My Mommom tried to teach me to knit when I was young. My Mommom is legally blind, and at the time could knit like a wiz. But she could not see what I was doing wrong, and it became an exercise in frustration for both of us with only tangled yarn to show for it.

A friend tried to teach me again about a decade ago. She did get me casting on pretty well. But her description of what to do next was basically, let your hands figure it out, it will become automatic. My hands did not know what they were trying to figure out, and I had much tangled yarn to show for it.

Last year, another friend was reteaching herself how to knit, much of what her grandmother had taught her had faded into memories. But with patience, perseverance, book advice, website tutorials, and human help at the yarn shops, she was quickly knitting right along. Over the winter, she held craft days at her house, and was willing to try yet again to teach me to knit. She sat beside me on the couch, watching each stitch, demonstrating each stitch in slow motion, taking my hands with needles and yarn in them and guiding them to the right spots. With her amazing patience, I succeeded at several rows of garter stitch without tangled yarn!

Yet another friend (I start trying to knit, and knitting friends started popping out of the woodwork) spent half of New Year’s Eve showing me how to purl. With her tutoring and the help of some web videos, I did finally grasp how to purl. And that’s all there is to knitting! Just knit and purl stitches! Yeah …

Knitting has surfaced at the Steel Phoenix Writers meetings, where a friend demonstrated how to knit two together (a decrease) and how to knit one front and back (an increase). I dragged my knitting along to Evergreen Discussion Group, and had a friend showing me patterns in a magazine that she felt I could do. As always when I start a new hobby, I already have quite a little collection of books, including some that are way too advanced for me at the moment but were just too interesting looking. I signed up on Ravelry and was startled to find quite a few friends already there (I am otterblossom, if you want to look me up).

My first little project turned into a coaster that I now take with me to the various meetings at Borders. It’s perfect for ID’ing which one of the myriad drinks on the table is mine. The rest of that skein of yarn turned into a garter stitch scarf, well more of a sash, but proof to myself that I could do a larger project. I just finished my first Christmas present! A scarf for my one Dad, garter stitch but it took three skeins (I had to join yarns! which sent me running back to the web videos). There’s a dishcloth on one set of needles, my first try at a pattern. Another set of needles currently has my attempt at figuring out an I-cord; it seems to be working.

Scarf 20100126_5           blue garter scarf finished 20100630_6