As a barrage of sneezes echos through the stacks, I have to accept that temperatures are falling. At home, I plow through my cold weather drawer only to find one lonely, taunting glove.
“You lost my twin!” it whines.
“You’re not so special,” I think.
This happens every year. I suppose it’s time to cast on a new pair. Rather than feel annoyed at myself, I see this as an opportunity to create, to flex my purling muscles, to track down some alpaca wool in my mom’s massive yarn stash. Truly, there are few things more satisfying than donning your own handiwork, though the knitting process itself can also reap many rewards. These can range from mindfulness practice and stress management to loosening arthritic joints and other boosts to your mental and physical health. Knitting circles, which are ubiquitous among the many nooks and crannies of the library, not only encourage members along in their projects but also foster camaraderie, creativity and accountability.
So whether this all sounds familiar or I’ve succeeded in persuading you to pick up this habit-forming hobby, DBRL has materials of all sorts. Check out these titles for patterns, techniques and tutorials as well as fantastic storytelling, wellness advice and wide-reaching wisdom.
For the Beginner:
- “How To Knit: Techniques and Projects for the Complete Beginner“
- “Knitting 101” – Universal Class provides video tutorials and helps you track your progress.
- Ravelry – Social media for fiber arts enthusiasts. This website is very popular for archiving projects and finding free patterns.
For the Veteran:
- “How to Use, Adapt, and Design Knitting Patterns“
- “Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible“
- “Mindfulness in Knitting“
Is handiwork not in your wheelhouse? The library offers scores of knitting-based titles ranging from street art to serial mysteries to reflections on life.
- “Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti“
- A Myriad of Mysteries
- Anne Hood’s “The Knitting Circle” and sequel “The Red Thread“
- “Knitting Pearls: Writers Writing About Knitting“
Here’s an excerpt from Stephanie Danler’s “The Unravelers,” featured in “Knitting Pearls” and the blog of the Paris Review:
There are two kinds of women: those who knit and those who unravel. I am a great unraveler. I can undo years of careful stitching in fifteen gluttonous minutes. It isn’t even a decision, really. Once I see the loose thread, I am undone. It’s over before I have even asked myself the question: Do I actually want to destroy this?
See the full list of titles here.
Have a project in mind but your friends and family have already received one-too-many custom-fit hats? Keep your neighbors warm by donating your unclaimed projects to local organizations. This list of locations can help you get started.