By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
PONTOTOC – For Sarah Todd, having a new scarf, sweater, purse or pair of socks is as simple as a few hours of knitting.
Todd, 30, has been an avid knitter since 2002. She learned the art from her mother, Judy Rutledge, who teaches knitting.
“I’ve knitted lots of scarves. I like to do socks. I’ve knitted sweaters, a lot of baby items,” she said.
After picking up the basics, the Pontotoc native was ready to try more challenging pieces.
“It wasn’t very long before I knitted a sweater, because I think it’s important when you’re learning something new to challenge yourself,” she said.
Her first sweater, she admits, was “really ugly,” but since she’s perfected her craft, her clothes have become more and more stylish and complex. Still, she hasn’t tossed those first few pieces.
“If you spend 20 to 30 hours on something, you’re gonna be attached to it,” she said.
Her son, Max, and her mom are the recipients of a lot of her work.
“She knows how to care for it and can appreciate the work that goes into it,” she said.
Todd said she wears something she or her mother knitted nearly every day during the fall, winter and spring months.
Knitting her own clothes may take longer than running to the store, but it can save money.
“It can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be,” she said. It all depends on the type of yarn or materials used, and costs for those range from inexpensive to pricey. Of course, because the things are all hand-made, there’s that one-of-a-kind aspect to the clothes, too. Todd said she once knitted a child’s dress that cost her about $5 to make.
“It could be a way to save money, especially on kids’ stuff,” she said. “I’ll especially do stuff for Max because I know it would mean more if I made it for him.”
Todd is the band director at Pontotoc High School, so she knits when she can.
“On the weekends, I can knit for a couple of hours. During the week, I’m lucky if I get 30 minutes every night,” she said. “Some things may take about a week, but some things may take about a month of work.”
“Work” may be the wrong word for knitting, though. Todd said her hobby is a way to relieve tension.
“It’s a relaxing thing, when you’re having to count stitches and knit. You don’t have to worry about what happened at school that day,” she said. “We say it’s cheaper than therapy.”