Knitting 101

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I just started knitting a few days ago. I have always wanted to learn how to knit but somehow something always gets in the way – until a few days ago that is. I passed this knitting shop and saw a bunch of people sitting around knitting. Women, little girls, little boys, all busy knitting away and I was so surprised! I always associate knitting as ‘motherly’ or even ‘elderly’ activity. It was really refreshing to these young boys and girls concentrating really hard on their knitting.

Since I have never knit in my whole life before, I wanted to start with something easy. Suddenly a flash of idea came to me – I wanted to knit something for the baby! The shop attendant suggested a baby blanket. It sounds perfect to me! I have always loved the idea of making things and what a wonderful idea it is to make something for the baby with my own 2 hands! 🙂

Since I do not know whether the baby is a girl or boy, I chose a pretty natural dyed yarn with blue, green, some pink and yellow colours. It’s really pretty! The shop attendant started the basic for me (later I learnt its called cast-on), and all I had to do was learn the basic knit stitch and I can already start!

It was quite tricky at first, I kept slipping the needle off, the needle got tangled in with the yarn and all sorts of ridiculous beginners’ mistakes happened to me, but after a while I got the hang of it. With the knowledge of basic stitch I went home and worked on it for a few rows – and that’s when all went downhill. The stitches started to unravel, and I missed a few stitches and I decided fine – I just have to do it all over again – on my own!

Armed with Youtube tutorials, I learned all the basics, from tying slipknot, to casting on, to doing the basic stitch all over again. After a few failed attempts, I managed to start again and am now on my way for real. This is what I learnt and reflected on while learning to knit:

1. Knitting is an organic learning process where a lot of it comes from trial and error, repeating again and again, and doing it until you get the ‘feel’ of it.

2. It also involves a lot of adjusting tension. Not too much, not too little. Its interesting that it is a lot like life and perhaps, mothering. You cannot hold on too tight, but you cannot hang it too lose either. You need to always keep it in check and working on the balance. I really love this analogy that I found.

3. Be at peace with imperfections. It is part of the charm of hand-made. Being so used to perfectly manufactured things – we have lost the tolerance for the tiniest bit of ‘wrong’. I had to fight with myself all the time with this while knitting. I have a perfectionist tendency and I think it’s a really good practise to go with the flow and accept that I can’t always make it beautiful all the time. The wonky and crooked bit is part of my love with the straight and beautiful bit. I am learning to live with this 🙂

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn knitting and to make something for the baby! Alhamdulillah 🙂

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