My mom taught me to knit when I was seven or eight years old. She had briefly considered sending me to Waldorf school and so I spent a day at one nearish to our house. I quickly realized it wasn’t for me, but I was intrigued by all the crafting and making that the kids did there. And so we went to a knitting shop, picked out some needles and yarn, and after a couple quick lessons, I was off.
I never knit anything particularly useful. I was the queen of long, unblocked swaths that we eventually turned into scarves for my teddy bears and dolls. But I liked it and kept at it until other activities captured my interest.
For the last several years, I’ve been saying that I was in need of a new hobby (since I turned my last one into a career). I had my eye on knitting, but was weirdly hesitant to try it. I think part of it came from the fact that it’s been a long time since I started something new. In most aspects of my life, I’m the expert, not the beginner. And since I was so unaccustomed to being uncertain and a little scared to dive in, I just stayed away entirely.
I decided back in the fall that 2014 was going to be my knitting year and so when a website called Slugs on the Refrigerator announced that they were hosting a month-long online knitting camp this January, I decided to buy the kit and join up.
And honestly, it’s been really great. The basics of knit and purl came back almost immediately (hooray for muscle memory). I used some YouTube tutorials to relearn how to cast on and to figure out some of the new-to-me ways of reducing the piece. And I just keep reminding myself that any discomfort I feel in being a beginner is good for my brain (new neural pathways, and all).
So far, I’ve made two hats (and a long, meandering swatch that was just for practice). The first hat is a little bit of a wreck, but I learned a lot from it and I feel pretty darn good about the second one. I made it for Scott in his chosen colors of blue and orange (there’s no school affiliation there, just an affinity for those shades) and even adapted the pattern a tiny bit to suit.
I don’t think that I’m going to become someone who knits everything, all the time, but I’m really enjoying it at this pace. It’s fun to make useable things that aren’t edible and it’s nice to have something else to do while watching TV besides answering email.
YAAAY! Knitting claims another victim. 🙂 You should check out Ravelry – excellent resource for pattern ideas and getting help from other knitters.
I love you Marisa, you’re just like me — 5 posts in 5 days and then nothing for months. I miss what used to be daily postings on this log, but then, my life’s gotten crazy too. I’d love to knit, but unlike you, I’m not brave enough — HOWEVER, I have been following this blogger for a very long time — you might enjoy HIM (yes, a male knitter); he does beautiful work — sure to inspire you. He’s Harvard educated and hilarously funny.
great hat! I have recently picked up a pair of socks I’m knitting – started back a few years ago and got stuck – and I agree with your assessment of knitting as a hobby. Plus, I love to sew way more than knit. I’d like to learn to crochet, too – supposedly it’s faster and more flexible – I’ll encourage myself that I’m making new neural pathways – ha.