Thursday, December 18, 2008

Can you knit?

I can't knit to save my life. I don't even own a pair of knitting needles. My mom used to knit and she'd let me pick out yarn to make me sweaters. I usually picked out some wild color, like the hottest pink I could find. They probably saw my sweaters from space. I loved watching my mom knit -- it looked relaxing. Christmas of 1974, all I wanted was a Knit Magic machine by Mattel. They had just came out and were all the rage. I was 9 and my wish was granted that year. In an old photo, I can see the very corner of the machine. It was the same year I got a giant Barbie head. That was a fun Christmas. According to the booklet you could make all sorts of things, from stuffed animals to Barbie dresses. I was so excited to get it. I remember playing around with it for hours. I remember getting frustrated when I messed up. I don't recall anything I made with it in particular. Over the years, it either got pushed aside, broken or tossed out and then it was only a fond childhood memory. Then came Ebay ...

Several years ago I looked for Knit Magic machines on Ebay and ordered one. It had to be an original one from 1974 just like the one I had. I don't know why I felt the need to have it again, but I did. It was right about the time that long, skinny scarves were popular. Since all I could ever make with it was a tube, I figured I'd give that a try. The funny thing is -- the darn thing worked! I've made a bunch of scarves with this silly little toy. Of course, nowadays long, skinny scarves aren't in as much, but I still like making them. Last year I made my daughter one for Christmas using a camouflage colored yarn. I've made over 10 of these scarves. Another thing I've made are draft stoppers for our doors. I knitted really long tubes and then took an old pair of pantyhose and filled it with rice. I put the pantyhose/rice in the knitted tube and stick them by all the doors in the winter to keep out the cold air. Works like a charm. Some of my scarves are pictured below.

However, it's a silly sight to see a grown woman playing with her 1974 knitting toy. I get razzed about it all the time. I've seen newer knitting machine toys, but I still like my old one. I don't think they were meant to be worked so hard, so it probably won't last forever. I'll have to decide to replace it with another original or go for a newer model. The other day I found this really cool yarn at Walmart. It was red, pink and white. It reminded me of a candy cane, so I got some to make a scarf. Turns out, the skein wasn't long enough so I had to go back for more. I wasn't sure if I could tie the ends together, but I gave it a try. It didn't like going over the knot very well, but it worked. I got the whole scarf done and sat it down on the floor in my room. All I had left to do was remove it from the machine and tie up the ends. A few hours later I come up to do it and noticed it was all jacked up. Someone had turned the crank backwards. Rick tried to blame it on the cat, but it turns out it was Nathan. He apologized after the discovery was made, but I don't know if he was going to tell me on his own. So, I had to rip the whole thing out and start it all over again. I think he knows not to play with MY toys now. I would still love to learn how to knit for real someday. In the meantime, I'll have to settle for my ridiculous little toy.


  1. I can just picture you all hunched over your knitting toy Rena - too cute. (I like the line that now Nathan knows not to play with your toys!) lol

    I also can not knit and not for lack of trying on my mom's part. She is a fantastic knitter - one of those people that can knit an intricate pattern, talk on the phone and light a cigarette all at the same time... ah, that's my mom!

    She has tried time and again to teach me and I have frustrated her again and again! I am very good at loosing or adding stitches but I guess that is not a great accomplishment! Oh well.

    Love your scarves!

  2. Greag scarves Rena, it looks like a lot of fun. I remember that knitting machine. I never had one though. It is funny what amuses us adults isn't it? lol


  3. Boy, I'm still trying to convince my daughter not to play with my things...

    The knitting machine sounds fun. I've always gotten frustrated with any project that involves strings getting all knotted up, though.

    Very cute scarves, BTW! I love all the fuzzy yarns they have now, too.

  4. I can't knit,though I've never tried.It's nice to see you are still in touch with your inner child.LOL.Your scarves came out beautiful,do you have any plans for them?

  5. I love the thought of you playing with your Knit Magic machine and making scarves, etc.

    And what a neat idea with the door stoppers...

  6. Good for you, Rena, to buy that and knit your scarves! How fun! (I'm not a knitter either....) They turned out great~!

  7. I like to knit...although it's been several years since I've done so! =O And even at that, I was limited on what I could create! haha :)

  8. I always tell my kids, "I'm just you - a few years older." We older kids need toys too:p

    I love the scarves - thanks for sharing. I'm working on hats this weekend. My puppy ate my daughter's favorite hat. We went shopping last night and she tried on over 30 hats - no joke - none would do. So I'll be working away this weekend.

  9. Rena, I thought kids were supposed to share? Oh, that's right, Nathan didn't ask to share, he just did.

    Cook scarves. My Mom used to knit. My sister knits. I've gotten as far as making a scarf or two in my life, but never anything as complicated as a sweater. I prefer to tat...

  10. Oops, that was supposed to be COOL scarves!

  11. Wow! What a neat way to bring your childhood into the future! :0)

    Have fun knitting!