I’ve been knitting for the past…4 years? Wow. You would have think I would have produced more in that amount of time, but the truth is I take summers off. So let’s say something like 2 years.
Anyway, this is not a knitting picture post, as I’ve done in the past, mostly because I’m too lazy to click ‘insert photo’. So that will have to wait for another time because I do have things to update on! But yes, I’ve discovered that there is a reason old women knit and not new moms. When he’s awake, I have no hands to knit! And there is something more than a little disconcerting about a craft that literally just one tug of a string will make hours of work all. come. undone. So it is kept up high and I only knit at night or in the car. And that makes for very slow progress.
But anyway, that’s not what this post is about!
This was supposed to be about all the wisdom I’ve learned from knitting. Oh yes, I’ve learned patience and perseverance and how to calm myself and not be busy busy busy (or, knitting promote that last one?…hmm). And I’ve learned how to stop being a perfectionist because if you keep taking your stitches out then you never finish anything! And a less than perfect hat is still a hat that keeps your head warm! Whereas having three perfect rows that are still on the needle are…absolutely useless.
But again, that would be pretentious to claim I’ve learned all those virtues and I’ve grown in leaps and bounds because I am now a knitter! Because I haven’t. I’m in practice, as always.
No, I think the most important thing I’ve learned from knitting is this: Even when given the pattern ahead of time, I cannot understand how it all comes together until I just knit the darn thing.
And I think its more than just a problem in spacial awareness. I feel like its one of those life lesson thingys that I’m supposed to apply to other parts of my life and then pretentiously talk about on my blog.
When I started to knit a few years ago, once I finally mastered knit purl knit purl (which incidentally, I found out I was doing backwards just a few months ago! see above note about perfectionism! who cares!) I was SO excited to learn to knit a sock. How do you get it to curve like that around the heel? And the toe? I would read and re-read directions and still be confused as ever. Until I just dove right in. And literally figured it out as I went. “Oh, THIS decrease means THIS and THIS is how this will play out in reality!”
Yes there was tearing out stitches, and working more backwards that forwards while I figured it out, but doing was the only way of figuring it out at all.
Years later that is still the case! Knitting Mike’s sweater for example (update for a future post, it is finished! Finally!) the pieces made no sense whatsoever. Literally, I had no clue what was going to happen even when I had made all four pieces (front, back, two arms). I would reread the pattern, and you’d think it would be easier since I “knew what was supposed to happen” but until I actually knit line by line and saw how it all was supposed to fit together, I didn’t have any hope that I was doing remotely the right thing. I just kept having to fall back to, “Ok, I know these are the stitches its telling me to do, and I’m following along just like it tells me to do, but seriously there is no way this will come together into something that I can actually wear myself/give to someone without them thinking that I’m a complete cheapskate/lunatic for creating something so hideous and calling it a gift.”
This even happens for blankets! I can think, wow, there is no way that simple pattern will make a pattern that ornate, until I realize that I was visualizing the whole thing from the wrong direction, the wrong orientation. And when you start to knit it and it actually goes the other way, then it all makes sense!
And that’s where I think its like life. I’d like to think that if I could just see the future and know certain things would work out or not work out, that maybe everything would be a lot better. Maybe it would be, on certain patterns, but man, if even blankets can be confusing, I’m pretty sure that knowing “the plan” would just confuse me more until I actually just take things day by day and watch it slowly unfold. Things just seem to make no sense, until they do.
At least I think that’s what knitting is trying to tell me.