Let me start off by saying that the title? That is a lie. An utter fabrication. If I were honest I would have titled this “I thought I just learned to knit and then realized I was utterly wrong and felt defeated…”
Every decade or so I decide I want to learn to knit. I tried when I was a kid. Fail. I tried in my teens. Fail. I tried in my twenties. Fail. I skipped the attempt in my thirties because I had some shit going on. I would go into detail but let’s just say life. I had life going on. Private lives of proper nouns.
Also I still remembered that one time in my early 20s I tried to knit and couldn’t even start and the memory was just too painful.
So here I am a 41 year old woman with a love of doing stuff with her hands who doesn’t know how to knit. Or crochet. Or arm knit. Or hand knit. Or finger knit. I can macrame. But when I say I can macrame what I really mean is I can make simple plant hangers and I totally intend to learn to macrame cool intricate Celtic style wall hangings. But I haven’t yet.
So today as I was cleaning my room (which had become a sad place to sleep, desperately search for shoes I can’t find, get dressed, and store boxes full of papers and junk belonging to my partner and myself) I was feeling really good about my room. Things were getting respectable. Plants. Art. Lovely bedding. A tidy place to keep underwear, bras, and socks. I mean we already had all that but it was obfuscated by the giant mountain of paper and junk that had taken over.
But as I was getting near the end of dealing with junk and beginning to procrastinate (like I am right now by writing this post) I realized what was missing. What would really bring the whole room together. Aside from it actually being finished. A heavy knitted throw. In charcoal. Yes. It would bring the whole room together.
But I’m on a making things kick. And I don’t want to buy yet another blanket. And what I want is one of those chunky knitted throws. I mean… I could ask a friend or something but I am kind of weird about what goes in the bedroom so better if I just make it?
I considered my options and after briefly considering walking to the craft store to buy a crochet needle I decided I didn’t have time for that. I needed to learn a fiber art NOW!
I rummaged around the neat and tidy arts and crafts bins in the other room until I pulled out a skein of bright red yarn and size 17 knitting needles that my mother had given me when she was purging her craft room of stuff she doesn’t use.
Yes my mother knows I can’t knit. I think it was wishful gifting. Or her just really wanted crap gone. And on my end it was totally wishful accepting.
“I’m totally going to learn to knit. Or the kid will!”
No. No we were not.
Until today when I decided I really didn’t want to deal with this last pile of stuff to sort through and I needed to learn how to knit so I could make a big chunky throw. And hey as a smaller project to learn on I could knit my daddy a scarf for Christmas. He would totally pretend to love that.
So I looked up a video on how to knit. You know, on the internet. Like a normal person. And I watched in awe as this very funny woman began the process of knitting by showing me yarn. And picking needles out of her needle jar. And being goofy. And tying a knot I totally knew how to tie.
And then she started to knit. And I totally, as expected, didn’t get it. And I rewound and watched it seven times or something. And then finally my brain went “Ahhhhh ha!” and I managed to get the huge needle into the loop of yarn and pull it tight!
If you knit you know I probably shouldn’t be starting with a size 17 needle because you probably know how big that is. And you may be asking yourself “Why is she using a size 17 pair of needles? What is she thinking?”
I was thinking the same thing I was thinking when I decided to learn to knit this morning instead of to crochet. I didn’t feel like heading out of the house.
But I digress… I got the huge needle through the loop and that loop, it stayed on my needle and I heard her say “I’m going to do that 15 times.” And I was like…
Yes!! I’m going to do it 15 times!
And then I did it 15 times and I hit play and mine did not look like hers. So I did it 35 more times and hit play and realized that I had, in fact, not learned to do what I was supposed to be doing at all. I sighed. And this is where in decades past I probably gave up. But not today!
I pulled all those little loops off the needle and I watched that part of the video many more times and I finally got it. I finally really truly got it. And I tried to do it 15 times like she said but the tail was no longer a tail. It was more of a stub. My long tail cast-on wasn’t long enough to get to 15. But that was probably because my needles were so big… It’s fine. I’m sure it’s fine. I’m knitting.
I AM KNITTING
I pushed play on the video and that’s when she said it was time to start knitting. It was then that I realized the only thing I had learned was how to put yarn on a single needle — to cast on. Once that second needle got involved try as I might (which was twice) I couldn’t make it do the thing it was supposed to do. I couldn’t even understand the thing it was supposed to do. Also I have a short attention span for things I don’t understand so I decided to go put my sheets in the dryer and maybe finish cleaning my room.
But you know what I don’t feel like doing? Cleaning my room. And do you know what else I don’t feel like doing? Failing at knitting again. And my kitchen is already clean because I didn’t want to clean my room earlier either so as you can see I’m running out of options.
I guess it’s time to go for a walk to get some more appropriately sized needles and maybe a crochet hook as backup just in case this knitting thing doesn’t have a happy ending.
Because damn it, my dad is getting an ugly homemade scarf for Christmas wether he likes it or not.
And I’m going to blog about the whole damn process. Lucky you.