how i learned to knit

She didn't make it a meme, but Dee Anna over at Pair of Ducks had some questions for the audience. Since I'm this close (*holds fingers about 2cm apart*) to finishing about four different projects and too lazy to take pictures before they're done, I thought I'd answer over here. I think I've told these stories before, probably more than once, but oh well.

1.) How did you learn to knit? When I was about 8, I enrolled in a knitting course at the 4-H Extension Center in my home town. My MOM was the teacher! You have to understand that when I was a kid, I did NOT LIKE to learn things from my mom. What did she know? (ha!) But for some reason I didn't mind her teaching me to knit. I suppose it had something to do with the fact that she was the teacher for a whole class, so to my young mind she wasn't just my mom. She was the teacher and therefore I didn't mind listening to her. Also, she was my ride home.

2.) Did you have a teacher or any outside guidance? See above. Knitting was a whole different game back in the 1980s when I was learning. There was no such thing as the interwebs with online tutorials and how-to videos. Not to mention the million and one "how-to-knit" books in print. Knitters now are much, much more empowered than they (we) were a couple decades ago, simply because information is available pretty much anywhere. Back then, you couldn't really learn unless someone showed you how.

3.) How was it in the beginning? Honestly, I don't remember how easy or difficult I thought it was. I wasn't the slowest learner in the bunch, but I don't remember how enthusiastic I was, either. I stuck with the 4-H classes for three or four years, though.

4.) How long did it take to learn to love knitting? I didn't looooove knitting until I was in grad school and found a knitting buddy named Autumn. We have much in common other than knitting, but early in our friendship she taught me how to knit socks. Until that point, knitting was something I had enjoyed on and off. As an adult, I made Stuart a horrible sweater he never wears (and I don't blame him) and my brother a beautiful gray cabled sweater that he probably never wears because it is 100% wool and he lives in Virginia. (My brother is 6'3". That sweater took a long time.) I had also made a few baby sweaters for expectant friends of mine. But it wasn't until Autumn showed me how to make socks that I discovered just how much I love to knit. Maybe it was the realization that you don't have to stick to a pattern, that your own intuition and experience can take you a long, long way; I felt like a door had been opened for me, and I ran right through and never looked back.

5.) What was your first project? Ah, the first project. It was neither a scarf nor a dishcloth, my friends. Nor was it a hat. No, no. As the rules of 4-H knitting dictated, my very first project was a pair of garter-stitch slippers with a pom-pom on the toes made out of bright yellow Red Heart acrylic yarn. They were every bit as awful as you can imagine. Since my mom retired from teaching high school, she's been volunteering again as a knitting instructor at the same Extension Center, and she tells me that the rules and guidelines for knitting classes have changed and opened up to allow much nicer projects. It's a good program.

6.) What do you wish you had made for a first project? Just about anything else. When I teach people to knit (which I have done from time to time), I usually start with a scarf in garter stitch or a hat in the round.


Dee said…
Thanks for answering my questions.

Dee Anna

Also, I don't know what a meme is?

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