Knitting Lessons: Or What I Learn From Dropped Stitches and Other Tangles

Just about 10 years ago I decided I wanted to learn to knit. At that time I was living in Boston, making good use of the public transportation available to me, commuted on the T. A Good Yarn was on my way to and from work. So I looked around, signed up for a class and started knitting. And now living in the Deep South, I still knit. Yes, we need warm clothes, just not as a many layers or as often as my friends and family in Northeast and the Midwest. Over the Labor Day weekend I took some time to work around the house, in the yard and then carve out some extra knitting time. While puttering around and knitting away, I got to thinking about what this handwork has taught me about life.

  • Just about any mistake is fixable with time, effort and a healthy dose of humility.
  • Stop what you are doing, step back to reflect on the progress you made and check for places where some additional attention is needed.
  • There are all sorts of choices and yours does need to be the same as other persons. We both see options in the same raw materials.
  • There is no one right way to knit, what matters is that your stitches stay in place.
  • A common topic transverses all sorts of seemingly insurmountable differences between people. My local knit shop’s, The Knit Studio, drop in and knit group spans, ages, races, political, religious and socio-economic background.
  • Invest in tools that fit you and that last.
  • The process is just as important as the outcome, sometimes more important than the finished product.
  • There is art in the practical. There are few things more beautiful than a well-made pair of socks on cold feet.
  • Keep it in perspective, you are only knitting a  shawl, not the cure for cancer.
  • Even what looks impossible is probable-  even lace, and cables are easier than they first appear- they take time, focus and breaking the larger projects into pieces.
  • This is why I needed to learn math- to figure out the pattern errors.
  • Share what you know and others will share with you.
  • There are no wrong questions, just wrong times to ask them… like when some is counting their 300 stitch cast on.
  • There is a place for group work and a place for solitary work too.

2 thoughts on “Knitting Lessons: Or What I Learn From Dropped Stitches and Other Tangles

  1. Love this! Thanks for sharing your knitting wisdom — I knew there was a reason I love to knit 😉

    Two other thoughts occurred to me as I read:

    – I love to knit, but I don’t actually want the products of my labour for myself. Isn’t it nice when we have things to do in the rest of Life like this — we love to do them, but are doing them for the pleasure or needs of others?

    In knitting, we can take out stitches to fix our mistakes. In the rest of Life, we can’t go back in time, but we can surely choose where to go with what we have created so far. Hmmm…what can I make of this “mistake”? Even in other art forms, sometimes the best art comes from not fixing the mistakes, but using them to create something even more interesting or with greater depth.

    Thanks for the thought-stitches!

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