Learning Something New : Knitting
Last month, when I mentioned that I wanted to take a couple of in-person classes this year, my friend Sue graciously offered to teach me how to knit. One look at her Instagram feed and you'll see she is a yarn goddess, so of course I said YES. The stars aligned this past weekend and we got to spend most of Sunday together while she showed me the basics of knitting.
I don’t do many crafts that aren’t paper related. Stamping, letterpress, painting, scrapbooking, brush script and calligraphy all primarily revolve around a paper base. I’ve always thought quilting would be fun, but my sewing machine sees a lot more action from paper than fabric. So, excuse me if I mis-use any terminology in this post. I'm a complete yarn newbie.
Sue taught me all about needle sizes + types and yarn weight, and she got me started with a sweet stash of pretty yarns and some size 8 needles. So far, I think I’m leaning toward the metal needles. I just need to be on alert for slipping. She also taught me how to do a purl stitch. At first, purl and I were not friends at all. Having the knit stitch so fresh in my mind made it hard for me to learn how to purl. And then I forgot how to knit. It’s all good now though and we are speaking to each other again.
My biggest struggle was learning how to hold the needles. I felt (and looked) so awkward most of the day but after watching Sue, and knitting row after row after row, I eventually relaxed my fingers. Three days later, I’m feeling much more comfortable with my grip. No more claw hands.
It’s all just practice right now. I'm making lots of mistakes (um, hello, look at that pink piece above) and learning from them. I really didn’t think I’d enjoy knitting as much as I do. I’ve been working on them quite a bit since my lesson and really like that little break in my day. I love that it’s portable and that you can stop and start at virtually any time - a must when you have young children at home. Over (lots and lots of) time, I know it will become a more mindless activity, but I can’t imagine not even having to look at what I’m doing! Right now, I enjoy watching the stitches form and learning what patterns are created from the different stitches. When I’m trying something new, it helps me to understand the why and how it all works. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
I love this article Elise shared last week - as if I needed another reason to fall in love with this new-to-me craft. Eventually, I’ll figure out what my first project will be, but for now, practice is where it's at.
One of my goals in 2015 is to take 2 in-person classes. To open my mind, expand my creative abilities, and learn something new from a master of their craft. You can read more about my 2015 goals here.