I’ve been talking a lot about knitting lately. Of course, I’ve been thinking about it, too. Between attempting to use double-pointed needles to translating and rewriting a French pattern (which I mentioned in passing on Monday’s post about 5 Things to Include in Your Knitting Pattern–more about that later), knitting has kept me pretty busy for the last couple of weeks.
So yesterday, as I became more and more frustrated with my DPNs, I thought about how I felt when I was trying to learn how to knit period. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And learning to knit isn’t even remotely what I thought it would be.
Of course, I probably would have had a better idea if I had searched forums instead of asking my real-life friends. 😛 Regardless, here are five things no one told me about learning to knit.
1. You’re going to get really good at casting on.
From doing it over and over and over again. Every single time you forget to count your cast on stitches (for me, this is every time).
This is especially true in the beginning. It took me WEEKS to figure out how to cast on. WEEKS. And when I figured it out I felt like a freaking genius. Until about two seconds later when I couldn’t figure out what to do next. It took me another couple of weeks to learn how to do a basic knit stitch. In the meantime, I just kept casting on, pulling the yarn off my needle, and casting on again. Partially because I screwed up the knit stitch (again) and partially because it made me feel better knowing I was able to get even that far.
If you can’t figure out how to cast on. Don’t worry. You will. And it’s a moment you won’t forget.
2. You’re going to spend way too much money on yarn
And then you’re going to spend even more trying to organize your yarn.
If you’re on a tight budget, don’t take up knitting. It’s awesome and I will never quit, but holy crap. I have so much yarn, but I still never seem to have enough.
And to anyone who recommends knitting as a budget-friendly hobby, I say this:
3. You’ll need a whole shelf to store your knitting patterns.
You should see my binder. Every time I see a knitting pattern I think I might someday use, I print it out and stick it in my binder.
And now I need to buy a new one. Because my old one is so full. I haven’t knitted even a small percentage of the crap I have in there. But there are just so many patterns and they’re all so nice! So, yes, I need another binder. Or five.
4. You might come out a (slightly) more patient person.
I have to tear out my stitches a lot. I used to get angry or frustrated…and then cry (or maybe that’s just me). Now my attitude is usually, “Ugh. Guess I’ll try this again tomorrow.” And then I do. I’ve had to start over on the same pillow case about four times now (that French pattern I’m rewriting, which I mentioned in last week’s 5 Things to Include in Your Knitting Pattern).
Sure, sometimes I still get frustrated. Especially when I’m halfway through and I realize how terrible it’s looking. But try to think about it this way: by tearing out your yarn and starting over, you’re getting more use for the price you paid.
5. The learning never ends.
When you think you have it all figured out, someone will send a pattern your way that brings you back down a peg. The thing about knitting by hand is that you’re not a machine. Nothing is ever consistent and no one ever 100% knows what they’re doing. And if seem like they do, it’s because they’re not challenging themselves enough. Or they’re doing it very wrong (like a knitter-friend of mine–I had to relearn a lot of stuff he taught me because it was all incorrect).
So when you feel like you’ll never have this figured out, don’t worry. No one else will, either.
What has knitting taught you? Have you had similar experiences? Let me know in the comments!