Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Thing : Knitting! And Extended Metaphors!

I am, as per my resolution, trying to do something new every week. Not all these endeavors get posted about, because I Am Lazy, and also, how many recipes do you really want to read? Not many, I'm guessing. Though feel free to correct me. Really!

This week, though, I stumbled by sheerest coincidence (and the graces of Facebook) on a chance to learn knitting. Knitting! A skill I had always longed to possess, but thought the province of wiser and grander dames than I am or ever will be, sheer Witches of Craft, who can also do things like force prickly pear tunas to jell and strawberries to become wine.

As it turns out, I can indeed knit! A lot! With great enthusiasm!

And, uh. Great enthusiasm!

Because I had fully accepted, going in to knitting, that I was going to be awful at it. Really unforgiveable. An offense to the sheep that gave its wool to the yarn I would abuse (or, being that I'm learning with acrylic, possibly the Plastic Bags that gave their lives to the recycler. Whatever.).

So I wasn't even trying to do it right. Once I got the basic knit-purl down, I set about Experimenting. What happens if I drop stitches on purpose? Add them on purpose? Exactly how can I add stitches? Lose them? Can I make the stitches super loose? Can I do this left handed? Both handed? If I fumble massively, can I recover?

And the thing is, I know the answer to these questions, and many more! are available for the price of a quick Google search. But I don't care. I'm not ready to listen to the voice of experience just yet. For me, this stage of a new craft- where I know nothing, not what's possible or impossible or sensible or anything-- is like the rush of first love. I need to make all the mistakes, and make them hard, not to figure out how this particular craft works, but how I work with it. Is it fun even when I'm frustrated? Can I make something good out of a mistake? Is this, in short the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

In time, if it turns out that this is more than a passing infatuation-- and I'm seriously enjoying myself, and there's lots of room for play here, so I think it will be-- then there's time enough to pick out rings and argue over the caterer and fight over how to hang the toilet paper. I'll start trying out patterns, and reading tutorials, and looking for specific gauges of yarn. I'll curse and swear when I miscount a row of stitches, and giggle with glee when I make my first successful felted piece. I'll settle down and explore the deeper joys that come with a committed relationship, like sharing new friends and having something a little more popular to sell at the local craft shows.

But for now, it's just me and some screaming green yarn and a couple of bamboo needles, and we are having a whale of a time.

What's your latest love?


Ellen said...

I believe they call that "Free Range Knitting." Explore on - knitting can only make the world better!

mermaiden said...

I told myself I would *not* learn to knit. Did I really need *another* craft? Years ago I didn't listen to myself and allowed the basic stitch to be learned. Years later, and a bazillion scarves in my closet and around teachers' necks, I still can only do the basic stitch. haHA, somewhat successful in my resolution.

But I wish you much joy, and I stand in wonderment at the way in which you are attacking this new skill. Huzzah, for Caraknits.

Cal said...

I wish that I could knit, but I have tried a few times, and have not gone far. I then tried crochet and the same thing happened... not much. So I have resigned myself to the fact that I will not knit. But I am certainly glad you have managed! Well done.

Lisa said...

How exciting! (What a fun post) :)

I've been meaning to dive into knitting as well...how long did it take you to pick up the basics?

Enjoy every minute of it - planned or not!

MarZel said...

Wow!! Now that is the way to do it...dive right in...good and deep and get water up your nose... and get a bathing suit wedgy... or loose your two peice completely!!!!

Good for you...

threadsofmagique said...

Like Bob Ross used to say about painting "there are no mistakes, just happy accidents." Have lots and lots of happy accidents and enjoy every one of them!

MJ said...

I enjoyed reading about your new love as much as you enjoyed meeting it. May your relationship be long and rewarding.!

Carapace said...

Ellen- Free Range Knitting! I love it!

Mermaiden- oh man, I am already dreaming of the awesome scarves and ponchos I shall create. And socks!I will finally be able to have socks that are actually thigh high, though it may take years! Caraknits, hmmmm...

Cal-Yeah, I'm that way with, say, web design. I know I *could* do it, with enough time and trouble, but I ain't feelin the love that would make the trouble worth it.

Lisa- if by "basics" you mean the Knit-Purl two step basic stitch? About thirty minutes. It is really really easy. If you mean "how to lay out a pattern and keep all the edges straight and get all the stitches neat and even and..." then I think I'll be spending the next few decades on that. There's even several different grips to learn! That's part of why I'm so excited, it's like art-- anyone can do the basics, getting it RIGHT,good enough to break rules on purpose, can take a lifetime.
Endless fun!

Carapace said...

Marzel- I like your metaphor better.;D

Magique- The Cat approach to life, the I Meant to Do It theory. I live by it! This explains the state of my carpets.

MJ- Aw, you're sweet...but are you M-girls ganging up on me?!?;D

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Oooo...a fun new hobby :) Sounds great!

apinkdreamer said...

hi! knitting is fantastic!!!!

beedeebabee♥ said...

What a fun post! I love that excitment when starting, or learning something new...Good for you! Good luck with your knitting, and with my giveaway too!
xo Paulette ;D

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

Hi Cara!

Good on ya for learning to knit! If only I had the cojones to tackle the yarn in a similar fashion.

Thanks so much for the visit to my blog and for entering my giveaway! So nice to meet you and to discover your lovely blog in return!

All the best,