learning to knit: and then Laura said…

It seems like maybe the last three times I tried to learn to knit I may have been going about this thing all wrong. Because in the past I was just totally annoyed and frustrated all on my own before throwing my hands up in the air and declaring with great authority that I just am not a knitter. 

After I wrote the last post James says… I started to wonder if I should be procrastinating on cleaning my room or on getting the appropriate size and type of knitting needles. After all both a clean room and learning to knit seemed really important. I had already eaten lunch, cared for all my plants, played video games on my phone, and texted with my friend. Clearly I needed to buckle down and do one or the other. Should I clean my room? Should I go to the craft store for supplies?

That’s when I remembered that I had totally intended to dye my hair this weekend and the weekend was almost over. Also that it was the last day of the weekend that is attached to Black Friday. The stores! They would be crowded. With actual people!

Well the answer was obvious. Dye my hair, kind of work on my room while the dye set, watch another episode of the show I’ve been binging, and see if I could find size 8 wooden knitting needles on line with next day delivery. I did all that. But it wasn’t quite enough for me. So after I got the dye rinsed out I decided to give this thing another go. I started that video up again certain that this charming quirky woman couldn’t be leading me astray and tried once again to knit. At the knitting part of the video not the casting on part. I’ve got that down. 


So as I sat there trying to understand what is fundamentally wrong with me that I can not make knitting work I got a text from my cousin Laura. Ordinarily I would call her my baby cousin because when I met her she was a tiny wee little baby and I was a fully formed stubborn child. But she’s like in her 30s now. So just Laura.

My “baby” cousins Laura and Rachel

The text read: “Is this familiar?” and attached was a youtube video. 

Now I expected it to be the perky quirky knitter who was really good and clear even though I couldn’t understand how to make any of this work. But instead it was. Well it was this guy.

I felt an immediate kinship with him as he’s southern and was eating marshmallows off of knitting sticks which is precisely what I would like to do with them. I feel like he’s a little southern bearded man me. As I watched the video I laughed so loud and so hard that my daughter couldn’t decide if I was laughing or crying out in pain. Alarmed she came in to check on me.

After finishing his video and finding myself in his knitting shoes I read the rest of the texts from my baby cousin Laura after I’d let her know that I was trying to learn to knit from the exact video he was watching.

She suggested that yes, my needles were ridiculously large and she usually employs size 6 or 8 when teaching friends to knit.

This reminded me of two things… First: if my baby cousin can do this, of course I can do this. Second: Her whole part of the family is ridiculously talented at like… everything. Her dad carved a canoe out of a tree trunk (I don’t even think I’m making that up but I could be). He carved a violin. He made a bicycle out of bamboo. And he did the most amazing smooth french braids I have ever seen on his daughters’ hair. He can do anything and so can his daughters. So this may be harder than I led myself to believe when I said I can do it if she can.

Back to Laura.

She knitted this toddler sweater. She is clearly an expert at knitting and selfies. And also an adult like I said earlier.

I took her statement about the needle size as an absolute confirmation that James was completely right and I was relieved I had already ordered those size 8 wooden needles for next day delivery (though my uncle probably could have carved some for me just as quickly). But what she said next blew my mind. Like… something I hadn’t considered. 

She told me that the video that the southern bearded man me and I were trying to learn from actually isn’t the easiest thing to follow. 

What? You mean I’m not solely to blame for this? Sassy knitting lady isn’t perfect? What does it all mean? Maybe I can make this happen after all. 

At which point she also provided me with an alternate tutorial to try: 

Honestly, I haven’t even watched yet  because I don’t have those size 8 wooden needles. They arrive later today. But Laura and James are my go to experts now because they reached out and gave me information that I am sure will prove totally valuable. Also you can thank them both for me continuing on this inane journey.

Hopefully when next I post about learning to knit I will have learned to knit something that I can actually call a stitch. Or even two.

3 thoughts on “learning to knit: and then Laura said…

  1. Laura says:

    Armed with reasonably sized needles, you are going to make one fantastic scarf! Also, yes, of course dad has made me a set of split bamboo knitting needles – including size 8!

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