I have some things before me that have been in my possession for some time.
Knitting needles: Blue, aluminum straights, size US 8.
A swatch: Varying from 45-52 stitches across, knit in Christmas-colored kitchen cotton in plain garter stitch. It is riddled with holes, split stitches, accidental decreases, decreases, and dropped stitches. It has not been bound off, but simply taken off the needles.
These things, with the exception of the needles which were my grandmother's, are not very old. They simply date to the beginning of my knitting career. This is the first piece of knitting my human hands created, the book that made the stitches possible, and the needles I used to create them.
This odd-shaped piece of fabric (I know now that the undulations on the right side were caused by my treating the first stitch as two stitches.) sat in a place of glory for weeks. The second I finished it- obviously neglecting the notion of "binding off"- I took four thumbtacks and pinned the whole thing to the wall right above my headboard. I was so proud of this piece of work!
Hot Head and told myself to figure it out when I got there. And what's great is, I did.
I made the hat, sewed it together miserably and wore it proudly to school every day for a week.
Seriously. But this was years ago, and I was a beginner, and I can look at these samples of truly atrocious knitting and appreciate how far I have come. And I can appreciate how deluded I was, to have worn the items in public. You should have seen my first sweater! Truly a disgusting specimen, I am quite glad it was cut to shreds by firemen. (Long story I promise I will one day divulge.)
So, back to today.
You can see in the first picture that my copy of Stitch n' Bitch is literally falling apart,
The needles though, the needles that I learned on are doing fine. I don't knit with straights very often, so they sit safely in a vase where I admire them sometimes and think about my grandmother, and wonder what she ever knit and if her first piece of knitting looked as bad as mine did.