Alright, friends, the end of an era is upon us as my journey to learn to knit comes to a formal end today. (Please note that the knitting journey will continue…I’ve got Christmas gifts to make, people! No rest for these busy fingers!)
The challenge to learn something new via the interweb was possed in September by the fantastical Katia Hildebrandt. I wanted to learn something that felt like it would add value to my life but that wouldn’t take time away from the things I’d already committed my time to. I perused the interwebz for ideas and then bingo-bango-chicken-and-mango there is was…an infinity scarf! The inspiration that got the ball rolling.
For my Week 1 blog post I aimed to blog weekly about knitting history, my progress, and my resources for that week.
I was lost as to how to actually knit. I had picked up the materials but hadn’t yet got to knitting!
Week 2 had me actually casting on and sharing what terminology I was learning. I was deep into “how to knit” YouTube videos. Id watch, pause, rewind and watch again. And again. And again! The ability to slow things down and really watch the finger movements was something unique to learning to knit via online resources.
By the end of the first week I’d knitted a…ummmm…well, it was supposed to be a lovely scarf but the lesson I learned that week was how much yarn you actually need for a project like that. What I ended up with was a delightful little wall hanging. And it really is a piece I cherish. I have it hanging in my office. It kind of acts as a reminder of new efforts not being in vain even when the end result isn’t what you intended. Lesson learned.
Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5 had me knitting like a mad woman every chance I got. I was knitting at the arena, during my Masters class, at home during family movie night. Everywhere. I was finally feeling confident….which I later realized was misguided because the yellow infinity scarf I was working on had a few holes. Whoops. Character, they add character, right!?!
I also realized that I – and everyone else who knits – has a knitting face. Yikes. Since childhood, my “I’m concentrating” face includes wide-eyed staring and biting my tongue.
Videos like these by Devina from Sheep and Stich were invaluable at navigating along the way as I encountered hiccups.
What fell by the wayside in favor of a more practical and valuable use of my knitting time was the knitting history factoids I intended to uncover and share along the way. At the outset of this adventure, I listen to a Freakonomics podcast about the history of knitting and it was seriously captivating. It made me think there was this untold story about knitting that I could shed some light on – this may very well be true, but in place of fact-finding I watched videos and kept on making progress.
By Week 6 I was feeling like I had waaaaaaaaay overstepped in committing to an infinity scarf. I had cast on something like 40 casts, which in my defense look like not very many when there are no other rows attached, but is actually a lot of casts for a scarf. It had made for a very cozy drap-ey scarf, indeed! I kept at it taking my scarf and bag of knitting goodies everywhere and by Week 7 I had myself a scarf. When I sewed the ends together I was so flippin proud of myself. I’m artistic but I have never really made practical things. This was a first!
Week 8 through Week 11 were a knitting delight. My whole knitting adventured opened right back up again after I completed the never-ending-scarf! I needed a new project. I had outlined at the beginning of this adventure that I wanted to make a hat….well, I realized I’m not quite ready for a hat yet. Yet! ’cause I did go and buy all the required hat stuff…so it will happen soon…perhaps over Christmas. Hmm. Yeah, over Christmas. So I wanted to start a new project that was “usable”. I didn’t just want to learn a new stitch I wanted to produce something tangible and useful. Then I saw…dun dun dun…a knitted head scarf. Whaaaaaa! Yes, please. So I followed the rabbit hole of online resources and got to a great tutorial that walked me through it. And bingo-bango just like that I was making head scarfs. Not just one but manyyyyy!
And ta boot, my 7-year-old asked for wrist cuffs…for soccer! The idea didn’t make any sense to me – still doesn’t – but I still made them and he was delighted!
This journey of learning to knit has been so enjoyable. I am always reluctant to learn or do online what I can do in person with others. I thought it would be more challenging to learn to knit watching a video or reading blogs than to just sit down with a knitting buddy. Turns out you were on to something, Katia. It’s like this was your master plan all along or something – go figure! Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone a little. I’d such fun to have this new skill. And to know taht I can pass it on to my boys! Cheers.