sweater, or you can do a mindless garter stitch allowing you to watch television without the guilt of feeling you are "doing nothing."

With that thought, I use up my space of time, which had sometimes created a feeling I am wasting time, at the doctor's office, while traveling in the car, as mentioned, watching television, when attending the great numbers of family gatherings we have, or any other opportune time.

To make a sweater for a child can be a simple project taking a minimum of time. An intricate garment for yourself will require more thought and concentration. Like artwork of any kind, when you concentrate on creating you simply cannot think negative, depressing thoughts, and this is the wonder of it.

Knit a coat, knit some socks, knit some mittens for a child (easy), and by the way this is what started me to want to knit. I remembered my Grandma Bell always saw to it our hands were covered. This was a loving gesture giving an edge against the cold of the prairie where we lived. Children have the basic ability they haven't lost yet to put two and two together quickly. I am loved, someone wants me to be warm.

For a long time I knitted baby caps on a circular needle and would take them to the new babies at the maternity ward. Now, the hospital automatically puts the caps on the baby as they leave for their first trip out into that big cold world.

There is a story my instructor told me I always want to remember. She said there was an older woman who lived in New York city on the third floor of a building. She kept busy knitting mittens and as the mittenless children walked past below she would toss the mittens to them from her window. My instructor knew how to motivate us, because practically anyone can knit mittens, it takes just such a small amount of yarn, not very much time, but what a special moment in the life of a child. Someone cares that I am warm, and not abused by the cold.

To get into the art aspect of knitting all one has to do is step into the part of the department store where the yarn is displayed. If you are hungry for color certainly that appetite will be met. From fuchsia to fawn, raspberry to azure blue, all the colors are a wealth to bring their riches to our house. Row after row they set waiting to top the head of some child with a bright hot pink or azure blue crown, or maybe to wrap the legs of some loved elder in bright variegated hues, and all with such a small investment of time and money.

Possibly, something should be said here, especially in these days and times, for the emotional stability this very old art can give us (it has been told Christ had a garment without seams). If I were a scientist and could go into elaborate explanations of tactile sensory stimulus, or something or other, I would, but; alas! a scientist I am not. I just know the yarn feels good to the touch, soft and yielding, ready to be manipulated, and as so many things in our life are not so easily worked or controlled maybe this is the usefulness to our psychological well being.

This would not be complete without the telling of a fun story about the masculine leader of one of our armed services, the navy. He in all his handsome, manliness was a master at knitting. "His deep rumbling voice," our instructor said, "would give me such a humourous moment, as he called long distance from England or somewhere he was stationed asking some advice or sharing some bit of new knowledge on one of his current projects."

Today's project:

Leg warmers: These are the leg warmers dancers used to keep their muscles from freezing up and cramping while doing strenuous routines. They are very nice for anyone who is in a wheel chair and gets cold in the winter. They are nice for Grandma too, who enjoys them, as often Gramma's today are busy people, in and out into the cold weather.

On a size nine needle cast on forty stitches. You can test this for the proper size, bigger, simply cast on more stitches, or visa versa. You will knit two, pearl two until you have a piece of fabric 20 inches long. Cast off. Take a large sewing needle and with the same yarn sew the piece together in a tube, by sewing the knots together. One leg warmer done, now get to the next one.

If you are fortunate enough to have a small circular needle this last step will be unnecessary since when you finish on those it is a tube.