Teach Me, Tiger
Recently on the MKM Facebook page, I asked for questions from non-knitters. What do you guys want to know? Ja’Lyn asked how long it takes to learn to knit.
What an incredibly complicated question. Easy answer: somewhere between one day and never.
I first attempted knitting in the winter of 2003. I bought a book called “I Taught Myself Knitting”. I, in fact, couldn’t teach myself knitting. And for the love of sock monkeys, I tried. I gave up and sold it (and the giant bag of yarn) on eBay. It’s not that I didn’t want to learn or didn’t try hard enough. It just didn’t take. Eventually, driven by my love of the wedding blanket, I managed to teach myself to knit. I used Knitting Help .com mostly, but there were many frantic trips to my LYS.
Most went like this:
Me: (running in door of LYS during 30 lunch break) Fix this!LYS: Um, what?Me: I dropped a stitch. Fix it.LYS: I can show you how to fix it.Me: Why do you hate me so much?!?!
And she would show me. Repeatedly. Until I learned to read my knitting (Oh, THIS is the front side), it didn’t matter how she showed me. I couldn’t do it. And this was just basic stockinette knitting. Knit one side, purl the other. Then one day it clicked. There was no stopping me.
So, for a timeline. I learned to cast on and do a knit stitch in a day. It took me weeks and several different teachers to figure out how to purl. Increases and decreases came intuitively. By the time I got around to knitting socks, I was at the mercy of every experienced knitter I knew. And luckily I knew several. I can knit socks in my sleep now, but may or may not be able to explain it. I learned within the first year to pick up dropped stitches and go back to a mistake and fix it. I learned to knit backwards in a day. Short rows and chart reading still feel like fairy magic when I get them right.
I (the theoretical me, not the real me) could probably show you how to cast on and do a knit stitch in a few hours. You could have that down pretty well in a few days if you keep practicing. You will forget how to cast on until next time, when a kind soul will patiently show you once again. And again. And every new skill will be like that. The thing to remember is that knitting doesn’t require patience. It teaches it. Knitting can be relaxing, but only once it has whipped you into submission and broken your will to live. Then you can sit back and enjoy the process.Like this piece? Click here to vote it to the top!