52 Homesteading Skills in One Year – Project #9: Learning to knit
I could see it in her eyes… the dreaded realization that this is going to be much more challenging than she thought.
It was my first knitting class and I spent the first 30 minutes just trying to coax yarn onto my needle before I could even begin.
Things were getting downright embarrassing.
As I looked up at my patient teacher and down at my empty knitting needles I realized I was going to have start swallowing… pride that is.
I’m not a crafty person, so I’m not sure what made me think learning to knit was going to be easy.
If I could have fled I probably would have, but I was with my daughter. I had to set a good example and prove to her that we (well, me actually) could do this. Fortunately, expert knitter and teacher, Stephanie Perry from SPerry Handmade, told me to toss the needles and lay the yarn on the table. It worked and I was able to follow her motions and “cast on” my first stitch.
After the two-hour lesson was over, I was sent home with a knitting pattern and told to do the best I could. I doubt Stephanie had high hopes, but even she must have been surprised when I came back the next week.
Although I left with the beginnings of what was supposed to become a dishcloth, I showed up with nothing. Na da. How is that even possible, you ask? I messed up and had to start all over. Except I couldn’t remember how. So lesson number two began much like the first one with me red faced and sweating and wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into.
Miracles of miracles, I did eventually catch on. A few weeks later and ta da….
Okay, so I admit there are a few things wrong with this dishcloth. It’s supposed to be square and I didn’t quite get the pattern right in the middle, but my sweet daughter tells me it’s creative. And by the way, no one is EVER going to clean anything with it. This masterpiece is going to be framed and hung so everyone can admire its lopsidedness.
So what did I learn from this experience and why should you learn to knit?
Knitting is relaxing and fun
I’m crazy. Who wants to spend hours and hours knitting when you can just go to the store and buy the same item for a few bucks? Yes, there is likely something wrong with my brain chemistry, but there is also something alluring about learning to knit.
Once you get the hang of it, it’s relaxing and fun. Really! It’s like yoga or mediation, but you get a new dishcloth at the end. Research describes it as an antidepressant and hey, it’s a lot cheaper than therapy.
Knitting isn’t just for grandmas
Knitting happens to be a very cool, hip art form. In fact, the Craft Yarn Council reports that a third of women ages 25 to 35 now knit or crochet.
Knitting eliminates boredom
What do you do when you’re waiting in the doctor’s office, stuck in the airport or the most dreaded of all — waiting at the hospital? You knit. You can also knit and watch TV at the same time. So when your husband asks, “What are you doing watching Netflix reruns of Once Upon A Time for the FIFTH time this week?” You can say it’s just on for background noise. You’re actually being productive with your time. You’re learning to knit.”
Knitting builds confidence and pride
Knitting isn’t just for adults, children can learn too. It’s not only a practical skill, but it’s artistic, creative and a really cool thing to do right now.
In case you are wondering my seven-year-old daughter is already proving to be a better knitter than I. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince her to stay up past her bedtime to finish hers in time for this blog post. But she did pose for me.
I wish I could teach you how to knit, but just the thought makes me laugh. The best way to learn is in person from an expert such as Stephanie, who offers weekly courses at Café diem in Moncton. I also found these helpful videos from Sheep and Stitch.
Have you always wanted to learn to knit, but haven’t gotten around to it yet? I challenge you to give it a try. You can do this. All you need is an abundance of patience and practice — and maybe a bottle of wine if it doesn’t work out.