Thursday, August 11, 2005

Advice to New Knitters

Okay, all you Cowardly Lions of the knitting world! Repeat after me:
It's just needles and yarn, it's just needles and yarn, it's just needles and yarn... :-D

My second project after getting back into knitting after a 37 year hiatus was a pair of socks. My first was a sweater. And aside from the fact that I would never want to meet the gorilla who would have fitted into that sweater (I frogged and then donated the yarn to the knitting guild years later, I couldn't bear to look at it any longer), I learned a LOT from the experience! With the socks I bought a kit and needles from Morehouse while on vacation, a book from Barnes & Noble, and sat down and knitted myself some socks. I had never knitted socks before, I had never even used dpns, never done short rows, but I sat with the instructions on one side of me, Mary Thomas' book on the other, and dove in. And before I knew it I had a pair of socks. You see, I didn't know I was supposed to be intimidated by those projects. Now I can knit a pair of socks in a day with my little 12" circular.

My point is not that I think I am Lynda the Amazing Wonder Knitter, but to show that nothing bad happened to me from deciding to just dive in and try it. I didn't die, I didn't lose any limbs, my family members are all still alive and healthy. :-) No one yelled at me or made fun of me. And if they had tried to make fun of me they would have been in trouble, because I have sharp pointy sticks, and I know how to use them!

I think that what makes a person become a great knitter is not inborn talent, because none of us is born with knitting needles in hand (luckily for our Moms!). It isn't years of experience - though Depth of experience is a great thing. It is NOT BEING AFRAID to try something new. If it doesn't work, you just rip it out and try again. See? No harm done. And you have learned something very valuable from your mistakes.

I sat and looked at those instructions for the heel flap and thought, Huh? Well, okay, I'll give it a try. Then I read the part for the heel turn and thought, WHAT? Well, if that's what they say, I'll do it and see what happens.

What makes a great knitter is being absolutely fearless about trying new things. And one of the many things that I love about knitting is that it is filled with little tricks that are so easy to learn, and have such cool results and make you feel like a genius when you are done.
Look at me! Look what I just did! And every new project teaches you something new.

So by all means, have doubts, ask questions, but like the commercials say, just do it. It'll work.


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