You Say Knit, I Say Purl… A Knitting Friendship

I introduced my best friend Lee to knitting about a month ago. She picked it up fairly quickly, watching YouTube videos when she would get stuck and I wasn’t around to help rescue dropped stitches.

We are naturally drawn to completely opposite knitting projects. The two of us are opposites to the end. You would think we actually planned it that way, we’re so different in some ways.

We are opposites in our political beliefs – she’s a die-hard Romney girl, I would not vote for him if you paid me in solid gold bars. We are opposites in our religious views – she’s a Mormon, I’m an atheist. She formula-fed her kids, I breastfed my girls. I cloth diapered, she can’t imagine. Her husband hunts, I hate guns.

She is still my girl. None of that has kept us from being the best of friends for the last 18 years.

But this knitting thing… I don’t know if we’ll survive it. She’s developed a taste for bulky yarns, size 17 needles, Red Heart acrylic yarn. I have bins of natural wool and cottons, a huge bag of needles that range in sizes from 000 to 10 (and I rarely use anything above size 7). I use my size 1 sock needles more than anything else. I love making socks, gloves, hats in sock yarns and sweaters in sport weight yarn.

She thinks I’m nuts for my tiny needles. I think she’s nuts for her bulky weight scarves and that Lion Brand Homespun afghan. It’s a beautiful color and she’s doing an excellent job on it, but oh wow, I would be ready to stab somebody if I had to spend even 15 minutes wrestling with that splitting acrylic yarn and all of that garter stitch.

I can do blankets. I’ve made quite a few blankets, both crochet and knit. I’ve been working on the same feather and fan knit blanket in variegated cotton for almost 4 years (keep in mind, this blanket has spent more time sitting in a bag in storage than it has spent in my lap). I’ll get it done, this bigger project (size 8 needles, mind you!), but it won’t get done nearly as quickly as my tiny-needle projects will. {Update: I finally finished it!}

You Say Knit, I Say Purl - Feather & Fan Blanket

I need to have that odd row of yarn over and knit two together stitches though, to break up the monotony. I can’t just sit and knit miles of garter stitch. I would lose my mind.

Maybe she’s just braver than I. More tenacious and accepting.

(Or maybe she’s just nuts.)

Aside from the obvious differences in our knitting tastes, we’ve been having a really good time sitting together, talking like we always do, but now with our knitting projects in our hands, discussing what would be a good color choice for that hat/scarf she wants to make for her daughter, or how to best weave in ends (she uses a crochet hook, I use a yarn needle), or how crazy I am for planning to make gloves for David, Lakin and Addah by the end of the month.

It’s our differences that make us stronger, I suppose. If she can forgive me for being compulsive enough to  rip out several rows of her last scarf in order to fix a few mistakes that couldn’t be fixed otherwise, I guess I can forgive her for her unnatural love of Red Heart clearance yarn.

Maybe, in time, I can bring her over to the other side… maybe.

In the meantime, it’s a good thing we love each other as much as we do.

You Say Knit, I Say Purl - Best Friends

And we really do…

If you’re a knitter and Ravelry member, come take a peek at my project page!

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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

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  • It sounds like you two have a beautiful friendship! I think when you care about someone and find commonalities in things that really matter, the smaller, less consequential, differences matter less. This is a beautiful post and testament to that.

    I know nothing about knitting, but in looking at your projects, you have me inspired!

    • I appreciate your words, Jessica! πŸ™‚

  • I appreciate your words, Jessica! πŸ™‚

  • Elizabeth

    it takes a lot of love to overcome acrylic!

  • Yes, yes it does.

  • Julie

    I love love love to knit. Learned to crochet first, then discovered knitting and there was just no turning back. πŸ™‚ I have so far stuck to acrylic (not Red Heart though–I like Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn) purely for financial reasons. I live in such a rural area that we have no local yarn stores, so I internet-window-shop and drool over beautiful, pricey wools and bamboo/cotton blends that I could never afford at this point in my life. Maybe someday! πŸ™‚

    (I’ve checked out your Ravelry page, by the way. You do lovely work!)

    • I’m glad to meet another knitting enthusiast! Knitting is what keeps me sane. πŸ™‚ If it weren’t for my yarn stash from years ago, I’d be over at Hobby Lobby buying acrylic too, purely for financial reasons. Type of yarn will not keep me from my knitting!