Paste it in the head!

Spinster

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Knitting + (friends * wine) = party

Stephanie and Alli knitting
Stephanie and Alli knitting some more

It's an algebraic equation: put a group of knitters in a room with a bottle of wine and some yarn, and you've got yourself a party. Last night Lorien and I invited Alli and Stephanie over to teach Alli to knit and just hang out.

Alli hiding her knitting from the camera

Lorien knitting



Having taught myself and several others to knit, I'm always interested in who picks it up quickly and who doesn't. I was definitely in the "did not pick it up quickly" camp--when Aundra and I decided to learn how to knit one day, we sat on my living room couch for hours with our Michael's yarn (somehow I got it into my head that I should knit a pink scarf--pink!) and needles and our American School of Needlework "learn to knit" pamphlet, which I still have; and we must have sat there for five hours trying to figure it all out. When Aundra left she'd definitely gotten a handle on it, and though I don't consider myself to be a competitive person by nature, the fact that Aundra had gotten it and I hadn't really bugged me. I struggled with that stupid pink yarn until my fingers were sore from trying to knit into stitches that were so tight I couldn't get the needle through them. My "scarf" turned into the world's most lopsided potholder--straight on one edge and veering out dramatically on the other, complete with holes. Eventually, I switched to nicer yarn and made a scarf for my then-boyfriend, and that's all it took. Once I'd been successful with one project I was hooked.

Most of the people who I've recently taught to knit have picked it up pretty quickly--my mom, Lorien, and now Alli--and I figure it must be because knitting is so much easier when you have someone there to show you what you're doing wrong and how to fix your mistakes, and also because knitting is such a good social activity and doing it with friends and a bottle of wine is immensely enjoyable. That said, though, I've always felt that since almost everything I know about knitting I've taught myself, there's basically nothing that I can't do, if you just give me enough time and alcohol. If I could wrestle with that squeaky pink acrylic yarn and still manage to master garter stitch, I can do cables and lace and sweaters, no problem.

Last night was excellent, and I hope Alli sticks with knitting. With her more-mathematical-than-mine mind (how's that for alliteration?) and ability to pick things up quickly, she might turn out to be one of those savant knitters who comes up with crazy stitch patterns and color combinations. Likewise, I'm stoked that Stephanie taught herself to knit, and that she's willing to figure out the things she doesn't know on her own, cause I think that having the confidence to make mistakes and undo them yourself is a pretty powerful tool--in knitting as in life. Lorien is a perfectionist and wants everything to look smooth and even; as a result, her finished objects look polished and in no way do they reveal that she's been knitting for six months. There's no right or wrong way to do this particular craft, and though each of my friends has a different approach to knitting, that approach works uniquely for them.

5 Comments:

  • Well, it's been some time since I last knitted but I think it's a good thing to do. Making somehting real in our cyberspace world.

    By Blogger martina, at 4:56 PM  

  • Oh, it looks as if you all had a fun time! I'm sorry to have missed out on the knit-fest--but FIS food night/cooking club called. Perhaps next time (I need some encouragement on my blasted lace scarf!)

    By Blogger Natalie, at 11:22 PM  

  • Thankyou for your lovely compliments Tasha. And thankyou for being a patient and enthusiastic knitting teacher! Now I have to figure out what my next project will be!

    By Anonymous Lorien, at 12:39 PM  

  • It looks like you guys had a great time. I wish my friends had the pashents for knitting but hey, i bearly do so. Happy knitting everyone.

    By Blogger Aundra, at 9:13 PM  

  • Please update.

    By Blogger McGeekan, at 4:36 PM  

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