Monday, August 29, 2011

Life is too short for practice.

That's what someone said on a Ravelry forum and I thought it was brilliant.  Looking back, I can see that was part of my problem learning to knit.  I was told over and over to "practice" and learn to knit making washcloths.  I hated it.  I hated the fact that I had to start with this horrid little squares with cotton yarn.  I made three, hating every minute.  I put knitting aside, I didn't know how much I was supposed to practice with these washcloths and I just wasn't going to do it, I wanted to knit socks!

Every time I expressed this the wizened ladies of the LYS would cluck at me and tell me how much I needed to practice, practice with washcloths before I tackled socks, other knitters would tell me the same thing.  I dug in my heels, folded my arms across my chest, stuck out my bottom lip and said, "NO, I don't want to!"  I know how to knit, purl, increase and decrease, I'm done knitting friggin' washcloths.

Stubbornly, I studied my first sock pattern that the LYS almost grudgingly sold me.  It took me a long time of studying, too.  So much of the pattern was foreign to me, but I read it over and over again.  I'd tuck it away for a while before pulling it out again.  I'd watch videos on Knitting Help dot com for casting on and working the heel.  This went on for several months.  No, I'm not kidding.  I was learning the mechanics of the sock, how the stitches turned to make the heel, it had to make some sort of sense to me first, that's just how I am.

Finally I cast on and started my first sock.  I learned patience.  LOL  I learned how take my time, go slow, think, knit, count, count again.  I learned how to "tink" or "knit backwards".  When I was done with the first sock I studied pictures and explanations of the Kitchener, it's a logical method and I had no idea I was supposed to be afraid of the Kitchener or that it was difficult.  I still wonder sometimes if I'm doing something wrong, as long as I have the instructions in front of me I can do it.  No, it's not committed to memory, I don't use it often enough to build up the muscle memory, but I have a dog tag with the instructions and a little card with it. 

So I learned to make socks, on my own and I've never knit another stupid washcloth.  I'm doing the same thing with my weaving.  I was going to just "practice" but as I was getting my loom warped I thought to myself, I cannot just practice, I need to make something.  I don't want to do that stupid placemat in my book that it says to start with, and going on like I am without a goal is boring... I want to make a scarf!  So that's what I've decided I'm doing, I'm making a scarf and if it sucks, I've got other ideas.  Because, ya know...life is just too damn short for practice.  :-)

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