learning to knit: it takes a village and some wine…

I started this whole learning to knit frenzy in the midst of one of my most stressful times of the year, and really that’s no coincidence. I needed something to do that would allow my mind to decompress while keeping my hands busy. Something I needed to focus on but didn’t need to think much about. Something that wasn’t work related as we ramped up to the year end conference I was working on. 

It was helpful. But it was also more perfectly timed than I could have imagined. After all my failed attempts to learn knitting from various online videos and tutorials, the helpful texted advice of my friends and family, and some random private messages from helpful concerned knitters out there I also had a few folks who would be attending the conference suggest I bring my “knitting” with me.

This is when I realized that knitting could be used as a noun. The noun being the bundle of shit you’re using to knit with.

I thought it was a great idea. I totally have a ton of spare time at all the conferences I attend. Especially the ones I’m helping to organize. Wait… no. No I don’t. But none-the-less I thought it was a good idea. So on my last night in Nashville when I only avoided ditching the friends I wanted to hang out with by telling them I could only see them if we had dinner in my hotel and then they hung out with me while I was packing so I could take my tired self to bed and get a few solid hours of sleep I was taught how to knit.

I ate with a few friends in our bar and then one excused herself to attend one of the countless parties being held that night and the other two came up to my room to swap stories and have snacks while I tried to stuff everything in my suitcase. 

And truthfully it was the loveliest time. Isn’t it always beautiful when you get to know people you love even better than you did before? 

While we were all laughing and chatting and I was stuffing things into my little polkadot suitcase I stumbled upon my size 8 bamboo knitting needles and the little gumballs of yarn I brought along with me. My yarn was still cast-on to one needle and so I unceremoniously handed it to my friend Jennifer and bemoaned the fact that I still hadn’t learned to knit. 

So while she, Mika, and I continued to chat and I continued to pack she began knitting. She interjected at one point that I had cast-on beautifully and I squeed a little inside. And possibly also aloud. Once the packing was done I sat between the pair of them and she picked back up the needles with a couple of rows of knit stitches in place and then began to show me in person live on my very own needles with my very own yarn what was happening.

I was transfixed. Moving my head around I was able to get a better view of precisely what was happening. She told me to make sure I wrap the yarn around my pinky to keep it taught but not too taught and she showed me again how to make a stitch before handing me the needles, giving me a couple of basic pieces of advice and then expecting me to actually be able to knit. 

And then the strangest thing happened. I knit a stitch. And then another. And another. And before I knew it I had reached the end of a row and we switched which hand I held each needle in and I did it all over again. 

And despite the fact that I was losing my voice, as I knitted I sang a little song. And I wouldn’t expect you to believe that except that as I sat between the two of them with both gently coaching me and I sang that little song Mika captured the moment.

You’er welcome. Or possibly I’m sorry. Either was thankfully you’re spared more than 19 seconds of it…

So for the first time in my life I’m able to honestly say that I think I’ve learned to knit. Really really poorly as it turns out, but we all have to start somewhere. 

On my flight home I watched a movie and finished the length of yarn I had and so now I’ve knitted a whole thing. I think I’ll pull it all out and start over and hopefully next I’ll figure out how to get this whatever it is I’ve knitted off the needles. 

Next up my daddy gets a new scarf. For his sake I hope I get better at it sooner than later.

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