Friday, February 1, 2013

How It Began

My mom has started a knitting group at her local library. The last time we met, there were two people who wanted to learn to knit. Mom helped the kid, and I helped the adult, who, for ease of typing, will be called Adult.*

The Adult was very hard on herself. She apparently expected to be shown how to do a knit stitch and then be able to knit.

The Adult said mean things about herself and her ability to learn new things. The Adult compared herself to the Child. I kept saying reassuring things to the Adult, but I'm not sure I made any impact.

I told her that nobody learns new things immediately. Nobody picks up a skill, does it perfectly from the beginning, and spends the rest of her life impressing others effortlessly.**

I am probably the most advanced knitter in the group, and it seems that someone always says something about my skill that makes me uncomfortable.

Yes, I knit awesome things. I do not design those things. I follow the instructions other people write. Basically, I can read and follow directions. This is a great skill, but not miraculous.

More importantly, I have not always been a good knitter. Mom tried to teach me at least twice before I finally understood.

There seems to only be one thing to do. I have decided to carry my first washcloth in my knitting bag so I can show people How It Began.

For the record, this is How It Began.

Sorry about the shadows. I'm pretty rubbish at the photography bit.

Anyway, let me walk you through this First Washcloth. I do this not because I doubt your intelligence, but because I realize this looks nothing like what it's supposed to.

This pattern starts with a few stitches, increases every row with a yarnover a couple stitches in from the end, and then decreases once you get a washcloth that's about half the size you want. 

You can clearly see where my mom was present.

Then she wasn't, and I kept forgetting to put in the yarnovers.

Then I forgot to decrease for, well, most of the rows.  That's why it goes straight for awhile.

At the end, when I showed it to Mom, she was quiet for a moment and then said, "Let's just bind off and start again, shall we?"

On my second washcloth, I dropped some stitches, didn't know how to pick them up, and just secured them with a safety pin and kept knitting. I finished the washcloth, and the next time I saw Mom I asked her to fix them. I had no idea it couldn't be fixed once it was bound off. Mom told me to tie a piece of cotton yarn through the stitches so they wouldn't unravel anymore, and I did.

I use both of those washcloths to wash dishes. 'Cause they work just fine.

New skills take awhile to learn. That's the way it's supposed to be. 

Knit on.

*Please, don't be jealous of my creativity. Not everyone can be this gifted.
**If there is someone like this, she has a hard time making and keeping friends. I am sad for her.


  1. That dishcloth is downright inspirational! You should definitely carry it with you.


  2. I love it, that you still have those dishcloths! Care to share their age?
    I know that Adult. I tried to help her, too...

    1. I think they're from 2006. They get used regularly and are pretty faded, but they haven't fallen apart!