I recently talked about why I decided to no longer continue sewing recreationally. It was a decision that I didn’t make lightly, and one that I haven’t regretted even once since I made it. Instead, I’ve focused on yarn-based crafts. For a while, I just crocheted (because that’s what I knew). Then in February, Will bought me entrance to a knitting class taught through one of the local yarn stores as a Valentine’s Day gift. The price of admission was the purchase of knitting needles and yarn from the store (if we’d purchased those items elsewhere, there would have been a $20 charge).
During the class, I felt quite overwhelmed. I think that’s probably normal when learning a new skill. When I got home, I was determined to continue learning in order to not forget the new skill. It was frustrating, and there were a few tears as I couldn’t figure it out once I was away from my teacher. But again, I was determined. I found some videos online that helped me fill in the gaps that I’d forgotten on the drive home. By the end of the first week, I was doing much better – mostly. I had the feel of the yarn and the needles down, but I was inadvertently adding stitches as I was knitting. I couldn’t figure it out. Some more online research told me that this was a normal problem with new knitters, and it happens because you’ll often pull the yarn over your working needle instead of between the two needles. Once I learned what the problem was, I’ve been very conscientious about it, and have only made that mistake one time since.
Part of why I wanted to learn to knit was to be able to make useful things other than hats and blankets. I’m quite accomplished at crocheting those things, but I wanted to take yarn crafting to another level – especially since I was giving up sewing and quilting. For this reason, once I’d spent a week or so knitting “nothing” (sample swatches to get the feel of the movements down), I moved straight into more complicated things… specifically a baby sweater for Dragonfly. Turns out that was a bit too ambitious, thanks to the sleeves. It’s been about six weeks and I still haven’t gotten sleeves on that particular project (and won’t ever – more on that in a minute). But that’s okay because it did something else, even though it didn’t fulfill its “usefulness”: it gave me confidence. I learned a new style of stitch (in knitting, there are only two stitches, but depending on how you combine them, you get different fabrics), and I created something big.
This post has already gotten a bit longer than I expected it to, so I’m going to wrap it up for now and continue documenting my experience next time.