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Pink knitted scarf with beads laying on sewing basket

Picking Up, Cleaning Up, Finishing Up

Picking Up, Cleaning Up, Finishing Up. This has been my motto since the shelter-in-place went into effect for Illinois residents last month. I especially like the “finishing up” part – it feels really good to complete projects and send them on their way to be used in our home or to be given as gifts to others. These two scarves, discovered at the bottom of my mom’s old sewing basket, in particular though, tugged at my heart. It seems like yesterday when I was teaching my then young daughter how to knit. She got about 10″ in on the pink scarf before declaring that she didn’t really like knitting. At all.

So, flash forward about 10 years and I finished the pink scarf in the last couple of weeks. And, because of the “cleaning up” part of my routine, I decided to add the pony beads discovered in the back of the craft closet to the other end. I emailed a picture of the scarf to my daughter who said I could keep it because pink just isn’t her color. That is the answer I was hoping for… I love this scarf and all its imperfections as she learned a new craft and we both experimented with expressing ourselves creatively.

Knitted pink scarf with brightly-colored plastic beads

She gave knitting one more try a couple of years later when our neighbor who can knit anything worked with her on the purple scarf. I finished it up and it will soon go off to my daughter because purple is her color : )

Pink knitted scarf and purple knitted scarf and knitting needles

Like many new endeavors – knitting or otherwise – start small and grow from there. As you practice, your skills will improve. I love to knit but still consider myself a beginner. I stick mainly to scarves because the scale makes them doable, portable, and easy to experiment with using different stitches and threads.

If you’re new to knitting, check out the offerings of your local yarn store. There are lots of great stitch tutorials and patterns on sites like PurlSoho, Quince & Co, and Studio Knit. There are also plenty of organizations doing good work that seek knitted donations – often simple projects like baby hats (check with a local hospital) and wildlife rescue nests for baby birds (again, check with local organizations).

And, remember to have fun, especially if you are teaching a child to knit. If you want to add pony beads to your knitting project, here’s a great tutorial. While I am a big fan of using beautiful, good quality materials for projects, I also enjoy experimenting with what I have on hand, especially non-traditional materials. For example, try knitting using white kitchen string, twine, even red and white bakers string. BTW, I think this would make a great rug or curtain in a doll house.

Swatch knitted with red and white bakers string

Have fun creating ~ stay well!

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