Making time for leisure (after time for baby, husband, working, housekeeping, etc.)

Since having Peanut almost 18 months ago, it hasn’t been easy to find extra time for leisure activities. Between taking care of Peanut, working full-time and working with my husband to maintain a (semi) clean household, I am usually asleep before my head even hits the pillow.

I recently decided that I wanted to learn how to knit. I have great memories of my mother and grandmother knitting, making gifts and keepsakes for family and friends. I think that one day teaching Peanut how to knit would be a great experience and a chance to pass on a handiwork that I feel has become sort of a lost art.

My first project was a knit hat for winter and my second project that I *just* completed is a knit jumper for Peanut to wear tomorrow for Easter. Whew, just in the nick of time. Being able to make something that I know Peanut will wear and one day cherish is a very special feeling.

I am writing this post because I want to say that a) even spending 15 minutes a day with my new leisure activity has been an enjoyable and fulfilling process and that b) you can do it too! Here are a few tips to get you started…

*Check out your local craft/yarn store to get some basic information and equipment. The staff at these stores typically have a good knowledge base, especially for a beginner, and can point you in the right direction.

*Your local library will have some great books to get you started and might even subscribe to a knitting magazine. Who knows, you might find a fellow knitter checking out books too!

*I had great luck on YouTube finding videos of all kinds, showing the most simple, basic beginning steps for knitting (and how to fix the most simple, basic, beginner errors!) I really enjoyed videos posted by theknitwitch. I don’t know about you, but I am a very visual learner and by watching (and re-watching) small videos, I was able to learn some basic and essential knitting techniques, including casting on, knitting, purling and binding off.

*A co-worker also introduced me to a website called Ravelry.com, which includes patterns, tips, tricks and a live forum for questions. You can search for patterns based on experience level and save them in a queue, patterns are also rated similar to reviews on Yelp which I found very helpful. Ravelry.com also has information on crocheting, if that suits your fancy!

*Last but not least, ask around and seek out local knitters. Co-workers, friends, neighbors, family members, it is nice to have support and someone local/accessible who can guide you through the learning process.

*And really last but not least, when you finish your first, fifteenth or fortieth piece, make sure to iron on a label to remember your time and hard work. Peanut’s Easter jumper has a label that says “Handmade with love by Mommy” and it was!

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