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This is my most recent *finished* knitting project, the dropped stitch shawl, called the Clapotis:

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This month marks my two year knitting anniversary. It was two years ago that I embarked on a series of beginning knitting classes where I successfully knitted (at first) a trapezoidy-octagonal looking concoction. It was my stepping stone for my first scarf, and so on. When I began the classes I was (ahem) 41 years old. Prior to taking the classes I had NEVER had any desire whatsoever to knit. I never had a need, really, because it was my mother’s Passion. Passion with a capital “P”. She had tried, unsuccessfully, to get me interested in knitting off-and-on for some years especially in my late teens/early 20’s. I had attempted knitting once before with her help, and that lasted all of five minutes. Honestly, I didn’t even think I liked knitted items; at some point in my 30’s I started finding a few shawls that I liked, and my mom knitted them for me. It gave her great pleasure to knit for others, and it thrilled her that I used her shawls often.

So, what changed, you might ask-why did I suddenly want to learn to knit? Well, if I had to guess I’d say it was because my mom had passed away the previous year, and I had oodles of time on my hands, and probably, in some weird way I thought it would bring her back to me.

After my beginner’s class was complete, we were offered the opportunity to join a knitting group at the knitting shop. A small group of women who met every Wednesday evening for a couple hours. I was super-intimidated. These women had been knitting for a long time, and I had been at it for six weeks! I had one strange looking square and a poorly knit scarf under my belt and I was going to hang with these ladies? But I knew that if I didn’t keep up with knitting, make myself do it, I wouldn’t continue to learn and improve. And I knew there was a lot to learn! So, I tucked my insecurities into my newly knitted scarf and I joined the group. And as far as my knitting is concerned, it was the best thing I ever did. These ladies have proved to be not only supportive and funny, but incredibly kind and encouraging. I know my mom would have liked them all, and loved the opportunity to talk knitting for a couple hours each week. Who knows, maybe she hand-picked this group for me since she isn’t here to guide me along with my knitting skills.

So I first attempted this project, The Clapotis, in the summer of 2011. I couldn’t do it. It’s not a difficult project, honestly, but I was too new, and my skills were not at this level. I was frustrated and embarrassed that I couldn’t do it. But, I packed the yarn and pattern away in my (ever growing) stash, and moved on. Then, this past summer, I took it back out. I re-read the pattern and knew I had this; and I did! I put it aside a couple times to take on other projects (because of timing) and finally finished it last week.

My mom had knit this exact shawl-at least ten years ago. I remember this project because she loved it-thought it was so cool with the intentional dropped stitches throughout. I bet she’d think mine is cool too…

IMG_1343Here is a close-up of how the dropped stitches look in the pattern.