GREENE – To some people, a half-completed doll blanket may not seem like much. However, when Heidi Wortley holds up the work that’s on her knitting needles, there is no mistaking the pride in her eyes.

“This is only after a day or so of work,” said Wortley. “Not bad for someone just starting out.”

She hoped to have the blanket finished by the next day, thus getting over the hurdle of any first project that comes with starting a new hobby. Meeting this challenge was important to this stay-at-home mom, who lives in Greene with her two daughters and husband.

“I’ve been interested in knitting for a long time,” Wortley said. “But there really wasn’t anyone in my family who could show me how to do it, and it always seemed like something that was just passed down, you know?” Her curiosity about it lingered when she moved to Maine and started her own family.

“As a stay-at-home mom, I really felt I needed to find a hobby,” she continued. “I’m usually busy with the house and the girls, but then there are those times that I see my husband, Matt, tinkering with his hobbies, and he has so much fun with them. I finally decided it was time to find one of my own.”

After doing some research, both by talking to acquaintances and going online, Wortley decided on the challenge of teaching herself how to knit. “I did a lot of searching around on the Internet and I came across a book called ‘Kids Knitting’ by Melanie Falick. I thought that this book would be good for me because, heck, if a kid can do it, so can I! And, the pictures of the projects in the book looked like things my girls would enjoy too.”

Two weeks later, the book arrived at Wortley’s door. “I couldn’t wait for it to get here. As soon as it came, I glanced through it to see what I would need.” With list in hand and one of her daughters in the car seat, she was off to pick up needles, yarn, scissors and all of the other necessities required to get started.

One of the things that Wortley discovered she liked about knitting was that the initial investment for materials was minimal. “I think altogether, it was less than $50. Compared to other things I’ve tried in the past, I think that’s a good deal.” Wortley purchased most of the items the book listed as a knitters’ basic starter kit for knitters separately. But she noted that many stores sell ready-made kits for those who want the basics in one package.

“I decided on a baby doll blanket because it seemed like a manageable project to start with,” Wortley said. “There were some other cute things in the book, but I wanted to make sure that once I started on something, that I would be able to finish and feel a sense of satisfaction.”

While the project may have been simple, getting those first few rows knitted weren’t as easy as she thought. “If it weren’t for both the pictures and instructions, I’m not sure I could have done it,” she said with a chuckle. “I started with actually knitting on my fingers. I made a few bracelets for the girls. Once I moved to the needles, I knit a few rows; but, they didn’t come out quite right. So I pulled them out and started over. It was a bit frustrating, but I finally got it.”

Within a week, the doll blanket was done. Wortley’s older daughter was ecstatic to be putting her doll to bed with a pastel blue and green blanket made just for her. “She’s thrilled,” the proud mom says with a smile. “Of course, now she can’t wait for me to make the beanbags she saw in my book.”

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