You may have guessed from several references dotted about this blog that I knit. I’ve been knitting for a few years now. (In fact on reflection I think it will be a whole THREE years this summer!) Lately though I’ve been doing some thinking about my knitting, this talent that I’m supposed to have, because, funny enough, I’ve always felt like I’m not good enough and that I’ve been very slow to learn.
I can knit. I can purl. I have (very) recently learned to rib and do moss/seed stitch. I can only do even rib stitch (1×1, 2×2, 4×2 etc) otherwise my befuddled at the best of times head gets seriously confused. Now these are fairly elementary skills in the world of knitting so why has it taken me so long to get here?
Part of the trouble I think is that I learned as an adult. I learned to knit as an adult from other adults who have knitted all their lives. They think nothing of it. They just knit. Masterpieces come off their needles just like that. As a learner knitter amongst advanced peers you do feel a little bit inferior. They make it look so easy and infuriatingly they seem to think that I should find it easy too. If you start as a child then making basic scarves and doll’s clothes is an attractive proposition but as an adult your sights are set higher, far too high sometimes.
The second problem that I encountered pretty soon on my debut garter stitch scarf is that I can’t count. No, I am really being serious. Numbers and me have never been the closest of acquaintances and most of the time we’re rarely on speaking terms. Knitting involves being able to count. Knitting requires you not to get confused when faced with random series of numbers.
When I went on to my second project, which with hindsight was probably a little bit too advanced for the likes of me, the number battle got worse. There is an awful lot of stitches to lose count of in a man size jumper, even when worked in simple stocking stitch. There is also only a finite number of times that you can ask your husband to count your stitches for you too.
The third battle is that I have absolutely no coordination, my brain and limbs struggle to communicate when I am completely au fait with the task in front of me. If it’s something totally unfamiliar then everything goes pearshaped rather too fast and embarassingly well for comfort. (This is why I can’t dance.) It takes a very long time for me to learn movements and you need this motion memory to do so many useful everyday things, like driving a car or being able to knit.
So altogether, after some serious reflection, usually during the dark slumberless hours of the night, I consider that it’s actually quite a major achievement that I’ve come so far with my knitting after all. Yes my husband did ban me from major projects and reluctantly I have to concede he’s right. (But just once, in this rare instance, OK?!)
After being banned from all the creative masterpieces that I had initially dreamt of fashioning on my needles I sulked for a while, of course, and then started again.
As a result I can now knit bootees adeptly (any friends and relations expecting can be sure of what they’ll receive from us!) and these small and sometimes rather insignificant projects have helped. Through them I have sensibly built up my confidence and skills slowly but rather more surely than before. And you know what, it shows. I’m even finishing most of the projects that I start on!
I now only consider patterns that I know are within my capabilities and attention span. (Knitting in circles is never going to be an option, I get very confused there too.) I have a big stash of those patterns now ready for me to embark on and I’m branching out into ever m0re varied projects. Though I’ve not given up bootees just yet.
So, yes, I am a knitter. Just like the rest of you clever people. But in my own unique way.