My mother taught me to knit when I was ten (I think -- if I'm off by a year either way, who cares?). My first project was a garter-stitch scarf in a variegated white, blue, and purple wool we bought while on vacation in England. I worked it on wooden straight needles, and the number of stitches varied wildly from row to row. My memory is that it turned out hideous and I wore it proudly with a ski jacket bought to match.
Over the next [mumblemumble] years, I made some more scarves, none notable, and several sets of two-needle mittens and basic hats, also not particularly notable, though I do remember going through one Philadelphia winter with a pretty blue hat that turned out rather well and kept my head warm without mussing my hairdo. I tried not to put myself in the position of having to learn any more stitches than absolutely necessary. When I picked up knitting again this year, I knew how to knit, purl, knit two together (basic decrease), knit into the front and back of a stitch (basic increase), cast on, and bind off -- though I had to call my mom more than once to ask, once I'd reached the end of a project, how do I bind off again?
Knitting wasn't chic for most of my life. When I revealed knitting in middle school, in high school, in college, it was regarded as a grandmotherly oddity -- not lame exactly, but certainly not cool. Now it's cool. Well, ok, I admit I'm wholly unqualified to assign coolness, but from where I sit, it sure looks cool. I mean, check out this guy's blog. Cool, right?
Anyway, I picked up knitting again this winter because I liked the idea of knitting Ben a sweater, though it would probably involve learning a new knitting technique or two, which I generally opposed. I'd never made a sweater before. Andy, reading my mind in that magic way spouses sometimes do, got me a bunch of knitting stuff for Christmas, and I took it up with the kind of enthusiasm that generally burns itself out after I've spent too much money on random gear.
And it still might, I guess. But I have a lot of projects going now, and lots more in my Ravelry queue, and I've been reading knitting blogs (three of which I've added to my blogroll), and I'm taking a BSJ class, and I'm sort of annoyed about the approach of warm weather because I prefer knitting with wool to knitting with cotton, and I'm positively eager to pick up new techniques and follow ever-more-complicated patterns.