Yarn

It is the first day of February, and I am happy to announce—drum roll please— I have learned how to knit.

Garter stitch, stockinette, cast on, and bind off. Yeah, I know those words now. I took a knitting class with two other women who were far more advanced than me.

Honestly, I’m not sure what they were doing in Knitting 101. One woman who had a pretty kickass “smile” tattoo on her finger was in the middle of a blanket.

A real, like cover yourself up, blanket. Was she just there to make me look like a bumbling fool juggling my knitting needles like chopsticks?

Yes, Tracy because it is all about you, after all.

And on top of her whole blanket thing, she was lovely. A master knitter, she taught herself by the way, and she’s nice. I was feeling horribly inadequate at the beginning of my first Friday class, but then I managed a slipknot and twenty rows of a cast on.

I sat there for a moment, needle in hand, grinning like an idiot. Then I said to our teacher, “Look what I did. This is so cool.”

She smiled politely, they all did, and then the teacher cleared her throat in that way people often do after an awkward moment, and said, “Okay, so that’s casting on. Let’s try a basic stitch.”

All I can say is, two Fridays later and I was knitting. Not a blanket or even a pot holder. I’m still practicing, and I don’t mean to brag, but I’m kind of the shit.

I have about six rows straight without one mistake. I no longer look at the needle after completing a row trying to remember my steps. In fact, once I get in my groove (under, counter-clockwise, pull through) I almost look like I know what I’m doing.

But don’t try to talk to me. Talking and knitting, like you see in the movies, must come later.

It’s super exciting, and I am proud of myself.

Funny how the further away we move from finger paints, the fewer look-what-I-made moments we get. I am writing a book about a knitter and wanted to learn. I was nervous at first to sit in a room full of strangers and admit I had no clue, but after my first class, I realized something.

There is freedom in starting out.

No expectations, people speak slowly, and the smallest accomplishment feels like magic. It’s also scary, and maybe that’s why we shy away from new and different as we become more seasoned in the life game.

I will admit that I am a bit obsessed with lining those stitches up, but my teacher told me that no matter what happens, “Keep calm, find your dropped stitch and move on. Don’t unravel the whole thing trying to be perfect.”

Holy hell. I’d already made a scene about my casting on so I kept quiet, but that was profound life advice right there. I wanted to tell her that knitting was a metaphor for life’s challenges, but the class was over, and she may or may not have slowly backed away from me.

My thoughts from the laundry room. Count Sheep.

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4 thoughts on “Yarn

  1. A metaphor for life, Tracy. Good for you, learning how to knit.

    I recently started a stained glass piece, and I feel the same way. It is totally new and totally foreign to me. The process itself, and I used solder for the first time, making welds to hold the pieces of glass together. Every little thing I do is an adventure. The gentleman who is teaching me just smiles indulgently when I get excited something went right, and now he is suggesting a next piece. I just want to get the first one done. ~nan

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