Rites of Passage

In knitting as in life there are landmarks that mark our progress, the distance we've traveled from Point A to wherever it is we find ourselves.

Some knitting landmarks are rites of passage, a transition from one part of your knitting life to the next part, like conquering lace knitting, cutting your first steek, your first felted knitting, or your first pair of knitted socks. I remember when I first started knitting, I read a lot of knitting blogs and it seemed everyone was in love with knitting socks. At the time, I was barely managing a garter stitch scarf, so socks seemed far beyond anything I could ever manage. When I knit my first pair, though, I became a Sock Knitter, with all the swagger that goes with the title. (And then I started writing patterns for socks, because I liked it so much!)

  My first written sock pattern, (Mostly) Ridge Rib Socks, available  FREE.

My first written sock pattern, (Mostly) Ridge Rib Socks, available FREE.

You all know by now that I think knitting is not just a hobby. It's important. It's life-changing. It's good for your health and well-being. It matters. While I know that not everyone shares my view, I am still just nutty enough to suggest that you make note of special achievements in your knitting journey. Even the part-time hobbyist can get a greater sense of fulfillment when the path is strewn with landmarks that say, "Hey, I did pretty good right here!"

  My first sweater.

My first sweater.

Our lives are busy and sometimes it's hard to stop and take the time to observe a landmark moment. Did you just finish your first sweater? Why aren't you shouting it from the rooftops and throwing yourself a party? You are amazing and while I'm not suggesting you get all braggy, you should celebrate your accomplishment and mark that achievement. Just think: this is your first sweater now...what will your sweater drawer look like in 5 years? And it will have started right here, right now, with the first completed cardigan.

My daughter will graduate from high school tomorrow, with a group of other homeschooled students, in a ceremony filled with meaning and celebration. My own graduation is a blurry memory at best, with a bit of angst thrown in about not needing the ceremony just to get the diploma, so when we were discussing whether or not to participate in graduation with our homeschool group, I was ambivalent at first.

Is it necessary? Not really.

Will it take time, energy, planning and money? Yes.

Will it, in the long run, be worth it? Yes, I think so.

I'm so glad we decided to a part of this process for many reasons, chief among them the aspect of this being a rite of passage. The whole year has been part of the transition, as my daughter closes the door on one chapter of her life and goes forward into the Next Thing. We've had meetings and votes and decisions and so many things that have helped me as her mom get ready for her future while preparing for graduation, and now we will have a lovely ceremony to mark this moment in our lives.

  Two grad photos, 30 years apart. I wish I'd had half her poise, maturity and wisdom!

Two grad photos, 30 years apart. I wish I'd had half her poise, maturity and wisdom!

We could have skipped it, just like I could have skipped the photo session in my first sweater, because it was a beastly hot day, entirely too warm to wear a sweater. I'm glad I didn't skip either thing. Memories and photos and rites of passage matter. They help mark where are, where we were, and even where we are going.

To all of you who are graduating this year, to those who have children who are graduating, and especially to those of you who have passed some sort of amazing knitting landmark, congratulations!! Now celebrate!