learning to knit: James says…

If you’re anything like me I’ve already gotten Jane Says stuck in your head and you’re having a full blown nostalgia throwback to your younger days. It shouldn’t be too hard considering that everything I wore in the 90s is back with a vengeance. But let’s shake that loose and get back to the point of this post. I mean please by all means keep singing quietly to yourself but…


The point is that I am determined to learn to knit. This time around. And this time I have something going for me I didn’t have before. Someone in my corner. Like a cutman to patch me up when I’ve taken one too many to the face or the ego or whatever. 

My dear darling friend James who actually knows how to knit. Now she says she only knits some weird way that makes sense to no one but her and she can’t teach me because of all the bad habits it will give me. In case, you know, I ever make it to the point that I am using patters or want to make something more intricate than… I don’t know? A scarf or something? Though she claims there are patterns for those too. But she has pieces she’s been knitting for more than a decade. One of them even has an adorable name. It’s the name of the “pattern” but still.

After reading that last post where I lied and said I learned to knit she texted me to give me some good advice. As it happened I hadn’t yet left for the craft store because I was delayed by hunger and know better than to shop for anything on an empty stomach and so her texts were timely.

James has some saint-like patience in dealing with my fits and starts of creativity and I believe we have her to thank for the fact that this project even made it to a second blog post let alone to me further attempting this whole knitting thing. 

So not to discount the wisdom of the very funny sassy knitting lady from the video who made it seem like I could use any size needle and any type of yarn to learn to knit but was just telling me what kind she was using for reference, but I’m going to follow James’s very specific instructions which have nothing to do with actually knitting or learning to knit but everything to do with preparing me to learn to knit. 

Me and James. She gets me. She really does.

James says:

The Yarn… Well first she said I should be using “a wool-based worsted weight yarn.” And I admire her specificity but I let her know that I have far too much yarn sitting about going unused to justify buying fancy new wool-based worsted weight yarn. So she suggested I look to see if any of the yarn laying about was acrylic with a good stretch to it. As it happens I do. I have a white acrylic yarn that I purchased for tassel making but it was far too stretchy for making tassels so it went to the island of mismatched toys that is my bin of yarn, cording, threads, and what have you.

The Needles...  On this she is very clear. Size 8. Size 8 is the perfect size for me to learn on. Not a 9. Not a 7. Certainly not a 17. Size 8 and wood. I’m beginning to feel like Harry Potter walking into the wand shop for the first time. 

Actually Knitting… “For what it’s worth… The transition between casting on and letting the first row is actually not easy nor straightforward. I’ve found that it gets better from there.”

That last bit is the bit that gives me hope. The thing on which I am stuck? That appears to be the hardest part according to James. Who may be telling me the truth or may just know me well enough to know how to get me over that particular hump and could be lulling me into a false sense of security. I’ll let you know which.

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