Home » Compass Ae Recreation » Keeping Your Own Hands And Heart Warm — and Those Of Others, Too — With Knitting

Who will benefit from this colorful creation? Knitter and recipient alike. Photo by Hunter O. Lyle​

Keeping Your Own Hands And Heart Warm — and Those Of Others, Too — With Knitting


For the autumn knitter, there is nothing more magical than yarn — the scent of country as you breathe in fibers like wool or alpaca; the colors: rainbows wherever you look. Fingers itch to touch soft textures.

Knitters — a special breed of fanatics — are obsessed with techniques, patterns, blogs … anything yarn. They are part of a long line stretching back through time, from Martha Washington knitting soldiers socks to crafters in ancient Egypt whose work comforted the pharaohs on their journey to the afterlife.

Yarn people are, by and large, friendly folk who will offer to teach anyone and everyone their craft. 

They generally know their turf, though there is an age-old landmine: knitters vs. crocheters. Happily, those in conflict are few and far between. Most crafters welcome one another with needles and hooks at rest, and tea and cookies for all. 

Full disclosure: I’ve been a “let them eat cookies” type for decades. At age 5, I begged my sightless great-grandmother to teach me how she created her treasures. Probably just to shut me up, she shoved yarn and a crochet hook in my hands and set me to making the longest chain ever, with the stern caveat: “I’m almost a hundred. I don’t have a lot of time to waste. So pay attention.”

Two years later my BFF’s mom, a non-cookie type, decided I’d been corrupted and gifted me with needles but warned, “Knitting is addictive.”

Boy was she right. Since I began my journey down fiber lane, hundreds — yea, even thousands — of items have morphed from bouncy skeins of yarn into anything and everything. My husband says anyone who doesn’t believe in perpetual motion hasn’t lived with a knitter. 

I (almost) have never met a pattern I didn’t like — or think I could make better. Freestyle projects are the best, like the superhero my grandson invented — made strictly to order with his 5-year-old mind changing the details every day. 

Our house would have exploded had I kept it all, but herein lies the joyful truth of yarn work: There is always someone, somewhere, who can be warmed by that which willing hands produce. 

Shared creations make life richer for everyone, from friends and family to those in veterans’ or premature baby care units or shelters for the homeless or battered women and children. 

The need is great, as are the rewards; I feel incredibly lucky to be part of it all. 

Yarn has been my sidekick through thick, thin and all life’s traumas. Whether due to soothing, repetitive motion or the knowledge that something good will come of it, numerous studies on stress prove that knitting is as beneficial as meditation.

Yarn people are generous to a fault when it comes to sharing their leftover bits and pieces; but sometimes new skeins are just the thing when fighting the doldrums of COVID-19. Thankfully, yarn shop owners are being especially creative as they keep their businesses going and their customers in the latest colors and textures.  

Situations are always changing, but as of press time for this issue, Ginger Balch’s In Sheep’s Clothing in Torrington, Conn.,  has limited shop visits, curbside pickup, Zoom meetings and lessons and even a virtual trunk show.  Ginger even has a special number “In Case of Knitting or Weaving Emergencies” (860-605-0405; or www.in-sheeps-clothing.com, 860-482-3979).

A website called www.Starshollowyarns.com in New Preston, Conn.  (860-619-0042) has online and phone ordering as well as limited hours for curbside pickup, and an outdoor set-up with masks and quarantining for any yarn that goes back in stock.

It’s always best to help local shops thrive, but if visits aren’t possible, the internet is chock full of sites offering material, patterns and even free lessons. 

Take advantage as winter looms. Time for a cheerful hat? A scrumptious scarf? Time to be a knitter and proudly say, “I made it myself.” 

More Information

TriCorner News

Copyright The Lakeville Journal
PO Box 1688, Lakeville, CT 06039
All Rights Reserved