I learned how to knit as a girl. Both of my grandmothers were knitters. One knit beautiful sweaters for us. The other knit little sweaters for our dolls. It was my Scottish grandmother who helped me knit a Christmas stocking and put knitting into my memory bank. When the girls were little, I knit a few sweaters. Then I found quilting and I gave away my small stash of yarn and needles because I didn’t see myself as a knitter.
About 8 years ago, I was at a prayer retreat. There was a woman knitting a prayer shawl. She told me about the group at her church and the shawls they knit. I was at the retreat with a friend who was a knitter. On the drive home, we came up with a plan to start a prayer shawl ministry at our church. I was not deterred by the fact that I had given up knitting. And it did not take long to accumulate more needles and yarns. My first shawl was for a woman who was walking through breast cancer with her mom. I made a simple, basket weave shawl. That first year we knit about 10 shawls and a bunch of hats and scarves for a women’s day shelter.
I have loved knitting hats and shawls to give away. I almost always have a donation hat on the needles. But the last few years, I keep seeing reference to “selfish knitting.” I really do not understand this. I love knitting donation items. I try to use good yarn and do my best knitting, no matter the recipient. But I also knit just for me. And I don’t think that is selfish. I enjoy knitting. I can’t tell you how many times I have knit something and then unknit that thing because it didn’t make my heart sing. I just unknit a shawl last night that would not block out properly. I immediately cast on a hat because I love this yarn. I plan to wear this hat. Is that selfish? Can you help me understand this idea of “selfish knitting”?